Thursday, March 29, 2012

Introducing A Man of Privilege!

I know I've spent a lot of time talking about A Man of His Word, it being my debut novel and all that. And heavens only knows how much I love that book, how much heart and soul I poured into it. 

But let's be honest now. I've been going on and on about A Man of His Word for months. Years, even. I think I speak for all of us when I say that it's time to move on to new hunks (I mean, heroes) and new heroines. 

Yes. It's time to put Dan and Rosebud in the rear-view mirror and start looking toward the future.

And the future looks like this:

Available from: Amazon | Powell’s | B & N 
And local bookstores--but not until July 3rd, so be patient!

Oh, yeah, baby. The future looks BRIGHT! And a lot like a young Russell Crowe, don't you think?

Yes, it's time to start talking about A Man of Privilege, my July Desire release. Here's the blurb:

James Carlson is building the biggest case of his career. He’s spent years systematically rooting out corruption in the legal system, and the conviction of a federal judge is the final step before he resigns and runs for office. But to get his conviction, he needs the testimony of a former hooker. Given her wrap sheet, he’s surprised that this potential witness is still alive.
Maggie Eagle Heart wants nothing to do with anything in her past. She’s spent a decade living in anonymity, making Native American jewelry. When she’s hauled into the office of a Special Prosecutor of the Department of Justice, she refused to cooperate. She knows how lawyers and judges operate. She’ll have nothing to do with any of them. Except that James Carlson isn’t like any lawyer she’s ever met. Kind and funny, he doesn’t treat her like a criminal.  In fact, he seems to like her. As her attraction to this outsider grows, Maggie finds herself wondering if she’s finally met the last honest lawyer.

Sounds good, huh? July 3rd is still three whole months off--but the time will fly fast. I'll set up another blog tour, give away some more jewelry, and do some more signings.

So clear your calendars now--I predict this book will be so big, so awesome when it's released that the whole nation will set off fireworks in its honor! 

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Introducing Andrea Laurence

Today I'm joined by fellow Harlequin Desire Author Andrea Laurence. I met Andrea at the RWA convention in New York City in 2011. I can honestly say she was the very first person to treat me like a rock star. And that, sadly, it only lasted for about three minutes before we figured out that we were very much alike. So, welcome to the Authorial Moms blog, Andrea! Tell us a little about yourself.

The awesome Andrea Laurence
Thanks for inviting me over. Where to start... Well, first I'll admit I'm not a mom. To humans at least. My house is overrun with animals – 3 dogs, two cats and a boyfriend who makes a bigger mess than the other five. I live in Alabama, where I work by day for an Army contractor and work by night as an author of seductive romance for Harlequin Desire. What else? I like to bake. I'm always on a diet. And I love shoes. That about covers it.

What do you write? How many books have you written/published? How old are they?

My tagline is "Seductive Romance... With a Twist." The genre may vary from contemporary to paranormal to suspense, but you'll always get a sensual romance and a little bit of quirkiness, usually from my untraditional characters or plots. My first book with Desire comes out April 3rd and it's called WHAT LIES BENEATH. The second book, MORE THAN HE EXPECTED, will be out in July of this year. I'm very excited to share these stories with everyone.

Tell me about a typical day.

Now available at Amazon
and other great places!
I get up at 4:30. No joke. My boyfriend does 12-hour shift work, so I get up and make his breakfast, care for the animals, pack his lunch, then fall back in bed until about 6:30. From there, it's a mad dash to work, where I spend my day as a process improvement analyst for a software program. I roll back into my driveway about 5 that evening, make dinner, and collapse into my writing chair with my laptop. The rest of my evening is spent sitting there either writing, revising, promoting, or talking to someone about any of those things. Then I get up and I do it again.

When did you start writing? What was your journey to publication like?

I remember writing my first "book" in second grade. While other kids wrote about a dog, I wrote a family melodrama. In 10th grade, my short story turned into a mini-Intrigue with a sadistic serial killer and a psychic heroine. In college, I wrote my first real book, a YA about fairies that will hide under the bed forever. I got serious in 2004. I joined RWA, got involved in my local chapter and things took off from there. Uh... well, not so much. It took me eight years to sell after that, but I wrote 10 more books, learned a lot about writing and the business, and made great connections with industry people. I was on 'the edge' of selling for quite a long time. I almost quit at least twice. But my friends encouraged me to keep at it and eventually, I found the right project with the right editor at the right time.

Tell us about your pets. How many? What kinds? How cute are they?

First, the cats...I have a grouchy Maine Coon runt named Jell-o and a Blue Russian named Knight (pronounced Kuh-nigg-itt.  It's a Monty Python thing.) I've had them both twelve years, so the girls are getting old. Then I have a beagle/chow mutt named Licorice, who's 7 and a bulldog named Buddy. He's 6. My most recent and aggravating addition is a giant Siberian Husky named Shadow. He's beautiful, really. He has huge, ice blue eyes. And he sheds like you would not believe. He's three and such a big puppy.  If you ever find a typo in one of my books, it's because he put his head on the keyboard.

Becoming an author means having a public persona. How do you combine your regular life with the demands of a public life?

On a day to day private basis, it really just blurs together. I stop writing to make dinner, put a load of clothes in the dryer, etc. In terms of a public life as a "writer, "I sort of treat my writer self as an alter ego, a la Bruce Wayne and Batman. I wear different clothes, different shoes, do my hair differently... There's a line between the two parts of my identity. I'm an introvert, so creating this other person helps me come out of my shell.

Most Moms I know have a limited amount of free time. Give me a few reasons why they should dedicate some of that time to your characters. What’s in it for us?

Books are an escape, whether they're mine or someone else's. It’s a chance to lose yourself in the feelings of new love, get wrapped up in the glamour of high society life, and experience a happily ever after every time they pick up a book. I promise my heroes will never leave their socks on the floor or dishes in the sink. I think a woman needs that, especially a busy mom.

Let’s have a little fun with fill-in-the-blanks. “The floor of my kitchen is so ___ you can ___ it.”

The floor of my kitchen is so well-guarded by a hungry bulldog, you can drop something and never know it. Seriously. He's swallowed it before you can stop him and probably has forgotten he even ate anything. He's on a constant mission to obtain food. Poor little guy was a scrawny stray when we found him and he's made up for it ever since.

In what way have you turned into your mother? How are you coping with it?

Wow... that's one I try not to think too much about, but honestly, I am very much my mother. I sing all the time. Some real songs. Some silly things. I have an answer for everything even if I don't really know the answer. People also come to me for advice a lot. I wish I could cook like my mother. Unfortunately, I didn't get that gene passed on to me.

What’s up next for you?

As always, I'm a busy girl. I'm going to be at the Romantic Times Conference this April, so if you're in the Chicago area, you can come see me. My next book, MORE THAN HE EXPECTED, will be out in July and I will be at the RWA Nationals Conference in Anaheim. In 2013, I'm kicking off a new series based around four foster brothers with a dark secret. The first book will be out in January.  

Where can we find you and your books online?

My website is  You can find me on my blog, The Writing Playground, Facebook and Twitter, too. My books are available most anywhere fine books are sold, but even after their release month, you can get them on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Thanks, Andrea! Readers, do you have a question for Andrea? I, for one, can't wait to find out about that family of foster brothers!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

An Evening With Val Kilmer

Did the title of the blog alone make you jealous? It should have. Very, very jealous!

I'm going to a meet n' greet with Val Kilmer. Yes. Seriously. He's coming to Hannibal, Missouri to promote a pet project--in which he will play Mark Twain--and I got a ticket. (No, I'm not making a single bit of this up. I'm dead serious, people!) You can read all about the event here.

I've also learned something. How you react to the name "Val Kilmer" can, within 3 years, predict how old you are. Really.

For instance, if you say, "Val Kilmer? Is that a guy or a girl?" then I know immediately that you are a snot-nosed teenager who should be sentenced to watch Real Genius until you learn some respect for your elders.

If you say, "Val Kilmer? That creepy old guy?" then I know immediately that you are between the ages of 22 and 28 and should be locked in a room with Willow--and also the actor playing Willow, Warwick Davis (whom you probably only know as Professor Flitwick, you youngin').

If you say, "Oh my God, THE Val Kilmer? Can I come with you?" then I know that you between the ages of 29 and 45, and were going to the movies with me back in the late 80s and early 90s, when Val's intense acting and hunky bod took up almost all the space reserved for 'bad boys' in our hearts and minds. These women are my friends and do not have to be sentenced to watch Tombstone or Top Gun. They were already planning on coming over and bringing popcorn, wine, and tales of teenaged lusting-in-our-hearts.

If you say, "Oh, that Val Kilmer was quite something back in the day, wasn't he?" then I know that you are probably pushing 50 or higher, and you also saw Val in his prime, but were old enough at the time to *not* develop extensive, high-school crushes on an unattainable actor, no matter how focused his gaze could be. You're also invited to movie night, and will probably bring Junior Mints.

If you say, "Wasn't he in that movie from the 70s?" then I know that you are probably my Gram, who turns 97 today, and further attempts at explanation will only lead to the Spiral of Chit-Chat Death, so I'll just change the subject to how to pronounce the name of the new St. Louis Cardinals (Mah-THEN-ee, for the last time!)

An Evening With Val Kilmer isn't until May 2nd, which means I've got *loads* of time to drop another twenty pounds, find the perfect I'm-married-but-still-got-it outfit, and practice NOT devolving into a giggling, gushing, 16-year-old version of myself.

Because I'm going to meet Val Kilmer. THE Val Kilmer.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Concession Speech

Friends, voting has closed, and the readers have spoken. Karina Bliss is going to move forward in the DABWAHA voting, and it's time to put aside our petty, color-based differences and unite as category authors against the rest of the world. I heartily support my former opponent, Karina Bliss, and her cohort, Sarah Mayberry, in future rounds.

Well met, ladies. Well met.

Don't forget to keep voting! Other rounds are now open!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Loyal Reader (s),

You should totally vote for the
Cowboy. TOTALLY.
I come to you with a matter of great national importance: DABWAHA. What is DABWAHA, you ask? I don't have a clue. All I know is that it's a romance version of the March Madness Bracket. Sixty four books go in; one book emerges as a winner. How does that one book emerge as a winner? Reader votes, most all of which appear to be based on one of two things: Which books a reader has personally read, and which authors generate the most entertaining commentary, known in 'the biz' as 'trash talking.'

So, given that base of cluelessness, I am *thrilled* to tell you that A Man of His Word was reader-nominated for the final spot in the Category category! But we can't stop there, Loyal Reader(s). We must persevere! I'm up against some big names here--Courtney Milan, Thea Harrison. I make a vow to you--no matter how dirty the tricks Gwen Hayes pulls, I'm not going to curl up in a ball and pretend her words, her evil, evil words, don't hurt. Instead, I'm going to channel that pain into blind, raging fury. In other words, Loyal Reader(s), I ain't going down without a fight.

The 1st round voting starts tomorrow, March 15th. Normally, I'd say Beware the Ides of March, but this year, everyone else should beware ME.

As far as I can tell, most of this 'trash talk' takes place on Twitter. I've already started my campaign against my first-round competition, Here Comes the Groom by Karina Bliss. Below is a sampling of 'tweets' staking out my position:

Reasons why you should vote for A MAN OF HIS WORD in : My hero Dan would NEVER plan his own wedding, unlike my competitor's 'hero.'

A MAN OF HIS WORD is clean, wholesome romance. No fueling dangerous women fantasies, unlike some Presents and Super Romance books. 

Who needs children & puppies when you can have millionaires who own half of Texas and rides a horse?? Vote A MAN OF HIS WORD!

Vote for A MAN OF HIS WORD in : 100% made in America! Canada-smanada, I say!

 Voting Rule: Which *sounds* like more fun: A Desire book or a Super Romance book? I mean, come on-Desire's RIGHT THERE IN THE TITLE.

Can't believe  is so naive she fell for 's Hasbro Web O Deceit. I'd never be such an easy mark.

Clearly, you must vote for me in  and not the gullible or the conniving . I'm the only respectable choice!

A vote for A MAN OF HIS WORD is a vote for a Manly Man, the kind who looks good on a horse and better in bed. 

Reasons why you should vote for A MAN OF HIS WORD in : Unlike other Sarahs in the competition, I do not teach planking to children.

Reasons why you should vote for A MAN OF HIS WORD in : 1. Cowboys do it better. 2. Shirtless cowboys? HELLO. 

Reasons why you should vote for A MAN OF HIS WORD in : 3. It's a Desire. That makes it awesome. 4. Two words: Campfire scene.

Reasons why you should vote for A MAN OF HIS WORD in : 5. I'd never stoop to bribing voters. But I'm not above buying them a drink!

Reasons why you should vote for A MAN OF HIS WORD in : 6. Of all the Sarahs nominated, I'm *clearly* the most awesome. It's the hat.

Smart Bitches, Trashy Novels has a blog on this and some of the promotional videos other authors have done for their books. So I don't have a clue, a video, or a budget for this. I do know it'll be good, clean fun*! Don't forget to vote!

*That's a lie. It's gonna get dirty around here!

UPDATE: My competitor, Karina Bliss, tried to talk some trash here, but it turns out she's from Down Under, so she's not very good at it. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Romance's Biggest Winner

Here's the thing about me and my weight. I've never been skinny or thin, not even as a little girl. I'm 5'9, so I carry it well, but I've always, always been a big girl. Luckily, I married a man who doesn't care (which is doubly good, because that man hasn't changed since I met him, except his hair is more salt and pepper).

I used to punish myself. Losing 40 pounds to get into my wedding dress was an exercise in mental torture so exquisite that I'm still depressed over it. Yes, I looked good in the pictures, but I don't really look like me.

So I've made peace with being a bigger girl. It got easier to do that after my son was born--I did *not* have the brain space to waste on worrying about being thin. I had a baby to care for! I had way better things to do. This has continued as my writing career has developed. 

And you know what? It's more fun this way. Instead of worrying about each bite of food, of agonizing over a number on a clothing tag, instead of beating myself up as a complete and total failure as a woman because I can't lose fifteen pounds, I play with my kid. I talk to imaginary people and write their stories down. I discuss the news with my husband. I watch Phineas and Ferb.
Sarah M. Anderson, in what we're gonna
call the 'Before' picture.

In other words, I live my life. I walk my dog whenever I can, eat a ton of vegetables, and try (TRY) to eat only one dessert at a time.


The number on the scale keeps creeping up. The pants have gotten tighter. And--and this is the really important part--my weight is affecting my health. I see a doctor for the stress on my knees and back. Her job--and my life--would be easier if I wasn't carrying quite this much weight. And, worst of all, my health is effecting my weight. Several medical conditions and medicines helped me gain 10 pounds in January alone. This is not helping anything.

So, without feeling guilty about me, or my lifestyle, or my self-worth as a woman, I'm trying to lose a little weight and get down to a weight that I can manage. Here's what I'm doing: Romance Biggest Winner. This is a group of romance authors and readers who are working together to cheer each other to a healthier lifestyle. Plus, if I win, I get money!

Here's what I'm not doing: radical fad diets. Eight hours of exercise. Torturing myself. That might help me lose weight in the short-term, but in the long term, I'll abandon those diets and that schedule. I'm trying to make changes that I can live with. Permanently. Can I eat an extra serving of broccoli at lunch instead of toast? Yes. Can I skip lunch for a weight-loss shake? Nope. Not even gonna try.

So I'm aiming for 20 pounds, which is a reasonable number. My doctor and I changed up the meds, so hopefully that will help a little more, too. Either way, I'm going to do my best to eat healthy, walk every day, and eat only *one* dessert at a time.

How about you? Are you making any healthy changes?