Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Brighten Up Your Winter Days Contest

Brighten Up Your Winter Days Contest

I'm running a Contest from December 13th through December 20th for members of my newsgroup. I'll announce the winners on December 21st, by a random drawing of entrants that correctly answer four questions and are newsletter subscribers.

  • It's very simple to enter:

    • Subscribe to my newsgroup if you haven't already at jamidavenport-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    • By looking on my blog, Equestrian Ink Blog, and website, answer the following questions:

      1. What does Carson get for his birthday?

      2. What is the location for my first two books?

      3. I write an equestrian fiction blog with several other writers. Name one of them.

      4. Name one blog I like as shown on my personal blog.

    • Send the answers to me at
      jamidavenport@att.net.
    • Make sure you use the same email address that you used to join my
      newsgroup.

The Prizes:

  • One print copy of Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?

  • One print copy of The Dance

  • One print copy of your choice from one of the authors on equestrian Ink

  • An electronic version of Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? (2 winners)
  • An electronic version of The Dance (2 winners)
If you already have both of my books, you can substitute for a copy of The Gift Horse, which I will send when it is available.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I wanted to stop by and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

I'm going to drag my butt out of bed and hit the stores about 6:30 or 7:00 am tomorrow. That way I'll be finished before 10:30 or 11:00 when the crowds come out.

We've been watching the Seahawks get clobbered by Dallas this afternoon. Sigh. Not a good year for Washington sports. At least it can't get any worse. :)

I'm having a great time writing my football hero romance, working title Fourth and Goal. I have about 3 or 4 chapters left on the rough draft.

Stay safe and have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Flatscreen Diet

If you know me, you know I don't like to cook unless it's for a lot of people. I guess you could say that I'm an event cook. It's not that I can't cook, I actually am a good cook, but I'd rather go out to eat. Someone else can do the work and clean up the mess. In the past two years I've put on twenty pounds. I'm certain I can attribute a lot of that to eating out.

Last weekend hubby and I bought a 52-inch Sony flatscreen. Okay, we're doing our part for the economy. :) Plus, hubby had saved his umpire wages all summer to buy one. We're not big movie wachers, but we do love to watch sports. This TV is as good as anything in a sports bar.

As a result, we've been staying home, and I've been--yup, it's true--cooking. I've already lost 2 pounds in four days. Even better, we've saved quite bit of money. So I'm calling this the flatscreen diet. I'll keep you posted as to the long-term effects.

On another note, stay tuned. I'm teaming up with Allie K. Adams and Wendi Darlin to do a free read featuring secondary characters from our books. We think you'll enjoy it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Husbands that Write

I recently bought a new laptop and gave my old one to my husband. As a result, my technophobe hubby has become obsessed. He's writing a non-fiction book, and it's really good. I think he has a great hook, too, so we'll see where it goes.

It's fun to see him so excited about his new project. It's all about how a Green Beret becomes a baseball umpire, the path he took to get there, and how his background actually helped him become a better umpire.

So keep your eyes open for updates on his newest venture. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

We're Back!!!

My husband and I made a last-minute trip to the San Juans this weekend. We have a four-day weekend and what better way to spend it. Since Rosario is closed, we decided to try a new place. I found a great deal on a third-floor suite at Ferry Landing Suites in Friday Harbor. We caught the early ferry, and here we are. It's sunny, about 60, and windy, but really pretty pleasant considering the mainland is having rain, rain, and more rain.

So hubby is watching football, and I'm working on my book. We did a little Christmas shopping and will do more before we leave on Tuesday. Here are some pictures taken from our balcony. You can see why it's called Ferry Landing Suites.




Our room is on the top floor of ths buildng. You can see my husband standing on the balcony.



Sunday, November 2, 2008

I've been Nominated for the Rookie of the Year

I just found out that I was nominated for Rookie Author of the Year with the Romance Erotica Connection in the Interracial/Multicultural category. I had no idea. I'm not even sure how a person gets nominated, but I'm pretty happy about it.

If you're not a member and want to join you can join here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Romance_erotica_connection/
If you are a member, you can vote here if you're interested. I'd appreciate your vote!!!!
Erotic Romance - Interracial/Multicultural ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cleaning the House for the Housekeeper

Okay, I admit it. I'm envious.

Who am I envious of? Well, I'm envious of writers that don't have an additional full-time job and can dedicate their workdays to writing. I know its not their fault, and I don't hold it against them. I just wish I could be one of them. I don't see that happening in the near future, especially not in this economy and especially while I'm writing for small presses.

Somehow I've committed myself to write two single-title length books in six months. Authors who write full-time don't usually follow a schedule like that. I also ride my horse 3-4 times a week, and I have a lot of other social obligations. Add to this keeping my house clean and maintaining 3 acres, a barn, a yard, a garden. So today, my husband, who is no help whatsoever in keeping the house clean, in fact just the opposite, hired a housekeeper for me. I hate a messy house, but the more time I spend writing the worse it's gotten. So I'm really thrilled that I can check housecleaning off my to-do list.

There's one problem. I have to clean the house before the housekeeper starts. So I'd better get offline and get to work. She starts next week.

Wish me luck!!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rosario Update

I promised a Rosario update as soon as I found out anything. If you've read my books, you know I have an affinity for the San Juan Islands and Rosario Resort. This spring my husband and I visited the resort three times.

I checked out the San Juan Islander (the local newspaper in the San Juans) and found an article on their website.

Rosario was sold at auction for only 5.4 million to a local man who hopes to develop the property into a premier resort. The good news is that the resort will be open again. For the immediate future, it'll close on October 20. There's been no word when the new owner will open it.

To read more, click here:

Rosario

We're looking forward to another trip there this fall or winter, so I hope it reopens in a few months.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Recommend Read and 5-Diva Review


I'm happy to announce that Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? received a Recommended Read and a 5-Diva review from Dark Divas.

Jami Davenport writes a humorous/serious story about a couple falling in love with hard decisions to make that would effect the lives of numerous people. I loved this book because of the way Jami told the story and how everything came together. Rated 5 Delightful Divas and recommended read by Roxann.
You can read the entire review here:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rosario to be Auctioned

Those of you who've read my books know that they're set in the San Juan Island, specificially Orcas Island. You'll also recognize that I have scenes at Rosario Resort. I've posted several times in this blog about Rosario.

On September 30, Rosario will be auctioned to the highest bidder. There has been talk that the mansion may end up as a private residence. Those of us lucky enough to visit the mansion and attend the organ/history concert by Christopher Peacock in the music room may never get to repeat that experience.

Then there are Rosario's 200 plus employees. As you can imagine, on an island like that, employment for 200 people isn't easy to come by. I hope the new buyer will continue to run it as a resort and make needed improvements to the property.
I'll be anxiously waiting to find out the purchaser. I'll give everyone an update as soon as I do.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New Reviews

I just found a five-flag review for Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? at Euro-Reviews:

Rich, handsome and sexy as hell, Jake Reynolds returns home to discover a real life Goldilocks in his own bed. He's got just the solution to take care of Harlee's needs. Overly made up, polyester clad Harlee Davis had no idea as to who's bed she was in. Running away from a nasty breakup, a ruined career and a cruel world, she sought refuge from the storm, and found more than just shelter.

When Harlee learns of Jake's plans to demolish the camp she's been entrusted with, she wages a crusade to stop this. A lot is riding on this for Jake, as he and his family stands to lose everything. Will the two stop battling long enough to realize that the only thing worth fighting for at this point, is their love?

"Quirky characters. Love and passion. Great plot. Great writing. Elements of a good book." --5 Flags, Aya29 (Euro-Reviews)

I also have new reviews at Book Cover Reviews:

The Dance

Is Mariah Baker really all that frigid like her ex-fiancé makes her out to be? She certainly does not think so, what else has the scumbag called her. Not that she cares what he has to say, she’s moving on with her life. Let’s see if she can discover her hidden wild side. She noticed a sexy Puerto Rican move in next door and she decides he’d make the perfect man for her plan. But little does she know he’s what she thinks he is. Although, Rico finds Mariah very attractive and causes his heart to dance when he discovers that she can train horses to dance. He also decides that she is the perfect person to keep his mind off his troublesome family that seems to want too much from him. Do you think the magic of the San Juan Islands can keep their fling from disappearing? Find out for yourself in Jami Davenport’s ‘The Dance’, Book 1 in her San Juan Islands series, and available now from Siren Publishing.

“Definitely a sizzling read from beginning to end, Jami delivers pure sexiness from San Juan.”-- Mark (Book Cover Reviews)

Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed?

Jake Reynolds returns home from a long days work and discovers a beautiful blonde sleeping in his bed. Wondering how she ended up there and why she’s there to begin with he decides to investigate. She tells him she didn’t know it was his bed and she was only escaping from 2 storms: one brought on by nature and one from her messed up life. He then decides to hire her on as an assistant for his construction business and the next day, she gets right to cleaning up his office that looks as if it’s been hit by a tornado. But to his dismay, when his family discovers what kind of assistant he has hired, they begin to believe he might be going back to his bad boy ways even that is not what is going on. And when Harlee Davis finds out Jake plans to destroy the very camp that she swore to protect, she stops at nothing to put a halt to his plans. Can Harlee stop Jake’s plans before he puts them in action? Discover for yourself the exciting conclusion to Jami Davenport’s ‘Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed’, book 2 in her San Juan Islands series and available now from Siren Publishing.

“Another captivating installment from Jami Davenport’s San Juan Islands series that will have you addicted until the climatic conclusion that will make you antsy for more.”-- Mark (Book Cover Reviews)

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Dance--Book of the Week and Outstanding Read

The Dance recently received: Book of the Week from Whipped Cream, an "Outstanding Read" from Simply Romance Reviews, 5 Flags from Euro-Reviews, 5 Cherries from Whipped Cream, and an "A" Rating from Simply Romance Reviews.

"You can’t come away from reading The Dance untouched. I certainly didn’t and I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a well told romance."--Book of the Week (Whipped Cream)

"If you’re looking for a read which will bring tears to your eyes and joy to your heart then pick up The Dance you won’t be disappointed"--Outstanding Read (Simply Romance Reviews)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Two More New Reviews--5 Flags and an Outstanding Read

I'm happy to announce two more excellent reviews for The Dance. Plus The Dance is Book of The Week at Whipped Cream Reviews and Outstanding Read at Simply Romance Reviews


Euro-Reviews--5 Flags

The Dance by Jami Davenport is the story of a man and a woman who have been deeply wounded by loss and betrayal. They've each handled their pain very differently but still end up in the same place - hiding behind thick walls to keep out anyone who could hurt them again.

Mariah has been alone for as long as she can remember. She clings to material things because they don't run away. But still she keeps the hope alive that one day she'll find real love and have the whole fantasy. But in the meantime she'd rather by like Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, and not think about it until tomorrow.

Rico has his own skeletons in his past and in his present his freeloading family is milking him dry. A has-been rock star who was addicted to drugs, Rico has thrown himself into his import business to keep everything else out of his life. But still his family is making him nuts so he goes into "hiding" in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State. When he sees Mariah on her horse she puts the first chink in his wall in years, but is he ready to let her in, and will she want to cross that threshold?

The two can't resist each other and eventually give in to their feelings and their walls come tumbling down. But all too soon it is time for Rico to head back to his "real" life and that coupled with the truths that Mariah learns brings their happiness crashing against the rocks.


The Dance is a great book! It pulls on your heartstrings and caused me to tear up a time or two. I really felt for Mariah and all the hurts she had to work through. Her growth throughout the story was inspiring. Rico, of course, had my heart from the beginning. And when the two are together it is beyond scorching! Through all of this The Dance is still more than just a love story, there are some ups and downs which keep you guessing and causes plenty of hand wringing as we wait to see if they will get their happily ever after. I definitely recommend this book, its a great read filled to the brim with real emotions and plenty of heat.

_________________

Simply Romance Reviews--"A" Rating and Outstanding Read

Mariah Baker doesn’t want to nurse her wounds – not the kind on the outside but the inside ones, that are deep and painful. She’d rather put it off like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, but in The Dance she’ll learn that isn’t the best way to heal.

Rico is hiding from a family which is milking him dry. A music star that was betrayed and then shunned, he went into the import business and still supports his freeloading family. But he’s bored in his “hideout” until the day he sees a vision on a horse and can’t stay away.
Mariah and Rico are instantly attracted to each other and work hard to keep it controlled – at least for a while. Mariah knows Rico will leave at the end of the month and she doesn’t even know his true identity, he pushes all of her buttons and she can’t resist.

But nothing is as it seems and when Mariah finds out the truth and Rico goes back to his “real” life it is almost too much for her to bare. Coupled with the underhanded plotting by her unscrupulous ex, Mariah doesn’t have much of a chance though she puts up a good fight.

I really enjoyed Jami Davenport’s The Dance. It is a beautiful love story and so much more. There is a lot of plot weaving and twists here that you wouldn’t expect in this kind of story but it all works, especially the love scenes – can you say “smokin’?” If you’re looking for a read which will bring tears to your eyes and joy to your heart then pick up The Dance you won’t be disappointed.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Vote for The Dance for Book of the Week

The Dance is a finalist for Book of the Week at Long and Short Romance Reviews based on the best review. Please, please, please take a moment to drop in and vote for The Dance at Whipped Cream. The reviewer truly did a very thorough and thoughtful job on my review and deserves to win the award. So drop in, it'll just take a few seconds of your time. Voting ends on Sunday.

New Review for The Dance

I had to share this wonderful review with all of you. It is truly incredible, and I'm blown away by it.

Whipped Cream Reviews--5 Cherries
The Dance by Jami Davenport
Siren PublishingContemporary

Full length, M/F
Review by Xeranth

♥ ♥ ♥
Right from the get-go, The Dance embraced humor, warmth, very human characters and a wealth of possibilities. It’s a well told tale about two people who make choices with the best of intentions and get the worst results. However, until they face their demons, and for one of them, it ends up being formidable, they will have an incomplete future.

You might wonder about my word choice, ‘incomplete future’. Think of a scale – you put two items to weigh and they don’t match. Of course you are going to add something to or subtract from the one that needs to be balanced. Thing is, sometimes the item we believe to be perfect ends up being not enough. That is how I see the relationship between Rico and Mariah. It’s a delicate dance to make a relationship work and Ms. Davenport explores this from a very human perspective. Our hero and heroine each end up giving, but the scales remain unbalanced. They have to come to terms with what each is willing to do, to go that extra mile, if they want that balanced future, a complete future.

The back drop totally fascinated me. Oh sure, this occurs in a delightful and romantic location but what hooked me were the horses, especially Mariah’s horse, Sueño. The riding discipline that Mariah practices is called dressage. I had no clue what that was; couldn’t wrap my mind around what that would look like. I found a co-worker who knew exactly what it was because she herself practices it with her horse so I was able to pick her brain. How cool was that? Think of the Lipizzaner stallions and you’ll get the picture. Once I figured it out, I had a new appreciation for Mariah’s character and enjoyed the story on a whole other (new) level. Now I am fascinated with Ms. Davenport’s choice of profession for her character. I wonder, what was her inspiration?

The only blip in reading this story came very early on within the first few pages. There is an editing glitch where the same line is repeated twice. I can assure you that it is the only one you will find. The rest is perfect.

The conflict of the story is meaty and emotional. Ms. Davenport resists, though I have no idea how she did it, the easy way out for her characters. I really wanted Rico to save the day. I wanted the conflict to end as happily as Mariah and Rico eventually become. The author stuck to realism and endeared her characters to me even more. They are not perfect, they are not cardboard and neither are they capable of super human acts. Rico and Mariah are just a man and a woman stumbling through the pile of yuck life has thrown at them, to come out on the other side with bumps and bruises but whole.

The passion they share is sweet and hot. The happily ever after is well earned and emotional. And through it all, Ms. Davenport keeps it optimistic with humor, love of family and hope. Which is a good thing because there are some tense moments which for me, were jarring and emotional. You can’t come away from reading The Dance untouched. I certainly didn’t and I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a well told romance.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Are You Ready for Some Football?

I have a huge stack of books waiting to be read and another folder full of ebooks. I picked this book up and RWA Nationals and read it on the way home on the plane. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You can bet I'll be picking up the next in her football series.

Game for Anything Game for Anything by Bella Andre


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love a football hero and have written several of them myself. As a major football fan, nothing is hotter than a man in shoulder pads and those tight pants. Bella writes a good, entertaining story. Great fun to read.


View all my reviews.

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Review for The Dance

I was happy to find this new review yesterday:


Dance, The
Jami Davenport
Siren Publishing, 2008
ISBN: 1606010875
4 Stars
Reviewed by B. Lamar for ReviewYourBook.com


Entertaining…
Just as Mariah swore off men, she met Rodrigo--handsome, sexy, and oh-so-tempting. The down-on-his-luck former rock star had been watching the beautiful woman ride her horse. Mariah’s bills were piling up. The old horse farm’s upkeep took an amazing amount of money. Plus, she had expensive taste. Everyone seemed to want a piece of Rodrigo. They seemed to think he was still making money, even though his bank account dwindled as his fame dwindled. Can this couple survive through the distrust?


Jami Davenport has created an entertaining look at the lives of has-been rock stars. The Dance is about maturing, learning to trust, and learning to love. The characters are well-developed and have depth. Fans of romantica will enjoy The Dance.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I SOLD--Two More Books!!!

I sold two more books last week.

My equestrian romance, The Gift Horse, is book two of the Reynolds family saga. If you read Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?, you might remember Carson the tight-ass brother. This is his story. Truthfully, my favorite book I've written to date. It stars an opinionated Hanoverian mare named Gabbie, who behaves suspiciously like my Hanoverian mare, Gailey. You can read a blurb about that book on my website.

My other book which I sold to Siren is still in the planning stages--more about it later.

I am also planning to work on another book this fall, hopefully, one of my football series books, so stay tuned. I love football and have been writing football related books for years. Now, it appears that there is finally a market for them.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Romance Novels and RWA

One of my RWA (Romance Writers of America) chaptermates brought my attento to this MSNBC clip from the Today Show about romance novels and the recent RWA conference in San Francisco.

Take a moment to watch. I know a lot of people thumb their noses at romance novels and romance writers. As a newly published author, I'm asked, "What kinds of books do you write?" I'll answer with, "Romance, a combination of romantic comedy and suspense." Quite often their response is, "I don't read those kinds of books."

Well, somebody does. Most likely, the very person that thumbed their noses at romance reads romance, they just don't realize it. Romance sells more books than any other fiction category. Yup, it's true, more than mysteries, more than SciFi, etc. Last year romance novels generated 1.375 billion in sales according to statistics on RWA's website.

Why are romance novels so popular? Part of the reason is what authors call the HEA--happily ever after. If you're like me and hate bad endings, you know that romance novels guarantee a good ending. With all of the stress and bad news in our lives, it's rewarding to escape into a fantasy world if even for a few minutes.

Another reason is diversity. There are romance novels for every taste. You can read steamy or sweet, paranormals, suspense, historicals, contemporaries, futuristics, science fiction. You name it, you can find it in romance.

Romance continues to grow and meet the needs of a young audience. The romance novel of today is very different from the one of twenty years ago. It'll be interesting to see where we are in the next twenty years.

So keep reading, and we'll keep writing.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hi from RWA Nationals

Hi, everyone, Jami Davenport from the Romance Writers of America's National Conference in San Francisco, California. I'm rooming with fellow Siren authors, Wendi Darlin and Allie K. Adams. We all arrived within an hour of each other on Tuesday afternoon only to find that our suite was "downgraded" to a small room with two small beds. Well, needless to say, there was no other room at the inn, so we're making do quite nicely actually.

Allie took us on a whirlwind tour of SF yesterday, complete with a packed trolley ride, in which Wendi and I were hanging on for dear life; and a rollercoaster ride by an accommodating taxi driver down SF's steepest hills. I think we left our stomachs somewhere on the 2nd block down the hill.

Wednesday night, we attended the literacy booksigning. I'd promised Nora autographs for some friends so I stood in Nora's line for 45 minutes just to get them. I'm happy to report that fellow Siren author, Lara Santiago, sold out of all her books at her first RWA booksigning. Later, we met Lara, Morgan Ashbury, and Morgan's husband for a lovely dinner in the hotel.

Then this morning I drug myself out of bed and went to a breakfast hosted by Debbie Macomber, who is the founder of my local RWA chapter. Debbie was hosting several Aussies and New Zealanders who were a hoot. After that, we met Lara and Morgan at the luncheon. Are you getting the theme of this so far? We're eating our way through San Francisco!
Victoria Alexander gave an entertaining talk at the luncheon on nuggets of wisdom. One of which was: If literary fiction is like wine then popular fiction is like water--and everybody drinks water.This afternoon we'll attend workshops and parties this evening. Needless to say, we're have a wonderful time connecting with old friends and making new ones.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Tribute

I lost my older sister yesterday. She was 58 years old. She'd battled brain cancer for years. For a while, she'd been winning. Yesterday, she didn't.

Yesterday, I received a call from the hospital near the nursing home she'd been living in for the past 2 years. She'd been in the hospital since Sunday night. I had no idea she was in such bad condition, or I would have made the 4-hour drive sooner. I'd been told she had a urinary infection. What she really had were massive blood clots in her heart and lungs. No one at the hospital told me that until it was too late.

My husband and I rushed up there right after the doctor called. He didn't hold out much hope that we'd make it. We didn't. We were 1/3 of the way there when the doctor called us to let us know that she'd suffered a fatal heart attack.

My sister was 9 years older than me, never married, never had children. For the majority of her life, she'd raised Rottweilers and was the founder of Ebonstern Kennels. She loved those dogs more than anything else in her life and dedicated her entire life to them. Ebonstern had a reputation of raising high quality dogs. My sister was very picky about who bought one of her dogs. I used to say that it was easier to adopt a child than to pass her stringent "vetting" of prospective parents for her beloved puppies. She was a responsible dog breeder and had an extensive contract she required that new owners sign. Only show quality dogs could be bred if they were AKC champions. Her pet quality dogs were to be fixed.

One of her "babies" still lives with us. He is partially blind and deaf but seems happy and healthy for a 16-year-old Rottweiler.

So what does this have to do with writing and books? Nothing on the surface, but my sister instilled in me a love of books from the day I was born. She was an avid reader. What a shame that she couldn't read in the last few years of her life. That is her legacy. That, and her beloved Ebonstern rottweilers.

May she finally rest in peace and live happily in heaven with her canine children once again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Orca Whales and The Dance


I was asked by a fellow author if I'd ever been whale watching. To be honest, I did go on a commercial whale watching boat once, but I have seen them several times on my own boat.

Over the years, my ex and I had been VERY fortunate to spot Orca Whales in the San Juans many times. Unfortunately, the best pictures were taken on a 35mm camera. This is my best one taken on an old digital. Anyway, on this one occasion, we were crossing the Straits of Juan De Fuca, heading for the San Juans. In the distance we saw a huge gathering of boats, which means one of two things, good fishing or whales.

We kept our course, out in the middle by ourselves. Neither of us wanted to participate in that frenzy that often follows the whales because we didn't believe in harassing these magnificent creatures. More often than not, the whales found us. We didn't need to pursue them. This time was no exception.

I'd put on Jimmy Buffet because the joke was the the Orcas loved jazz and Jimmy Buffet and would come to the boat if you did that. Next thing we knew, we were surrounded by a pod of 16 plus Orcas with a few babies thrown in. We shut down the boat and floated, while they frolicked and played around us for about 30 minutes, giving us a private show. It was INCREDIBLE, a moment that would bring tears to your eyes. One of them went under the boat and surfaced no more than 5 feet from it then leaped into the air for us.

In The Dance, I have a scene where a cynical Rico loses his cynicism when he encounters these whales. They play a small, though important part in the book that is somewhat mystical. You'll have to read it and see what you think.

Contest for The Dance--Win this Gift Bag


Check out this link or read below for how you can win a San Juan Islands gift bag. All entries must be received by Friday, June 11, at 7 am Pacific time. I'll announce the winners at 9 am tomorrow.

http://home.att.net/~jamidavenport/WhatsNew.htm
Stayed tuned throughout the day, as I'll give members of the Siren readers loop extra chances to win.
_____________________________________________________________

Using the listed links, answer these five questions. Send your answers to jamidavenport@att.net before 7 am Pacific time on Friday morning.

Each correct entry will receive their name in the hat for the drawing to win this gift bag, which includes: An Orca Whale cloth tote bag, three types of soaps, Starbucks Coffee, Pike Place MarketSpice tea (for the tea lovers), Rosario mug and shot glass, chocolate spoon for stirring your coffee, a glass ornament, Orcas Island keychain, and a wooden Orca Whale bookmark.

The winner will be drawn and announced on Friday morning at 9 am Pacific time.

Questions:

The hero has two names, what are they?
What is Mariah’s horse’s name and what does it mean?
What does Rico want to do to his neighbor?
What is the name of the Island that is the setting for the book?
What are the San Juan Islands known for?

Where to find the answers:

http://www.sirenpublishing.com/jamidavenport/td.asp
http://home.att.net/~jamidavenport/TheDance.htm


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Dance--Released Tomorrow!!!!

Join me tomorrow at Siren Readers Yahoo Loop for the release of The Dance. I'm giving away one more San Juan Islands gift bag. Check out my website or blog tomorrow for details on how you can win.

Hope to see you there.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Princess is in The Pasture

There's a horse in my pasture. Yup. A big red, warmblood mare.


Normally, I board my horse, but I have a few acres, a nice barn, an arena, and a pasture, not to mention miles of trails right off my property. So I decided to bring her home for the weekend to eat the pasture down and do a little trail riding, Unfortunately, our little 20-minute trip had some trauma. I'll tell you all about in my blog on Sunday at Equestrian Ink.

Anyway, all's well, and the mare is happily enjoying the fresh green stuff she doesn't normally get to dine on. I'm enjoying sitting in my lounge chair in front of the barn and watching her graze.

Life doesn't get much better than this.

Siren-Bookstrand Readers Party Tomorrow

My publisher is having a big party tomorrow from 9 am to Midnight (EST). Please come join us. They're giving away tons of prizes.
Click here to join the readers group.
I hope to see you there!



Monday, June 23, 2008

A Technology-Free Weekend

I spent the entire weekend at a horse show. I'm the type of person who is married to my cell phone and laptop so, of course, I brought them along.

Here's the amazing part. I didn't use either of them once in three days and never missed them.

Guess what I did? I socialized with real people and horses. No My Space, no Facebook, no email, no blogging. Just me, my horse, my husband, and good friends.

I had a lousy show, but I had a good time. As I was driving home, camper on the back of my truck, horse trailer in tow with my 1500-pound horse tucked inside, I resisted the urge to pick up that cell phone. Instead, I reflected on the weekend, and how I managed to go technology-free. Not an easy feat for a technology obsessed person.

Our society has become so attached to our techno-stuff, that I wonder if we're heading down the wrong path and losing touch with the important things in life, the simple things, like the sound of a horse munching on hay in the early morning or conversation with good friends or the evening sunset. Technology is a poor replacement for the good things in life, the simple things.

Tonight try turning off that laptop and cell phone and sit on the porch with people important to you and watch a sunset. You might be surprised how much you've been missing and how much you truly enjoy it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Update: Who's is #2

Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? is now at #2 on Siren Bookstore's bestselling list. If you haven't picked up a copy, you can get one at:

Buy Now

Join me tomorrow. I'm guest blogging at Kate Davies blog on her MTA (Meeting the Author) Mondays.

Tuesday, Kate will feature Who's in her Book BIN Tuesday (Buy It Now) also on her blog.

In addition, I'll be guest blogging tomorrow at Lucy Monroe's blog. Drop in both places and say hi!!!

Have a wonderful Father's Day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I AM a Published Author

As of yesterday, one of my lifelong dreams has come true. June 12 marks a lot of milestones in my life.

First of all, since I'm published, I obviously finished a book. How many people say that they want to write a book but never get beyond Chapter 1 or even get their ideas on paper.

Second, I edited that book and made it the best book it could be with the knowledge and skills I had at the time.

Third, it was good enough to sell to a legitimate publisher, not a vanity press of a self-publisher.

Last of all, I made it through the publishing process in one piece. I've learned a lot about promo, editing, maintaining a website, and keeping track of hundreds of minute details. I'm still learning and will continue to learn as long as I write.

"Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?" is currently #4 on Siren Bookstore's Bestseller list. I'd like to be #1. I'm just a tiny bit competitive. ;)

Okay, shameless promotion time.

Please visit my website and read the first chapter.

The buy link for my book is:
http://sirenbookstore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=111

If you get a chance to read it, stop by and let me know what you think. I love hearing from my readers.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An Island Fairy Tale--"Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?"

Welcome to my release day!!!

Since I'm on Pacific time and may not be up by the time some of you have to scoot off to work, I'm actually posting this the night before.

Having my first book published is somewhat of a fairy tale for me, so I think that theme is probably appropriate for today.

I originally wrote "Who's" in 2003-04 under the title of "The Storm." Because I was using this Goldilocks theme, I changed the title to "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?" after doing a web search and not finding another book by that title. At least, there wasn't one at that time. I found an old movie, but that was it.

This book is loosely based on a real incident that happened to a friend of mine. You can read about it on my book page at Siren publishing. While you're there, you might want to pick up a copy of "Who's" for your very own. ;)

I made a feeble attempt to sell this book to a big publisher, finaled in a contest, and had some agent interest, then my life was interrupted by those kinds of messy personal things that are part of life. I put writing on a back burner for about 3 years. Last fall, I dusted off Who's and submitted to a few epublishers. Siren Publishing offered to publish it within 48 hours of receiving the manuscript.

So that brings us to today. Release day!!! Please join my release party at Siren-Bookstrand's Yahoo Loop. Also if you leave a comment in my blog


Today, starting with this post, or sign up for my newsletter list, you'll be automatically entered in the drawing for the San Juan Island gift bag pictured in the previous post.

The 2nd theme of the day is islands. "Who's" and my next release, "The Dance," are both set in Washington State's San Juan Islands, my all-time favorite place in the world. This sunset scene is how I picture the view from Rosehill Farm in my book.

The first question of the day is: if you had to be stranded on an island with a fairy tale character, who would you choose and why?

Join My Release Party Tomorrow, June 12


Contest and Book Release Party

Join my book release party on June 12 at Siren-Bookstrand's Yahoo Group. You can join by clicking
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SirenBookstrand/
or emailing SirenBookstrand-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


Win this gift bag of goodies on June 12

Starting June 12 through July 10--Win one of four San Juan gift bags, which will have several items purchased in the San Juans.

The first winner will be drawn from my Yahoo newsletter list and comments on my blog on June 12 at 6:30 pm PDT. Check my blog tomorrow or Siren-Bookstrand's Yahoo Group for more information. It is Pictured on the left, it includes: wooden Orcas Island bookmark, Rosario Yacht Club sticker, Teddy bear, Orcas Island key chain, Rosario coffee mug, chocolate spoon, soaps, chocolate apple, and gourmet coffee.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Release Day on Thursday

I'm very excited about my new release, "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?" This sexy and fun contemporary romance set in the San Juan Islands has been getting great reviews. Check out a sample chapter and blurb on my website and join my release party on June 12 at Siren-Bookstrand's Yahoo loop. See my website for details at: http://www.jamidavenport.com.

Starting June 12 through July 10 --Win one of four San Juan Island gift bags, which will include several items purchased in Washington State's San Juan Islands. Winners will be drawn from my Yahoo newsletter list and comments on my blog.
____________________


"Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?"
Contemporary Romance
Siren Publishing, Available June 12, 2008

What happens when a reformed bad boy discovers a racy Goldilocks sleeping in his bed on a dark and stormy night?

Jake Reynolds returns home to discover a racy Goldilocks sleeping in his bed. Instead of doing the first thing on his mind or even the second, he hires her to organize his disorganized construction office. When his wealthy family meets the suggestively clad, polyester siren posing as Jake's assistant, they fear he's slipped back into his former role as the family bad boy.

Harlee Davis didn't know she was sleeping in Jake's bed. She was seeking refuge from two storms—the storm raging outside and the storm created by her screwed-up life. When she learns that Jake plans to demolish the very camp she’s been entrusted to preserve, Harlee mounts a crusade. They wage a war of wills while battling their conflicting interests on a professional level and too much interest on a sexual level. One of them stands to lose everything in a game where there is no winner.

Read Chapter 1 at http://jamidavenport.home.att.net/Whos.htm

Goldilocks never had it this good. The characters are superbly written. Romance, suspense, and passion fill this book."—Review Your Book

Fun, whimsical, and full of romance. I can’t wait to check out more books by Jami Davenport.--Fallen Angel Reviews (5 Angels )

Friday, June 6, 2008

Release Party Next Thursday

I'm now in the "Coming Soon" section on Siren's Home Page. "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?" will be released next Thursday in ebook form, followed by "The Dance" on July 10. I'll be having a release party on Siren-Bookstrand's loop and this blog.

I'll be giving away four San Juan Islands gift bags starting next Thursday and finishing with Siren-Bookstrand's release party on July 28, along wth some other gifts. So join me next Thursday and pick up a copy of "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?" You can read the first chapter on my website.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

My First Reviews and New Website

Checkout my new website design. I love it. Let me know what you think.

http://www.jamidavenport.com

Also, my first two reviews for "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?" are now available.

Fallen Angel Reviews--5 Angels
I really enjoyed Harlee and Jake’s story. They were the perfect match for each other—they definitely had chemistry going for them. Harlee may at times seem ditzy but when she put her mind to something or someone she could be smart about it. Jake was the ultimate ladies man but when it came to Harlee it was like she was back in high school trying to get a first date. I thought Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed was a great and appropriate title for the story. Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed was fun, whimsical, and full of romance. Jami Davenport sure kept my interest going with this story. Every time I found myself starting to take a break I went right back into reading more; before I knew it I was done. I can’t wait to check out more books by Jami Davenport.
Reviewed by: Cheryl

Review Your Book, Debra Gaynor--4 Stars
Goldilocks never had it this good…I have always loved fairy tales-- even fractured one. Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed is a delightful read. The characters are superbly written. Romance, suspense, and passion fill this book. I found a lot of humor in the character of Harlee. Fans of romantica will enjoy Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Birthdays and Life and Memorial Day

I have a big birthday this Monday--Memorial Day. I can't decide if there's some kind of perverse humor in that or not. It's one of those decade birthdays you'd just as soon forget about it. Regardless, May has been an excellent month for my husband and I. If fact, I don't recall a time when things have ever fallen in place so beautifully like pieces of a puzzle.

Recently, my hubby had a dream job literally fall into his lap and a reunion with a beloved person in his life. I received a raise at my day job, have my first book coming out in under a month, and all sorts of good things with which I won't bore you. I'm beginning to think that we'll be able to afford that addition on our house that I've dreamed about for years without skimping on all the amenities I want in it.

It's funny how things turn like that. I have to count my blessings because life for us couldn't get much better.

As I gear up for the release of "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?" I get a little nervous about it. What if no one buys it? What if it's a bomb? Should I even tell my friends about it because they might hate it? But I'm a firm believer that life will become what you expect it to become. You have to have faith and keep on believing in whatever it is you believe in: God, Karma, yourself.

So take care this weekend. Have a fun and safe memorial day. Believe that life can be what you want it to be and be grateful that you have the opportunity to make it whatever you wish.

While you're enjoying a long weekend off, take a moment to remember those who gave the greatest sacrifice for our country and will never have the future you and I have. If you have children, take them to a memorial service so they can gain a small understanding of what this holiday really means.

Take care, Jami

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wendi Darlin's Cowboy Games


My dear friend and fellow Siren Author Wendi Darlin's first book will be released tomorrow, June 12. Please check out my review on her book at http://sirenbookstrand.blogspot.com/.

After you read her review, run over to Siren's website and pick up a copy.

You won't be sorry.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Volcano Moments

Recently, I was tagged and asked to list some random things about me. This was one of them:

I've experienced a blackout caused by volcanic ash and still have little containers of ash that I collected from the 8 inches that accumulated on the balcony of my apartment.

A few people asked me about that so I thought I'd do a blog post on my volcano experience. In May of 1980, I was attending college at Washington State University in Pullman when Mt. St. Helens blew. Now Pullman isn't anywhere near Mt. St. Helens, but we experienced the fallout.

My three roommates and I had a 2nd-story apartment that looked out onto an athletic field. Within an few hours of the eruption, we could see a large, odd-shaped black cloud heading our way. We actually thought it was a huge storm. We were studying for finals and hadn't turned on the TV or radio. We didn't realize it was a HUGE ash cloud heading our way. One of my roommate's parents called and set us straight.

As the cloud descended on us, it turned a hot Pullman afternoon into total blackness. First, the ash blocked out the sun and the street lights came on, then the ash started falling, looking like a heavy gray snowstorm. Eventually, it became so thick that we couldn't see the street lights. It's the only time I've ever heard the emergency broadcast system in other than test mode. All the local TV stations were broadcasting emergency messages. The fire department drove by with loudspeakers and warned everyone to stay inside. No one knew what this ash would do to our lungs.

Needless to say, we spent about three days locked in this apartment in 90+ degree weather and couldn't even open a window. Our deck and all the surrounding area was covered in 6-8 inches of ash. When we finally ventured out, everyone was wearing surgical masks because you couldn't breathe the stuff.

WSU eventually decided allow students to go home instead taking our finals. Mt. St. Helens saved me from my computer programming final, which I swear I'd never have passed and ended up with a "B."

My summer job was working for the FAA Air Traffic Regional Office. Our office was taxed with ensuring that planes and helicopters didn't fly directly over Mt. St. Helens. Often, our pilots would patrol the area. One of the guys in the office took me flying into the no-fly zone over Mt. St. Helens. I had the unique experience of looking directly into the crater and have some incredible pictures of the devastation caused by the blast.

So that's my volcano story. It's one of those unforgettable moments in life. Someday I'll write about my earthquake experience.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brenda Novak's Diabetes Auction

Four years ago my husband went to Iraq. When he came back, he was a diabetic. You see, he was hit by a roadside bomb. The concussion damaged his pancreas. So one minute it worked and the next it didn't. He was luckier than a lot of soldiers, at least he had his life, all of his limbs, and everything else was in good working order. Worst of all for him was that they medically discharged him from the Army. He didn't want to leave his troops over there without him, but he didn't get a choice.

Still, it was very hard for him to adjust. He didn't want to have this problem, and he fought it for a very long time. He has to take insulin and watch what he eats. He has to monitor his blood sugar and make sure he doesn't go too high or too low. It's been a very educational experience for both of us. I knew nothing about diabetes before I met him.

That's why I want to do my little part in advertising Brenda Novak's auction for diabetes research. I hope you'll take the time to stop by Brenda's website and bid on something. The bidding starts tomorrow (May 1) and runs through May 31.

http://www.brendanovak.com/auction_index.php

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?

My New Video Trailer for "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?"

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I've been tagged

I was wondering what to blog about when Samantha Lucas tagged me. That took care of that.

The rules:

Tell seven random and/or interesting things about myself. Get five blog buddies to play, too and link to their blogs. Don't forget to post the rules.

Kate Davies
Allie K. Adams
Phoebe Matthews
Destiny Blaine
Audrey Godwin

1. I have no children of my own, but I have four stepchildren and a few of the four-legged kind.
2. My day job is with politicians.
3. I once was a high school business teacher.
4. I can resist chocolate but not BBQ potato chips.
5. The only foreign country I've ever been to is Canada.
6. I've experienced a blackout caused by volcanic ash and still have little containers of ash that I collected from the 8 inches that accumulated on the balcony of my apartment.
7. I love football. I'll watch it 24X7.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Everybody Needs One of These

My good friend and author, Wendi Darlin sent this to me:

Cleaning Hunk

I had Brian cleaning my bathroom to Latin music and dressed as a construction worker. Is this cool or what? I want one for every room.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Anniversary Vacation

My hubby and I are off for a one-night trip to the San Juans for our anniversary. We missed the organ/piano concert at Rosario last time so we're going back for that. We're taking some friends with us. Unfortunately, we can only stay Saturday night. We'd love to stay longer.

I'm going to be picking some items for the giveaways I have planned for the month between my two releases. Since both books are set in the San Juans, I'll be doing a San Juan prize package once a week from the release date of my first book (June 12) to the release date of my second.

I'll be posting more details once I have them ironed out.

Please have a wonderful and pleasant weekend

Friday, April 11, 2008

Another Step in the Publishing Process

In my last blog, I mentioned that "Who's" has a release date. Now I have a ISBN # and an actual book page on Siren's website.

Check it out:

http://www.sirenpublishing.com/jamidavenport/wbsimb.asp

Sometime in the future, I'll have an excerpt or two, and eventually an ebook then a book. I am so enjoying doing all of this for the first time. No matter how many times I'll have other published books (and I hope there'll be many), nothing will equal the feeling of excitement of going through the process for the first time.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I have a release date!!!

My first ever published book, "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?" will be released on June 12 in electronic format by Siren Publishing, the print version will follow.

I'm very excited!

This book is the first of two set in the San Juan Islands, one of my favorite places in the world, which you already know if you've been reading my blog.

Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What's in a Pen Name

I've been asked lately by a few new writers why I chose to write under a pen name and how I came up with it.

There are lots of reasons to consider a pen name if you're a writer. Privacy was a consideration of mine. After all, I have aspirations of being a NYT bestseller eventually. ;) I also wanted a separation between my writing career and my day job and a certain degree of anonymity because of the steaminess of some of my books.

After making the decision to have a pen name, here's how I picked one. Jami was a no-brainer. My father's name was James. My parents had wanted to name me "Jami," but my sister liked Pam, so my real name is Pam.

For a last name, it was more difficult. I got out a family tree, wrote down some of the last names I liked, and went to a couple bookstores. I checked out where I'd be placed on the shelves. I wanted to be next to some good authors that would attract customers to that area on the shelves. I also wanted to be near the beginning of the alphabet. When I'm browsing, I start at the beginning and usually don't get to the end before I find a book.

Davenport was the last name of a great-great grandfather of mine. Anyway, I chose that last name based on the above criteria.

If you're a writer with a pen name, how did you choose your pen name?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

San Juan Islands--Day 4 & 5

Sorry I didn't post the last day, but we left early on Wed. to catch the ferry.

Both "The Dance" and "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed" are set on a fictitious farm on Orcas Island that is in danger of being developed into a world-class resort. On Tuesday, Dennis and I drove to Deer Harbor on the other side of the island. I've always pictured Rosehill Farm to be somewhere in this area with a view similar to this:




Wednesday we left the beautiful San Juans behind us and passed another ferry on our way. The Washington State ferry system is one of the largest in the world and operated by the state of Washington, rather than a private company. There are many inhabitants of Washington who live on islands and depend on the ferry service, not just in the San Juans, but throughout Puget Sound.



I hope you've enjoyed a little look at the islands.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rosario--Day 3

In 1904 at 47 years old, Robert Moran was told by his doctors that he had only a year to live. The stress of running his successful shipbuilding business and being the mayor of Seattle had taken their toll. Moran left his ship-building empire and retired to Cascade Bay on Orcas Island. He called his estate Rosario. He built a damn on Cascade Lake to produce hydroelectric power for his estate. Then he built a large mansion overlooking the water using his shipbuilding expertise, the Moran Mansion is built like a ship with a nautical theme throughout. The rich wood inside is teak and Honduras mahogany.

Over the years he donated several thousand acres comprising Mt. Constitution and Cascade Lake and donated them to Washington State Parks. On the grounds of Rosario, he had extensive gardens including this figure-eight pond in which family and guests could float in small boats.

In my book, “The Dance,” I talk quite a bit about the magic of Orcas Island. Robert Moran lived to be 86 on Orcas Island, 40 more years than his Seattle doctors gave him.

His estate is now Rosario Resort. The mansion contains dining facilities and a museum, in which you can see many of the original rooms decorated with period furniture and historical information.
By the way, I mentioned that we moved to another room. Here is our new view. You can see why we moved.

Monday, March 24, 2008

San Juan Islands--Day 2

Monday Morning


Even though the weather report said rain all day, it barely rained at all. There were even periods of sunshine.

We spent a lazy day, having lunch and dinner in the lounge and walking about the grounds. We also moved to another room. This was a much nicer room with a beautiful view of the San Jauns, but I was unable to get onto the Internet wireless anymore once we moved. So I’m sending this from the Moran Mansion lobby.

This is the Moran Lounge:

As we were returning from dinner, the sun came out and the skies were blue. I knew my window of opportunity had just arrived. I grabbed Dennis, much to his annoyance as he’d settled in for nap, and insisted that we drive to the top of Mt. Constitution. Mt. Constitution is the tallest point in the islands. You can see a 360-degree panorama of the surrounding islands and mainland. I’d never been up there, but I’d heard it was not to be missed. It was well worth the trip, as you can see below. Unfortunately it was a little hazy so none of the pictures came out very well, but you can see enough to know how beautiful it was.

Here are some views from Mt. Constitution of the islands.

I wanted to stay up there for the sunset, but it was blowing like crazy and about 34 degrees. No joke. Brrrrrr...


I hope you’re enjoying my journal of our trip.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Day One--San Juan Trip

Dennis and I caught the 1:15 ferry to the San Juans yesterday. It was a beautiful ride over, pretty warm for this time of year, and sunny. The ferry trip was about an hour as we stopped at Lopez and Shaw Islands before we could depart at Orcas.

Here's my husband on the ferry trip over.



Once we arrived on Orcas, we had a pleasant, scenic drive along a winding two-lane road to Rosario Resort. Rosario was built by Robert Moran in aprox. 1904. He was a former mayor of Seattle and a shipbuilder. The Moran Mansion is spectacular and now a museim. One of the highlights of the museum is the music room with its 1900-pipe organ. The woodwork in this mansion is Honduras mahogany and teak.

Our room was a surprise. All their bayview rooms were occupied so we were given a garden view room. It actually did have a water view of the marina and Cascade bay.

We had dinner in the bar, which was Robert Moran's library at one time. I'll post pictures of the bar later this week. In my book, "The Dance," Mariah and Rico fall in love in this bar while dancing. Once you see pictures of this romantic bar, you'll see why.


Then we took a walk around the grounds, and Dennis happened upon some very friendly deer.

Today, we're going to move our room to one of the rooms that are perched on the cliff and hang out over the water. I'll update you about everything tomorrow.

Have a great Easter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Last-MInute Adventure

Recently, my husband and I talked about a little trip for our anniversary, which is next month. Of course, I wanted to go to my favorite place and the setting for two of my books, Washington's San Juan Islands. Thursday, I started checking reservation information and realized if we went to the San Juans before April 1, we could get great deals on rooms. So at the last minute, we booked a room at Rosario Resort on Orcas Island.

So it's off we go this morning, for a 3-hour drive on I-5 and a pleasant 1-hour ride on the ferry.

If I can get Internet access, I'll post some pictures and some stories of our last-minute getaway.

I'm going to bring back some great "island" items for my promo contests when my first San Juan book comes out, "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed" followed by "The Dance," both set on Orcas Island.

I hope you'll join me--

because everyone deserves a little island time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Call and What It Means

Yesterday a very dear friend of mine got the call, actually since it was an email, I guess you could say THE Email. "The Call" is an offer to publish by a publisher, be it big or small press. She is now going to be a published author. I am so thrilled for her, you can't imagine. You can check her out at:

http://www.alliekadams.com/

Now we are both feverishly planning our first releases. There is so much promo that a new author has to do if they want to get their name out there. It's not as easy as just sitting back and waiting for the book to be published. Rookie authors even with big publishers don't get the promo opportunities. They need to create them on their own. Well, Allie and I were never ones to sit around and wait for life to pass us by. We are social creatures and like to be in the middle of everything. We're also both in IT, and believe me, that takes a certain personality.

No, we won't make the NYT bestseller list, yet, but someday, I think you'll see us both there. We'll make it happen somehow.

So have a toast for Allie and me and wish us luck as we navigate the murky waters of book promotion and publishing!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Why I Don't Enter Contests

I received my first official edits this week. The process was a lot less painful than I thought it would be. I've had this fear that I'd get an editor like many of the contest judges I've had in the past. I visualized this person changing my voice to the point that the story became generic. I got lucky. My editor is wonderful. She caught all sorts of little inconsistencies and issues in my story, but she left the essence of who and what it was alone.

I am not a romance contest junkie. I haven't had a good experience with writer's contests. I'd always get a combination of perfect scores and lousy scores. The judges that didn't like my quirky, sassy way of writing would nail me for my penchant to use incomplete sentences (on purpose) or try to sterilize my voice by editing my voice right out of it. Only once was I lucky enough to enter a contest where all my judges liked my voice.

On the advice of a published writer friend, I quit entering contests. She never did well in contests either, yet, she's now multi-published with several big publishers.

I think contests work for some people and not for others. For me, they were demoralizing and confusing. I often would change my entire story based on one anonymous judge's opinion.

On the other hand, contests can be a good way to get your work (if you final) before an editor or agent that you wouldn't be able to reach otherwise.

While contests aren't for me, that doesn't mean they aren't for you. It's just important to remember that they aren't a end-all or necessarily an accurate indicator of your writing ability.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Computers and News Updates

I've been fighting for the last two weeks with my wireless PC card and Outlook Express. I want my ISP's email to sync with Outlook Express. Well, it works fine if I dial-in to the ISP, and I do mean dial-in. We're talking speeds of somewhere between a slug on the sidewalk watching a tree grow. So now I have this wireless card, and I'm off to the races, except Outlook won't sync. After a couple weeks of fighting with the thing, I have it receiving mail but not sending. I know what's wrong, it's finding the right answer that's sending me off the deep end.

That makes me wonder--how the heck does the average person off the street manage to troubleshoot PCs when those of us in IT often struggle with the things? I've spent countless hours on this one problem, which should be easy to fix, but I find the easiest things are often the hardest.

On another note, I have some news:

I sold The Dance, the first manuscript (and the subject of a previous post, "That Special Manuscript") I ever completed, to Siren Publishing. It'll be out in late 2008. I'm very excited to see this manuscript in print.

Equestrian Ink debuts on Monday. This is a collaborative effort of several authors who write equestrian fiction. We have tons of fun things planned so drop in every couple days to check us out!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fingernails on The Blackboard

There are two words that writers often use that make me cringe like fingernails on a blackboard: Muse and Polish.

"Muse" is just one of those words I don't like. I'm not really sure why. I only know that there isn't a little person sitting on my shoulder or in my subconscious that tells me when it's in the mood to write. I choose to write or not to write. I'm either in the mood or not.

"Polish" elicits more of a personal reaction. I think New York Times Bestselling Author Lori Foster said it best, and I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her:

"My feeling is that if you polish a book too much, it'll be flat and shiny and smooth--and not too interesting. It's the little pits and bumps and whatnot that show voice and make a book unique from all the other super shiny, flat surfaces."

Back when I was starting to write for publication, I would edit my books until there was no life left in them. They'd be technically correct but boring. Finally, Lucy Monroe, a member of my local RWA chapter, pointed out to me that I was one of those people that should only do a few edits. The more I edited, the more I wrote my voice out of my story. Then I received further proof that "polish" is not a good thing for me to do. On a whim (something I do a lot), I had sent three chapters of a WIP to 3 agents. Those chapters had not been edited at all. I had 2 requests for fulls. If you're not a writer, believe me when I say that requests for fulls from good agents are a big deal. Unfortunately and the moral of the story, I didn't have the rest of the book written. ;) I won't do that again, and that's the subject for another blog.

What are your "blackboard" words?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Time--A Four-Letter Word

Time.

Now there's a 4-letter word and something I wish I had more of. Unfortunately, there is nothing in my life that I want to give up in order to buy time for other things. So this is my life: I work full-time (sometimes more than that). I ride and show my horse in dressage. I am a writer. Lately, I am spending more time on promotion than I am on writing.

I need to write more and spend less time on the Internet. So what am I doing here? Good question. Other than rambling off some meaningless stuff that I hope a few people read. I have committed myself to posting here at least once a week. I'd like to post more. The problem is that 4-letter word again.

Time.

So I'm trying to come up with time-savers, but truthfully I'm doing a better job at time waster. The number one time waster of all? Wanna guess? The Internet.

I've cut myself back to just a few loops, My Space, and my personal email. Even so, I can still waste several hours a day.

What are your bigggest time wasters and time savers?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Adventures of Cabana Boy

Over the years, my infamous older brother, aka Cabana Boy, has been entertaining friends and family alike with his Cabana Boy stories. Ever since he moved to Hawaii from the rainy Pacific Northwest, I've been trying to get him to chronicle his adventures, or would that be misadventures, on a blog or a website.

Finally, Cabbie has posted one of his recent adventures on the Internet for all to enjoy. While the names have been changed to protect the guilty, yours truly and my husband are named in this tale.

To check it out, go to this link:

Cabana Boy

Then choose the link on the left for "Hula Cruise."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My First Cover


I received my first cover today, and I love it. The heroine looks like I pictured Harlee to look. The background looks like the San Juan Islands. The overall look of the cover gives you a hint that there might be a bit of comedy in the story. All in all, I'm really happy with it.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Superbowl Sunday

So are you ready?

I am.

I love football. I think I mentioned that before.

I'm just crawling out from under the covers after a cold that for a week has kept me from my real job, my horse, my writing, and even reading, even--believe it or not--off the computer. Now that's a bad cold.

But I'm ready for the Super Bowl. Hubby and I are going to a SB party at a veteran's club that he belongs to. As far as who wins, I don't have much interest or any personal stake in either team after my Seahawks and Packers lost, but it'll still be fun. You'll find me rooting for the underdogs. It has inspired me to get The Gift Horse done so I can finish writing my football hero romance. One nice thing about writing for a small press is that you have a lot more freedom in the length of your book and what you put in it. It's somewhat liberating to not be writing with all those restrictions--imagined or real--that you have when writing for publication in NY.

Well, now I'm rambling, so I'm off to finishing a chapter before the Super Bowl.

Are there any other football fans out there?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

That Special Manuscript

Recently, I pulled my first complete manuscript out of mothballs. The last edit date on this MS was March/April of 2003. I wanted to submit it to my publisher, but I knew it needed a lot of editing before I could do that. I finished that edit this afternoon, three weeks and 97,000 words later.

It's amazing what time can do for a person's perspective. I was so in love with my words when I wrote that story. To the point where I would state the same thing several different times because I thought my text was just too clever. This time around, I'm deleting stuff left and right without giving them another thought.

I also didn't give my readers enough credit. I'd explain every move a character made, instead of trusting the reader to figure it out, a common newbie mistake (not that I don't still make them, but they're not as blatant).

Yet, this MS will always hold a special place in my heart. At one time, I'd poured myself into this story so deeply that I felt what the characters felt. As I was editing the last few chapters, I found myself tearing up. I'm not sure that the writing was that good, but I loved these characters with all their emotional hangups and vulnerabilities.

This was the story that gave me the confidence to pursue writing on a more professional level, rather than dabble in it for pure entertainment and/or as a hobby.

Now that I'm done, I know I need to get on with my WIP, which is 3/4 done, and by far the best thing I've written to date. Yet, I'm sad to say goodbye to these characters because they are so near and dear to me.

This particular story may never see the light of day, but it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

P&E Best Book Publisher

I am happy to announce that my publisher, Siren Publishing has been named Best Book Publisher by Preditors & Editors website.

What a great honor! I am feeling proud and priviledged to be part of this company.

It's been a great month for Siren authors also. Several authors have won numerous awards.

I am soooo looking forward to July and my very first ever book release.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

July Girls

Tonight I'm sitting in a hotel room in Ellensburg, WA, and it's after midnight. Hubby and I are on our way to Idaho to see his daughter. We checked out the local bar for one drink and Karaoke. Not one person could sing a note on tune. It was pretty painful, so we executed a quick depart.

I'm all excited because a friend and Olympia chaptermate of mine, Kate Davies, just sold to Siren. She will be a July Girl along with Wendi (Darlin) and me. Wendi just got her cover on the Siren site. I am anxiously awaiting mine. I did get my story blurb posted recently, which it REALLY cool. This is so fun to be going through all this for the first time, especially when it's a good experience with a great publisher. That makes it twice the fun.

So I'm wondering if we should be July Girls or Summer Girls or what?

I need to get The Gift Horse done. GH is the best one I've done to date. I'd like to market it to the equestrian community and romance community.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Romance Writers

Romance writers are some of the most generous people I've ever met. I wonder if writers in other genres are as helpful to newbies and wannabes as published romance writers.

Washington state seems to have more than its share of romance writers. My theory is that all this rain is conducive to writing. What else are you going to do for 8 months out of the year while waiting for the sun to poke through those clouds?

Some of the local published authors that I am grateful to are:

When I first joined my local RWA chapter, I met Lucy Monroe. She was the chapter president. Her first book was coming out in a few months. Lucy has always been special to me as has her rare talent for weaving a story that you can't put down. No matter how busy she is, she always has time for a word of encouragement or to answer a question. Her common sense advice is invaluable.

Suzanne Macpherson has become a good friend. She volunteers to read my stuff, always has a response for my stupid questions, and a word of congratulations or sympathy. If you want a good laugh be sure to check out her romantic comedies from Avon.

Cherry Adair always finds time for fellow writers. I've attended numerous workshops and parties that she's hosted for local authors at her beautiful home. Cherry is always entertaining, positive, and a hoot and a half. If she ever gives up writing, she needs to try her hand as a stand-up comedian.

Theresa Scott has endured my phone calls, helped me with plotting, and administered her always practical and logical advice.

Also in my local RWA chapter, Adrianna Dane and Kate Davies have endured my endless questions about epubs. There are so many more, that I know if I tried to list them all, I would definitely forget someone so I'll stop here.

To my fellow romance writers, I hope I can be as generous as you have been when my time comes to offer advice and answer questions.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Confessions of Football Fan

I am a football fan. I have been a football fan since high school.

Is it my fault that my chosen football teams haven't exactly been the bastions of victory? Hey, as a Washington native, I'm a diehard Washington State Cougar and Seattle Seahawk fan.

Let's talk about the Hawks. I was there in 1976, when they were infants. I met Jim Zorn (their quarterback) at the local department store that summer before their first season while the Seahawks were on a whirlwind publicity tour of Washington State.

I've been with them through the good times (Superbowl) and the bad times (too many to mention, but let's talk about 3-win seasons). I was in the Kingdome when they played in their first playoff game in years and played the last game played in the Kingdome. Yup, I've been there. I've screamed my lungs out until I couldn't speak or hear. I've been part of that crowd that became infamous throughout the NFL. I've hoped and prayed and cried and laughed. I've done it all, and I never gave up.

I'll be in front of the TV this Saturday when the Hawks meet Green Bay. I love you, Brett, but I gotta root for the hometown boys.

GO HAWKS!!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

THE CALL!

...Actually--the email!!!

I accepted an offer from Siren/Bookstrand last Friday for publication of my contemporary romance, "Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed." It'll be published in ebook format in Summer of 2008 and print format in early 2009.

"Who's" is the second novel I've completed. It was also a 2004 Golden Gateway finalist--if anyone remembers that far back.

I hadn't submitted anything in three years and had just gotten back into writing. On a whim, I dusted off "Who's" and submitted it last October to a popular epublisher. I got a request for a full and sent it out.

In December, I still hadn't heard and decided to send to a few other places. Since it takes so long to hear anything, I thought I'd have a few in the queue. I sent a full (what they require) to Bookstrand on a Monday, the week before Christmas. They are a sister company of Siren Publishing. Siren is a erotic romance publisher. Bookstrand is opening their doors in June as a publisher of mainstream romance and fiction. ByWed. morning, I had an offer. I accepted the offer last Friday.

I am very excited to be a part of Siren/Bookstrand. They are the company that bought all the Triskelion contracts and returned them to the authors. Everyone I've contacted speaks very highly of them.

What a way to start the new year!!!!! YIPPEEEEEE!!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Goodbye to a Real American Hero

Today my husband and I attended the memorial service of his dear friend, Vern. I didn't know Vern well myself. After listening to comrades, friends, and family speak of him, I now know him a lot better.

You see, Vern spent 32 years of his life in the Army, specifically Special Forces. My husband, Dennis, also in SF, considered Vern a good friend and mentor.

Vern had four Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, Bronze Star, was nominated for the Medal of Honor, and numerous other awards I can't begin to recall.

When Vern was in Viet Nam, he was assigned to a small Special Forces team of 4 who were dispatched to monitor the Viet Cong. I don't remember the details of where or when or even why, but in a way that doesn't matter. Unknowingly, they were dropped into the middle of over 500 Viet Cong soldiers. The crew of the helicopter were killed and the helicopter destroyed. The four Green Berets dug in. SF soldiers carry enough firepower to sustain a fight almost indefinitely; but in this case, none of the four figured they'd make it out alive. After a long battle, Vern and his small group were still alive while the Viet Cong sustained 130 casualties. The VC retreated, certain that they were up against a larger force. Little did they know that only four men held off back that day.

Whether or not you agree with the politics behind war, please salute those soldiers who gave and continue to give so much and often for so little in return.

And for Vern, I say, go in peace to a better place. I salute you and may God bless you.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I want to be a cat

We are not cat people. Honest. I mean I like cats (in fact, we're animal lovers), but a nice barn cat that doesn't spread cat hair all over your house. Now, my husband is one of those macho guys (a former Army Ranger and SF Weapons Sergeant) that doesn't like cats at all. At least, he "claims" he didn't.

A year ago last fall, an orange tabby moved into our barn. Hey, I was fine with that. They're ruthless mousers, and I'm all for a friendly little barn cat.

So we fed him... And we took him in to get shots and to be fixed.

Problem is that he had greater aspirations. He wanted to be a house cat.

Last winter, my husband injured his back at work and was flat on the couch for a few weeks. Day two on the couch--I came home from work. There was the cat on Dennis' chest, both of them sound asleep.

One year later....

So much for the barn cat.

If you have cats, you know the rest.

When I die, I want to come back as a cat.