Happy early Valentine’s Day

valentine cupcake

Happy February! I’m not sure about you, but the month of January is a blur. We haven’t yet gotten a huge snowfall this year but we’ll see what happens despite Punxsutawney Phil not seeing his shadow.

I’ve been busy working on my third book, The One That Got Away, for the Jersey Romance Writing Month (JeRoWriMo) challenge. The goal is to write 30,000 words during the month of February. I started this book the same time last year. I’m hoping I’ll come close to finishing it this month.

I’d like to say “Hi” to all my family and friends who follow my blog. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to click  the “Books” tab for a summary and excerpt from my books.

I’m blogging this week with The Violet Femmes about your favorite romantic moment in a book. Please stop by and comment!

Maria

Holiday wishes!

christmas present6

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and New Year!

Another year is almost over. It’s been a crazy but good year for me. I’ll spend the next couple days with family, including tonight’s Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes. I write about this Italian tradition in Love’s Second Chance. For fun, I’ve included an excerpt. Enjoy!

Also, I’m blogging this week with The Violet Femmes. We’re doing a holiday romantic suspense round-robin called Glitter Girl. Stop by and read my part (part 4) and catch up with the earlier segments.

Glitter Girl – A Romantic Suspense Holiday Romance

Excerpt from “Love’s Second Chance”

“Does your family have a huge dinner like this every Christmas Eve,” Edward asked, leaning to the side so he could be heard over the noise.

“Yes. It’s a family tradition, going back as far as I can remember,” Kate replied.

“What exactly is the significance of the seven fish?”

“There are different views on its origin, but my grandmother once told me that the number seven stood for the number of Sacraments in the church. There’s baptism, penance, Holy Communion, confirmation, marriage, holy orders, and anointing of the sick.”

“What about the type of fish? Is that important?”

“I don’t think so. We usually have the same fish, though my parents try and mix up how the food is prepared. Plus, there are the side dishes that are often different. You’ve never experienced an Italian Christmas Eve dinner before?”

“Not that I can recall,” Edward said.

“Believe me when I say you would know if you had. I hope you’ve brought your appetite with you.”

He grasped her hand and pressed his lips to it. “I most certainly have.”

The smoldering look in his eyes told Kate that his appetite was for more than just food.

The Pleasure of Giving

This week, I’m blogging on The Violet Femmes website. Stop by http://thevioletfemmes.com and click the link to enter our contest to win a Nook Simple Touch to help celebrate our One-Year Anniversary.

Last week, I had the pleasure of being a part of an effort to Adopt-A-School that’s been displaced for the rest of the school year as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Although they were fortunate to find another location to operate, they aren’t allowed back to their own school to get any of their supplies, equipment, etc. Along with a couple co-workers, I reached out and gathered school supplies, games, books, and sporting equipment. The volume of people wanting to help was so amazing. I want to thank the generosity of everyone who has contributed time and/or funds to support the families affected by this tragedy. Together, we stand united!

With Thanksgiving this week, I have so much to be thankful for. It’s easy to forget and allow yourself to get bogged down in the minutia of life. I do it more times than I’d like to admit. On Thanksgiving Day, take a moment to appreciate all that you have and have accomplished, and offer hope and prayer for all who have lost things and people precious to them.

May you have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Fall Into A New Season…And Love

Although there are still several days  left of summer, it’s starting to feel like fall. The air is brisk in the evening and early morning. I find myself reaching for that extra blanket when I wake up in the morning, after having left my windows open. I love the change in seasons and Fall is one of my favorites. There’s something about the changing color of the leaves that makes me feel good. I look forward to picking apples and pumpkins with my kids and going to fall festivals. How about you?

With Fall comes NJ Romance Writer’s annual Put Your Heart In A Book Conference. It’s two days of workshops, pitching, networking, and good times. For a second year, I’ve co-chaired NJRW’s Golden Leaf contest for published authors. I’ll get the pleasure of sharing the stage with my co-chairs and category coordinators and announcing the finalists and winners. You have until 9/30 to register for the conference if you haven’t done so.

In other news, I’m thrilled to announce that Love’s Second Chance finaled in the Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest. I won’t  find out my results until the end of October, but keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed.

As you hopefully know, I blog monthly with The Violet Femmes. Our blog stemmed from a wine tasting held in my room at last year’s NJRW conference. The idea of a blog started and within a few weeks, we were up and running. As we near our one-year anniversary, we’ll have some exciting announcements, including a new contest. Stay tuned for more.

In the meantime, I’m blogging this week with the Femmes on preparing for a conference. Stop by http://thevioletfemmes.com and comment.

Maria

Blogging with The Violet Femmes on my Series Obsession

Hi there. I hope you’re having a fabulous summer. I just spent a couple days at the Jersey shore and finally feel like summer’s here  despite there being only a couple weeks left before Labor Day.

I’m blogging about writing a series with The Femmes today at http://thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com. Stop by and comment and tell me your thoughts on a book series as a reader or a writer.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

What romance book changed your life?

Hi everyone.

I hope you summer has been going well. Mine has been filled with work (unfortunately not the writing kind) and softball. I do manage to squeeze reading in between innings and games, which is nice.

I don’t know about you, but I’m dying to get to the Jersey shore next month. I’m not taking a full week like I’ve done in the past, but hope to spend a few days down somewhere with sand and surf.

I’m blogging today with The Violet Femmes on my “the romance book that changed my life”. Join me and comment for a chance to enter our monthly contest.

Maria

Short Story Month

I hope you’re having a great summer!

This month, I’m participating in a round robin short story with my friends at The Violet Femmes. You can read the first part of Castle of Dreams at http://thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/castle-of-dreams/. I wrote Part 2, which you can read at http://thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/castle-of-dreams-part-2/

Stop by and comment for a chance to enter our monthly contest.

Maria