IT’S FRIDAY, a perfectly happy hour to reveal…ELLEY ARDEN!!!

Hallelujah, it’s a  springtime Friday—the sun is shining, the gray clouds have given way to blue sky and I have a margarita in my hand 🙂 Okay, no, I don’t…it’s 10 in the morning, but I AM celebrating the day by revealing the cover of my friend (and terrificCrossing Lines_cover_ElleyArden author of sports romance), Elley Arden’s upcoming release, the next in her CLEVELAND CLASH series, CROSSING LINES. Pretty awesome, right? Available to pre-order,  this one is a can’t miss, especially considering the first in the series, RUNNING INTERFERENCE received a 4.5 star review from RT! CROSSING LINES is just as good…sassy girl, hot guy, sexy sports setting? Sounds like another winner to me.

So, I’m raising my margarita (okay, my coffee mug) to you, Elley! Congratulations on another great story. My Amex is already looking forward to a purchase on May 25!

CROSSING LINES releases on May 25, 2015 and is the much anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed RUNNING INTERFERENCE, book 1 in the Cleveland Clash series. Pre-order you copy today!

Amazon | iBooks | Google Play | Goodreads

About CROSSING LINES:

Party girl and standout wide receiver Jillian Bell sees no problem with her “no rules” lifestyle as long as she’s scoring on the field. But her sexy new offensive coordinator doesn’t see it that way.

Former marine turned successful restaurateur Carter Howl agreed to whip his father’s undisciplined women’s full-tackle football team into shape out of guilt. But the job comes with more trouble than he bargained for thanks to one spitfire of a wide receiver who challenges his every play.

When Jillian’s little sister begs her to come back to their small-minded hometown and be on her best behavior at a family event, she unexpectedly enlists prim and proper Carter to help her keep her cool. But two days and one pretend engagement later, this straight-laced former soldier is doing all sorts of things he normally wouldn’t. Is the wrong girl the right girl for him?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

About Elley Arden: E Arden auth pic

Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.

Charming characters. Emotional stories. Sexy romance.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Release Day #pinchme

entangled champagne croppedSo what does a romance writer do the night before the release of her debut novel? Well, this particular romance writer got down with the fantastically talented, urban novelist, Dennis Lehane. Okay, so it was me, Dennis and approximately 400 other people, but I know that if he’d locked eyes with me sitting in my seat at the back of the orchestra, captivated by his Bostonian genius, he’d have run off with me to some tropical island where we’d indulge in  multiple umbrella drinks and talk fiction.

Okay, again. Maybe not. But a girl can dream, right?

And while, no, I don’t see a quick trip to the Caymans in my immediate future, I did spend last night at a lecture listening to the author of GONE BABY GONE talk about creating the fictive narrative. Hello, swoon.

And it’s true, no one would call a Lehane novel a romance, but the central relationship in one of his series of novels IS romantic and humorous and complex and I left the lecture with all kinds of ideas for my next romance. I left with a new appreciation of truth and humor in writing, and with a slew of thoughts on finding and honing your voice—I felt like a writer.

Then, I woke up this morning and my kids started crabbing about getting ready for school and my husband was running late (where’s my wallet?) and a neighbor kid stopped by to grab a bowl of Cheerios before they all walked to school, and the whole time, I’m thinking…wow, I’m a writer. Yes, I still have to be at my boys’ school today to count hops for an Easter Seals event and later I’ll drive a bunch of first grade hooligans to lacrosse practice through the spring snow.

Not much has changed. But everything has changed. I am a writer. It’s real. Here I am: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/breaking-the-bachelor/

#pinchme

LOVE & CHOCOLATE

Chocolate has been my great love for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl, every Sunday morning, my dad would walk my brother and I down to the small convenience store at the end of our street. We called it The Corner Store. My dad would get the newspaper and we’d be allowed to pick out any candy bar in the place. Any. Candy Bar. In the place. Heaven on earth for a six-year old.

Funny, I don’t remember having a favorite, apparently I was an equal opportunity candy lover, but my brother liked the 100,000 bar and the plain Chunky. Eventually, we moved away from The Corner Store, but my commitment to chocolate lived on.

My love of the sweet stuff even shows up in my debut novel, Breaking the Bachelor. The heroine, NYC matchmaker, Jane Wright, has a small candy addiction. Okay, maybe it’s not so small considering she uses it as a substitute for sex. As you can imagine, it’s a poor substitute. And yes, she’s in denial. But her ex, hotter-than-hot bartender, Charlie Goodman will do his best to show her the truth: logic and statistics can deny passion all day long, but when it comes right down to it, nothing that trumps emotions and a round or two of good old-fashioned chemistry.

Cover BtB

Here’s the blurb direct from Entangled Publishing:

Matchmaker Jane Wright just made a bet—she’ll find the “perfect” match for Manhattan’s hottest confirmed bachelor, sexy-as-sin bartender Charlie Goodman—Jane’s ex-lover—or lose her company. Charlie doesn’t want to see Jane’s business fail. He just wants a little revenge. Determined to prove that chemistry always beats compatibility algorithms, he plans to drive Jane crazy with desire, then walk away. And Charlie’s plan is working. So well that he hasn’t even noticed that he’s Cupid’s next target…

For me, writing a debut novel was a lot like riding the Coney Island Cyclone, a wild combination of excitement, joy and flat-out fear. And all those emotions continue as I get ready to release this baby into the world. Naturally, I will be indulging in some chocolate. Kit Kats. Hershey bars. Anything from Trader Joes. And when I am really desperate, I’ll turn to the world’s best sugar fix that require only two easily available ingredients: Oreos and peanut butter. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should! Twist, slather, and enjoy!  (Even better with the right partner 😉 ) Drop a comment to let me know your favorite. um, sweet treat!

Rolling Rock, Jimmy Buffet and Happy Anniversary to The One

Imagine a rooftop bar, twinkling white lights, a metal bucket of ice-cold Rolling Rock, and me, a hapless young actress in town performing a four week run of The Glass Menagerie, walking through a crowd of unfamiliar twenty-something’s toward The One. Granted, I didn’t know he was The One as I strolled toward the spot where he was debating the merits of dating with my BFF. But hell, I was never all that smart. In fact, it took two to get the match made, but I knew that night under the early autumn sky in a bar uptown that I could talk to this guy…forever. He was hilarious, self-deprecating…and yes, hot. The dating trifecta. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for a cool, rooftop bar.

In the years between our meet-cute and our eventual wedding, there were happy hours and late-night diners, Jimmy Buffett concerts, faux grass skirts and invitation-only Sumo wrestling events (don’t ask). There were also separations of distance, work-related trips to LA, successful and not-so-successful auditions, and one relentlessly impossible ex. Eventually, we got our shit together and got married in a sweet church in the town where we grew up. Today, we celebrate a big anniversary, and the other night he made me laugh so hard, I peed my pants. Guess that means, he’s still The One.

cropped-super_funny_hilarious_pictures_crazy_fun_laughing_kissing_cake_topper-18640.jpg

What’s your story? Do you believe in love at first sight? Or are you more a friends-to-lovers person? Let me know. How-did-you-meet stories are my favorites.

Ghosts, Snickers and a Happy Halloween…

Last year my husband and I bought a one-hundred year old house. We expected the problems that come with that kind of home and we got ‘em all…the dying furnace, the unreliable appliances, and yes, God help us…the plumbing. What we didn’t expect to come along with our new purchase was a ghost.

But according to my seven-year old, we have one. Apparently, it’s purple and it tackles him late at night. While I am pretty damned sure, the kid is just trying to stay up later, this is a toughie for me because I’m a believer in all things ghostly. Yes, I’m the one who drags her husband on ghost tours around the country…San Francisco, Williamsburg…next week, we’ll be scouting for the Undead in Savannah. And while I’ve never actually seen a ghost on one of these tours, I still wonder if I should carry my portable proton-pack accelerator system. ‘Cause you never know.

But as I explained to my son, not all ghosts are scary poltergeists. Trust me, I won’t be wandering off into the bright, white light emanating from my television screen any time soon, but I have experienced a run-in with a gentle, ghostly spirit that changed my life. For reals.

In my early twenties, I moved in with my grandmother who was dying of cancer. She’d had a long struggle, much of it on her own, but she was a tough Italian broad and not willing to go out without a fight. While she sat in the hospital bed we’d ordered for a small, first floor room, I’d pull up a chair and we’d watch Matlock, eat Haagen Daz and flaunt our matching light-up troll rings. Anything to make life seem less dire. Sometimes the morphine might cause her to see a vision that needed to be chased away and I was happy to do battle with whatever creature popped into that small room. Of course, there were doctor appointments, laundry and home-health care workers, but we tried to make everything else feel…fun. Time is short. Together, we made every moment as full of love as possible.

Shortly after her death, I was sleeping in my corner bedroom upstairs, and her spirit came to me in a dream. I’ll never forget her wide gray eyes focusing on me as she whispered a secret into the air around me. I woke up unable to breathe, certain in the knowledge that my grandmother had come to say goodbye. The secret she told me…in her ghostly, unspoken way…gave me hope during a time in my life when I was struggling, and I will always believe she came that night to reassure me, to tell me everything was going to be okay. My own personal, prescient ghost.

Of course, tonight, I’ll be doling out candy to faux-specters and vampires, enjoying each one of their scary, shining faces as they choose between a glow-in-the-dark bag of Cheetos and a snack-sized Snickers. I don’t think any of them will whisper secrets to me or tackle me in a haze of purple, but each one will remind me, there’s still lots of reason to be a believer.

What do you think? Are you a ghost-hunter? Ever had an otherworldly experience? Or is it all about the candy, and if so, what kind of sweet will you be stealing from your kid’s treat or treat bag tonight?

Love, Romance and Other Great Mysteries of Life…

Isn’t love funny?

You fall for the exact right guy at the exact wrong moment. Or the wrong guy at what feels like the exact right time.

Or maybe, you fall for the guy your BFF introduced you to because she’s crushing on him, and the guy turns out to be the one who used to date your brother’s current girlfriend who he may just marry. Confused? So was I. And yes, I married that guy. My brother….not so much.

But that’s love. Crazy. Unexpected. Wonderful. Love.

And for me, few things recreate the feeling of The Fall like an afternoon spent with no children, total control of the remote and my favorite rom-coms. So, here are my besties. But if there’s a romantic comedy you love that’s not on the list, please let me know in the comments. My husband owes me a rom-com afternoon. Soon.

5. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK.  Football, family, mental illness…what’s not to love? Oh, and Bradley Cooper. I fell for BC when he was just the geekster on ALIAS and the man has yet to fail me. His portrayal of the story’s unstable hero who loves his ex-wife (or the idea of her) so much that he refuses to accept his marriage is over is both funny and desperately sad. Jennifer Lawrence matches him moment-by-moment and as the relationship unfolds, it is so clear, these two crazies are MFEO.

4. Can’t have a list of great romantic comedies without Julia Roberts. Cause she’s the best. Tough call, but I’ll go with MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING because who doesn’t  have that friend-almost-lover with whom the timing never felt right and then…suddenly, “the moment just passes you by.”

3. THE HANGOVER. Yes, you read that right, and while it is not a typical choice, this movie is a hilarious ode to Contemporary Bromance. Beside, in the end there’s totally a wedding and Bradley Cooper never looked better. Booyah.

2. FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL. I believe that if Andie McDowell was zapped by a shrinking machine and dropped into a paper lunch bag, she would not be able to act her way out, and yet, that doesn’t matter at all because she is so damned lovable (and gorgeous). Plus, the writing is sublime, the supporting acting fantastic and the Auden poem included in the film breaks my heart every time. All this, and Hugh Grant at his most charming.

1. Easy peasy…WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING. Sandra Bullock before she was glamorous was the Perfect Girl Next Door. Heartfelt performances, a unique and hilarious premise, terrific writing and big-time nutty characters, make WYWS the Perfect Romantic Comedy, top to bottom. And, let’s be reals, if Bill Pullman gave me a sly smile, tossed a diamond into my toll booth and lay his tender heart on the line, baby, you can bet I’d let him in. Forever. Amen.

So, here’s to “True love. In whatever shape or form it may come. May we all in our dotage be proud to say, “I was adored once too.”

Quoted from Four Weddings and a Funeral