Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Does This Ph.D. Make Me Look Fat?

No, I don't have a Ph.D. (unless you count the one I'm married to), but according to a recent Harvard study of 16,000 women published in the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, I don't need one - all you have to do is look at my waist/hip ratio to tell I'm a freakin' genius! LOL
According to this gloriously wonderful study (and I mean that sincerely), women with a small waist and large hips are smarter, and have smarter babies. It seems the fat stored in the hips is rich in Omega 3, which is serious brain food. In addition, it appears that men are genetically hard wired to be attracted to curvier women (that loud groan you hear is my husband, tiredly repeating "I've been telling you that for years!").

So scootch on over, J-Lo, and lemme take a seat next to you, girlfriend! I don't mind if it's a squeeze... the junk in our trunks has finally been vindicated!

(To find our your waist/hip ratio, measure your waist and hips. Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement, and hope you come up with a number below .7.)

Bottom line (pun intended), the eggheads at Harvard have proven once and for all that an hourglass figure gives women a genetic advantage over the size 4 Kate Moss/Twiggy/Beanpoles of the world. Now excuse me while I go eat a cookie. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Scratch and Read

What do I have to say for myself today? Click the box, pick up the virtual coin and start scratching to find out!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Today is my sister Pam's birthday! She's forbidden me from ever revealing her age, so I won't, except to say that she's older than me, and always will be. LOL (What year were you born in again, Sis? I can't remember.) ;-)

Anyway, my sister Pam is what you officially call a "hoot". (Seriously, it's a word we Southerners use all the time!) She's bubbly and upbeat and energetic, and she LOVES a party or a practical joke. She's also impossible when it comes to presents... even when you clearly mark a gift "Do Not Open Until Your Birthday", she can't be trusted.

Hence my phone call at 6p last night when she called to tell me how cute she looked in the gift I bought her! (the gift she wasn't supposed to open until this morning) *sigh*

Happy Birthday, Pammie! I love you!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Congratulations, Carla Hughes!

A great, big shout-out of CONGRATULATIONS! to my dear friend, Carla Hughes, who found out yesterday that her historical/inspirational romance, The Heart Beckons, will be released by Harlequin Inspirational in 2009. Carla won the Golden Heart for this manuscript last July, and everyone who knows her knew it was just a matter of time before some intelligent editor snapped it up! Melissa Endlich at Harlequin is obviously one smart cookie. :)

Nobody deserves this more than Carla, and I'm so PROUD of her. She's done something not many people have been able to do - write a good, solid historical romance in a fascinating time period (ancient Rome), using the growth of Christianianity itself as the fulcrum for a love story. I can't wait to see it on the shelves!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

If Today Is Your Birthday...

...then you and I share the same birthday! :) Here's what our horoscope says for the coming year:

Your star-quality is turned up to the maximum this year (woohoo!). On the positive side, you will be both highly attractive and highly charismatic.
Well. Break out the red carpet, hm? LOL

A great birthday horoscope, but I learned a long time ago not to believe everything I read. :) I'll be happy to be fairly attractive and somewhat interesting this year.

HOWEVER, I saved my birthday horoscope from the year 2000, and this is what it said THEN:
You are dynamic, inquisitive and very serious where romance is concerned. You are a natural writer, psychologist. You travel more than most. One day you could write a novel.
Seriously, that's what it said. Maybe I should start looking for the red carpet after all, hm? :)

Oh, and here's a lovely Birthday Fairy I got from a friend this morning! Pretty, isn't she?

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's All Greek To Me

I went to a big, fat Greek wedding this weekend, and I now understand why they call them that (LOVED that movie, btw). I'd never been in a Greek Orthodox church before, or heard a Greek service performed. The church was beautiful, the walls covered with distinctive Byzantine-style iconography, like the picture at left. The service was VERY long, replete with rituals I'd never heard of before, like the "crowning" of both bride and group, and a formal processional around the altar three times. The priest actually sang most of the words to the service, which made it a bit hard to understand. Very opulent, very ritualistic, very long... very BIG. I estimated about 250 people were there.

There was also a moment where I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing - a lovely young woman began a solo of Ave Maria just before the wedding started. Not only did the organist make a mistake and start playing from the wrong piece of sheet music halfway through the song (causing the poor woman to have to start over), it seemed all the men in the audience were taken by a fit of coughing at the same time. So this nice young woman is trying to sing the gorgeously beautiful, spiritual song, and all you can hear is *cough, cough*, *wrong note*, *cough, cough*. None of the women were coughing, just the men - it was so odd it was funny. :)

The reception was very formal - the bride and groom were whisked off in a Rolls Royce for wedding pictures while everyone else drank and impatiently eyed the menu: filet mignon AND chicken stuffed with feta and cranberries. Best of luck to Tom and Stephanie, who are honeymooning in Spain, then taking a cruise around the Mediterranean. Opah!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

I Heart Amazon :)

Did I mention that my next two books are already listed on Amazon? Neither of them have a cover yet, but they're both already available for pre-order!! A MATCH MADE IN HELL and WEDDINGS FROM HELL are out next summer, one month apart!

I'm enjoying the fall weather too much to wish for summer just yet, but knowing I'll have two more books on the bookstore shelves will definitely give me something to look forward to. :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The 2007 Weblog Awards

I'm tickled to announce that the blog kept by the fabulous editors over at Avon is up for an award! The Avon Romance Blog is one of 10 finalists in the Best Literature Blog category of the 2007 Weblog Awards, the world's largest blog competition!

Early last year, Avon editors Carrie Ferron, Lucia Macro, Erika Tsang, Lyssa Keusch, May Chen, Esi Sogah and Tessa Woodward began a really fun blogsite all about books and the people who write them. Frequent guest bloggers include authors Stephanie Laurens, Julianne McLean, Julia Quinn, Dixie Cash and Mary Castillo (and me. :)

I think it's super cool that they're up for an award already, but they need votes to win! If you're reading this, do me a huge favor and VOTE for the Avon Romance Blog! All it takes is one click! You can vote once a day per computer through end of polls, which is tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Copyedits, Coming Up!

I got word today that I'll be getting the copyedits for my next book pretty soon. A Match Made In Hell is in the very competent and grammatically correct hands of Peter Weissman, the same man who did the copyedits on my first book, Dead Girls Are Easy. While I can't say I'm thrilled about confirming copyedits, I AM thrilled about what it means, because it means the book is in production. It means I'll get to see the cover sometime in the next couple of months, and then galleys (Advance Reader Copies) will be produced a month or so after that. The actual release date for A Match Made In Hell is June 24, 2008.

I just finished copyedits for Weddings From Hell, the paranormal anthology I'm doing with fellow authors Maggie Shayne, Kathryn Smith and Jeaniene Frost. The release date for that is May 27, 2008.

Two more Nicki Styx ghost tales, published one month apart, for a total of three. It's a beautiful thing. LOL Having been through this process once, you'd think it'd be less exciting this time, but it isn't.

To top it off, both A Match Made In Hell and Weddings From Hell have joined Dead Girls Are Easy on Amazon, and are already available for pre-order! Woohoo!

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Boy King's Face Revealed

What must it be like to be a nineteen year old boy, and a king? A young man, just entering your prime, raised from birth to know that you are the last in a line of kings stretching back over centuries?

What must it be like to then fall ill, and die, knowing your family's royal dynasty ends with you?

Maybe I'm strange (ok, I'm strange), but I find those types of questions fascinating. King Tutankhamun, boy king, entombed with riches beyond imagining: precious collars, inlaid necklaces and bracelets, rings, amulets, a ceremonial apron, sandals, sheaths for his fingers and toes, his coffin and death mask of pure gold. Seven coffins, actually - four nested boxes, or shrines, of gilded wood, then three mummy-shaped coffins—two gilded and one of solid gold—all inside a red quartzite sarcophagus. What must his life have been like all those centuries ago, when he was a living, breathing boy/king? The walls of his tomb are filled with heiroglyphs that tell his tale, so we know he was a hunter, a warrior, a young husband. Now they've even done a CT scan of his face, and come up with what he actually looked like. Exotic, with almond-shaped eyes and an elegantly shaped skull that marked him as the last surviving member of a a family who had ruled Egypt for generations.

Look at him... doesn't putting a face on him make you curious about what kind of person he was? Was he kind? Was he cruel? Did he love his young wife or was it a marriage of convenience? (History always excites me, because it makes my imagination come alive - I often wish I'd gone into archeology. Except for the heat, the sand, the often difficult working conditions, and the bugs.) :)

Anyway, I think Tutanhkhamun was very much loved, and very much mourned. He was buried with such great wealth, such great care that he still exists, in a way, thousands of years after he died. I also like to think it was his young wife who left him a winecup engraved with, "May you, who love Thebes, spend millions of years with your face to the north wind, and may your eyes see joy."

You can read all about him in this great article from National Geographic.