Welcome! Kick off your shoes, get comfy and join in as we chat about books, romance and the ups and downs of everyday life.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Coming Attractions for May!


The month of May brings flowers to gardens everywhere. Here at The Romance Dish, our May garden is blooming with bestselling authors, blogs, reviews, interviews, our regular monthly features and plenty of surprises. Stop by daily so you don't miss a thing!




PJ kicks off the month on May 1st with a tribute to the Kentucky Derby and a giveaway to one lucky commenter of a signed set of Elizabeth Bevarly's Derby trilogy.


Get ready to make your May shopping list when Andrea reveals her New Releases for May on Monday, May 3rd.



Vanessa Kelly joins us on release day, Tuesday, May 4th to celebrate her newest book, SEX AND THE SINGLE EARL. I can't wait to hear more about this one!




2009 RITA Finalist and Romance Bandit, Christine Wells will be here Wednesday, May 5th to dish about her newest book, SWEETEST LITTLE SIN. I'm so excited that Jardine and Louisa's story is finally here!




We are honored and delighted to welcome the New York Times Bestselling and three-time RITA award winning, romance author, Jodi Thomas to the Dish on Thursday, May 6th. Jodi's October 2009 release, THE LONE TEXAN is a finalist for the 2010 RITA for Best Historical Romance.


Don't miss the latest news in Young Adult fiction when Trish Milburn returns on Monday, May 10th with her monthly Teen Menu!

Make Your Reservations for Andrea's sneak peek at the June releases we're most anticipating on Wednesday, May 12th.




Join us Thursday, May 13th when Paranormal Romance author, Annette McCleave visits with us to chat about her May 4th release, BOUND BY DARKNESS, the second novel in her Soul Gatherer series. That cover certainly has me eager to learn more about this reluctant hero and his story!


Saturday, May 15th brings us Buffie's monthly Hot Dish. I don't know about you, but the 15th is rapidly becoming my favorite day of the month!

Don't miss Anna Campbell's monthly Second Helping column on Monday, May 24th. You're sure to be informed, inspired and always entertained.

If you're a fan of Westerns, Highlanders, Vampires or Spies, you'll want to be here on Tuesday, May 25th when New York Times Bestselling author, Hannah Howell stops by to visit. IF HE'S WILD, the third book in Hannah's new late-Georgian series about two connected families, will hit stores in June.



Mark your calendars for Friday, May 28th when the always entertaining, and very talented, Erotic Romance author, Monica Burns is our guest at the Dish. Monica's newest book, ASSASSIN'S HONOR, will be released June 1st.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Maggie Robinson Winner



Thanks to everyone who stopped by yesterday to help Maggie celebrate the release of her debut book.  Random.org has picked our winner of a signed copy of Mistress by Mistake and it is:

etirv


Congratulations! Please send your full name and snail mail address to us at theromancedish@gmail.com to claim your prize.


Guest Author -- Brenda Novak


We are super excited to have New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak here today dishing about her upcoming Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research. If you have never checked it out, you simply must! There are so many amazing prizes up for bid (including a great basket from us--see below) and all the proceeds go to a wonderful cause. But I'll let Brenda take the floor and tell you more. Please help us welcome Brenda to The Romance Dish!



SHOW TIME...

I’m SO excited! My 6th Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research will begin May 1st (at brendanovak.com). With over 2,200 fabulous items, many of which you can’t get anywhere else, it's going to be a blast.

I started this fundraiser in 2005 and have made it an annual event in an attempt to help my thirteen-year-old son (diagnosed at 5) and the many, many others who struggle with diabetes. The need is there. Anyone who lives with a diabetic will tell you about the constant fingertip pricks, the shots, the pump insertions, the danger that comes with blood sugars that are too high or too low or swinging wildly from one side to the other. It’s almost impossible to avoid the fluctuations, no matter how hard you try. But you rarely hear about that, or about the tragic side affects. Diabetes affects every part of the body—the heart, the liver, the kidneys, the skin, the nerves, the eyes, everything. But...thanks to my many, many generous donors--and shoppers--we’re doing what we can to help!

Last year we managed to raise $280,000, which brings us to over three-quarters of a million so far. In 2010, we should break the $1 million mark! Judging by the increase in donations and web traffic, I think we’ll get there. Not only does the auction offer fabulous items like original paintings, handmade quilts, trips and stays and autographed books and baskets from Big Name authors, it has a lot of fabulous opportunities for readers and writers. How would you like to have lunch with one of your favorite authors—authors like Barry Eisler, Diana Gabaldon, Linda Howard, Beverly Barton or Catherine Coulter? John Lescroart and Christine Feehan are offering you an opportunity to name a character in one of their novels. Jane Porter is donating a trip to Hawaii. Heather Graham has put up a trip to New Orleans, which includes her Writers For New Orleans Conference. Nora Roberts is offering a stay at her inn. And Anna DeStefano has put up a whole category of Coach purses. For aspiring writers, we have more agent and editor evaluations and author critiques than ever before. There are too many items to list here, so hop over and check it out.

For those of you who have never participated in an online auction, don’t worry--it’s easy. This auction runs just like E-Bay. You shop the entire month of May (there are also one-day auctions so be sure to check the schedule), bid on whatever you like and pay for what you win via credit card or Paypal when it’s all over, at which point it will be shipped to you (in most cases, the shipping is free). The person who places the highest number of bids each week will be awarded a fabulous prize (the first week it's an iPad as well as an Advanced Reading Copy of my new book, WHITE HEAT, due out July 27th and a VIP invitation to my launch party). There will also be lots of other prizes given away via random drawings.

And we have something new this year for aspiring writers. It's a writing contest that will be judged by New York Times Bestselling Authors. The winner will receive a 6-month mentorship from me and guaranteed reads from my agent and editor. One other thing I should mention. To help promote the auction, I’m currently holding a drawing for a fabulous Trip for Two to Curacao. This trip includes airfare and hotel stay at the Hyatt Regency. To enter, visit brendanovak.com and click on the Contest link.

Here’s hoping I see you at the auction!

Brenda Novak

So dear readers: Have you bid on something at Brenda's Online Auction for Diabetes Research in the past? Or any other auction for charity? Did you win? If so, what did you win?



***And don't forget to check out the great gift basket we have up for bid at Brenda's Online Auction! The Book Lover's Delight Gift Basket from The Romance Dish includes over 20 books (most of which are signed) and lots of extra special goodies for book lovers!***

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sherryl Woods Winners





We have two winners from PJ's interview with Sherryl Woods. Congratulations to:

MITZI H

and

KELLY

Mitzi, you've won a copy of Home in Carolina. Kelly, you've won a copy of Sweet Tea at Sunrise
To claim your prize, please email your full name and mailing address to us at
theromancedish@gmail.com



Interview with Maggie Robinson


We are very happy to have debut historical author, Maggie Robinson  join us today.  Maggie, congratulations on yesterday's release of your debut novel, Mistress by Mistake!  I hope you enjoyed a debut-worthy celebration.  Please tell us a bit about the story.

Thanks so much for letting me dish about it! Charlotte Fallon is a straight-laced, lace-making spinster whose sister is an infamous courtesan. Sir Michael Xavier Bayard is a straight-up rake who finds that the wrong sister in his bed is just right.

How delicious!  Bay and Charlotte (who prefers to be called "Charlie") aren’t without flaws and they certainly have some difficult obstacles to overcome on their journey to a happy ending. Without giving away any spoilers, what’s the most important characteristic about each of them that you’d like readers to understand?

Charlie has been tamping down her passion for a decade, living a quiet, boring life. Bay’s own youthful passion has brought him nothing but danger and heartbreak. They both need to learn to trust and open their hearts again.

The bedroom scenes in this book sizzle! I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to serve raspberries again without blushing. How difficult (or easy) is it to write those scenes?

My agent, Laura Bradford kept writing MORE in raspberry-red on my manuscripts, and I guess I started following her advice. :)  I hope that the emotional connection between Charlie and Bay is even stronger than their physical relationship to the reader. I try to layer in plenty of sentiment along with the sizzle, because I really live a quiet, boring life myself. ;)

Your real life may be quiet and boring (though I somehow doubt that) but your imagination is having one heck of a good time!  There are secondary characters in this book that I’d love to know more about. Do you have plans to write books about any of the other ladies on Jane Street?

Mistress by Mistake is the first of the Courtesan Court Trilogy. Two of Charlie’s neighbors, Laurette Vincent and Lady Caroline Christie have their own stories in Mistress by Midnight (December 28) and Mistress by Marriage. Jane Street is also the setting for my two novellas for Brava anthologies. The first one, Lords of Passion, comes out November 30. You haven’t heard the last of my mistresses!

Adding two "Merry Christmas to Me" gifts to my list for next fall!  :)  We love call stories here at The Romance Dish. How did you get the news of your first sale?

My first sale was actually for the “other me,” Margaret Rowe. My June debut for Berkley Heat, Tempting Eden, sold first. I work in a high school library (where my books do not belong), and my agent called me one afternoon. I wanted to jump up and down and scream, but…library. Shh. I cried a little. Quietly. I saved the screaming for when I got home.

That's right, you're a double debutante!  Will you give us a peek into Tempting Eden, your June release as Margaret Rowe?

Tempting Eden is a darker, edgier erotic romance, with a heroine who has gone through Hell to find Heaven in her hero’s arms. I love the tagline: "A perfect gentleman, and the imperfect woman who makes him forget all his good intentions."

What a terrific tagline! It would certainly catch my attention! You’re a busy woman with many irons in the fire. Please describe for us a typical day in the life of Maggie Robinson.

I am about to ditch my day job, but for the past five years, I’ve gotten up between 4 and 5 AM to write a few hours before I go to work. I usually talk to my daughters on the phone in the morning and wander around the Internet, too. I punch in at 10:30, run the after school library program and teen girls’ book club, which keeps me in touch with YA trends. I’ve given up TV and cooking, but my husband has been super-supportive and has turned into Emeril Lagasse without the bamming in the kitchen, so I haven’t lost a bit of weight.

Many authors say they write better while listening to music. Some even choose theme songs for their stories. What’s your stance on music to write by? Any favorites? Did you have a theme song for Mistress by Mistake?

I can’t write with music, even if it’s instrumental—I’m too easily distracted. But I sing along to country music (badly) in the car back and forth to work.

LOL @ the bad country singing in the car.  You'd fit right in down here in South Carolina where I live!   What authors do you enjoy reading when you’re not busy creating stories of your own?

So many I could go on for paragraphs and still forget someone. I’ll stick to Georgette Heyer.

If you could step into the life of any romance heroine, who would you choose and why?

One of my own—Frederica Wells from Margaret Rowe’s Any Wicked Thing (January 2011). She’s a medieval scholar who lives in a castle with a really hot, wicked duke. She writes books, fences, and did I mention the really hot, wicked duke?

Marking my calendar for January 2011.  Did I mention I really love hot, wicked dukes? *grin*
If you could step into the arms of any romance hero, who would you choose and why?

I have a soft spot for Loretta Chase’s Mr. Impossible, Rupert Carsington. He is impossibly adorable, and I love a man who can make me laugh.

Great choice!  There's nothing better than a man who can make me laugh.  

Maggie, thank you so much for visiting with us today and graciously answering my many questions.  Congratulations again on the debut of  Mistress by Mistake.  Now it's time to turn the tables.  Is there a question you’d like to ask our visitors?


As a debutante (even if I’m a bit long in the tooth), I’m curious—what makes you take a chance on an unknown author?

One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Mistress by Mistake.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Review -- Sweetest Little Sin

Sweetest Little Sin
By Christine Wells
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: May 4, 2010






Lady Louisa Brooke has been in love with the handsome Marquis of Jardine for years. As the sister of a duke (and former spy for the Crown), she could have her choice of men, but only Jardine (also a spy) holds her heart . . . even though the exasperating man has let her down on occasion. While at a ball, Louisa experiences the ultimate disappointment as Jardine fails to show, despite never having missed her birthday before. When she confronts him later, he rebuffs her and tells her he no longer wishes to be with her. Louisa is shocked and heartbroken, especially because of the enormous secret they share. She decides to dust herself off and accepts a mission offered to her by the head of the secret service, Faulkner. All she has to do is encourage the attentions of one of her hopeful suitors, Mr. Radleigh, and obtain invitations for herself and one of Faulkner’s female operatives to Radleigh’s upcoming house party. When the agent mysteriously disappears along the way, Louisa is left to fulfill the mission on her own. That is until she sees who else is attending the party—the Marquis of Jardine!

Jardine has recently found out that Radleigh has in his possession a list of British operatives’ names. Even though the list is written in code, Jardine knows that if it falls in the wrong hands, specifically a traitor named Smith, it could spell disaster, torture, and even death to many of his friends and allies. Jardine arrives at the party as the guest and possible suitor of Radleigh’s sister, which infuriates his beautiful Louisa. What Louisa doesn’t realize is that Jardine has a reason for breaking it off with her—keeping her safe. If anyone knew his feelings for her, she would be a target. When danger begins to come in spades, Louisa and Jardine must work together to get that list. But will they be able to mend their broken relationship in the process?

Fans of The Dangerous Duke rejoice! Louisa and Jardine finally get their happily ever after, though it’s not without a few bumps. Ms. Wells makes these two work hard and when you close the last page, you know they have more than earned it. I thoroughly enjoyed the constant banter between Louisa and Jardine. One scene in particular between them and an oblivious Miss Radleigh had me laughing out loud.

Jardine’s attention swung back to Louisa. Forestalling whatever acid comment he seemed about to make, Louisa said, “We were just discussing hunting and so forth. Have you taken your gun out yet, Lord Jardine?”

Those mobile eyebrows climbed a little. “I beg your pardon?”

“Mr. Radleigh told me he bagged a brace of partridges this morning.” She widened her eyes a little. “Have you taken out your gun?”

The corner of his mouth twitched. “I must confess I am a little out of practice. But I hear you are proficient in the art, Lady Louisa.” His smile grew wicked. “Perhaps I might persuade you to help me fire my piece.”

If she’d been given to blushing, she would be as red as sealing wax, but fortunately, that wasn’t one of her weaknesses. “By all means. I’d be happy to lend you the benefit of my . . . advice.”

“Oh, shooting!” Beth shuddered dramatically. “Honestly, just hearing the awful bang makes me scream and put my hands over my ears.”

“You get used to it,” said Louisa, never taking her eyes from Jardine’s. “The sport can be most . . . satisfying. Don’t you agree, my lord?”

His eyes burned into hers. “Yes,” he said softly. “If one has the skill and the patience to do it correctly. And one needs the right teacher, of course.”

“Naturally.” Louisa smiled, holding his gaze. “It’s so easy to rush things, and go off half-cocked.”

Jardine’s foot stopped swinging. His fingers tightened their grip on the armrest of his chair.


Interesting.

At least she hadn’t been mistaken about the heat between them. It survived, powerful and volatile as ever.

She’d have to watch herself. While they sat in a room full of people, she was safe. Heaven help her if he got her alone after she’d taunted him like that.


Boy oh boy, did these two heat up the pages when they were alone! The love scenes were fast, furious and extremely passionate. Ms. Wells convinced me with her very first book that she was on her way to becoming a star in historical romance and Sweetest Little Sin just validates that. Filled with intrigue, incredibly likable characters, and Ms. Wells’s trademark wit and passion, Sweetest Little Sin will surely find its way to your keeper shelf!

~Andrea

Review -- Savor the Moment

Savor the Moment
By Nora Roberts
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: April 27, 2010






I have finally—finally—read my first Nora Roberts books. I know, I know . . . I consider myself an avid romance reader and never read La Nora. Well, I have remedied that and I’m so glad I did. I was a bit hesitant because Savor the Moment is the third book in a series, but thank goodness for friends! A friend (and die hard Nora and J.D. Robb fan) loaned me the first two books in the Bride Quartet series to read before this one. Suffice it to say, I adore this series!

Laurel McBane and her three best friends own and run one of the premier wedding planning companies in Connecticut called Vows. The girls have been friends since childhood and played “Wedding Day” every chance they got while growing up. They turned their passions of weddings into a very successful business with Mackensie as the photographer, Emma as the florist, Parker as the coordinator, and Laurel as the baker/pastry chef. In the first two books, Mac and Emma found “the one” (in Vision in White and Bed of Roses, respectively) and became engaged, though Laurel holds no such expectations for herself. After all, she been in love with Parker’s older brother Delaney, an Ivy League lawyer, for as long as she can remember and he considers his sister’s friends as his sisters, too. Plus, she believes that Del is too far out of her league.

Del asks Laurel if she can make a cake to welcome back one of his paralegals from maternity leave and of course, she says yes. But Del makes the mistake of trying to pay for the cake when he picks it up, which insults Laurel. For her, it’s the last straw and in the heat of the moment, she kisses Del.

“I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but you can either tell me or take it out on somebody else.”

“You want to know what’s gotten into me?”

“Yes, I do.”

“I’ll show you.”

Maybe it was the champagne. Maybe it was just the mad. Or maybe it was the look of baffled annoyance on his face. But she went with the impulse that had been bubbling inside her for years.

She grabbed him by the perfect knot of his elegant tie, jerked him down even as she gripped a handful of his hair, and yanked him forward. And she fixed her mouth to his in a hot, sizzling, frustrated kiss, one that gave her heart a jolt even as her mind purred:
I knew it!

She threw him off balance—she meant to—so his hands came to her hips, and his fingers dug in for one gloriously heady moment.

She threw herself into that moment, to exploit, to savor, to absorb. Tastes and textures, heat and hunger, all there for the taking. She took exactly what she wanted, then shoved him away.

“There.” She tossed her hair back while he stared at her. “The sky did not fall, the world did not end, neither of us was struck by lightning or beamed straight to hell. I’m not your damn sister, Delaney. That ought to make it clear.”

She strode out of the kitchen without a backward glance.

Aroused, astonished, and still considerably annoyed, he stood exactly where he was. “What was that? What the hell was that?”


Since they’ve known each other since they were kids, Del and Laurel agree to date (sans sex—at first) to see where that kiss might lead. Naturally, it eventually leads to sex (including a sexy, hot workout scene!) and they soon discover that even though they know a lot about each other, there’s always more to learn.

And there’d been something about the way she’d touched his face—just that simple, understanding gesture, that had something inside him shifting. He wasn’t sure what it was, what it meant, or what it meant that every time he looked at her now he saw something new, something else.

How could you know someone all your life, and still discover something new?


As much as Laurel wants to be with Del, she still has her doubts that she’s good enough for him. Can Del prove to her that she is everything he wants and needs?

Savor the Moment is a great addition to the Bride Quartet series. Of course, it stands completely on its own, but I relished the little things that you pick up from having read the other books in the series first. I will say this about Nora Roberts—she writes the relationship between friends, whether it’s guys or gals, extremely well. She doesn’t just tell you that they’re friends, she shows you through the characters’ interactions, dialogue, and gestures. She allows the reader to feel as if they are a part of the group and I love that. Just as with the first two books’ heroes and heroines, Laurel and Del were perfectly matched. Readers also get a pretty good idea of who Parker will be paired with and I will say that I cannot wait for that book! Thankfully, Ms. Roberts writes fast and we won’t have long to wait. In the meantime, enjoy Savor the Moment!

~Andrea

Monday, April 26, 2010

Interview with Sarah MacLean



We are thrilled to have with us today Avon author Sarah MacLean. I'm sure you have heard of her as the chatter surround her latest release, NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE, has been astounding. Being the daughter of a British spy and a jet-setting Italian, you can be sure Sarah has plenty of stories to tell. Please give a very warm Romance Dish welcome to the next author to find herself on your keeper shelf . . . Sarah MacLean!






Thanks for having me over at The Romance Dish!


Sarah, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?


I’m a 31-year-old romance novel addict who has wanted to be a romance novelist for as long as I can remember. After bouncing through several jobs and a stint at graduate school, I finally set pen to paper and wrote my first book, a YA romance called THE SEASON. After that, I decided to try my hand at the naughty stuff . . . and my first adult romance, NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE is in stores now!


As someone who enjoys reading the naughty stuff, I'm so glad you did! Here at The Romance Dish, we love to hear author call stories. Would you mind sharing your call story with us?

I’ll tell you my NINE RULES call story with pleasure! My fabulous agent, Alyssa Eisner Henkin, sent out the manuscript two Thursdays before Thanksgiving, and we were pretty certain that we wouldn’t hear a thing until after Turkey day . . . possibly in the new year. Well, she had a call on the following Monday from an editor who had read it over the weekend, and another on Tuesday from a different editor. That sent the book to auction. On Friday, I met with the editorial team at Avon Books to chat about romance in general and the manuscript in particular. My fabulous editor, Carrie Feron, offered on the Nine Rules series a few hours after that, and I was thrilled to sell the book to Avon—the house I’d been dreaming of writing with since I was a kid, reading Jude Deveraux.


I am sure you were beyond thrilled, especially to have the book go to auction. That is just wonderful! For those who have not had the pleasure of reading NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE, please tell us about the novel.

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell is a 28-year-old spinster who, on the evening of her baby sisters betrothal in a love match, decides that she’s tired of sitting on her dusty shelf and makes a list of nine things she would do if she had no restrictions and no worry about her reputation. After too much sherry, she decides to do the first—and most nerve wracking—thing on the list. That leads her into the bedchamber and the arms of notorious rake Gabriel, the Marquess of Ralston . . . and trouble ensues.


As you know from my 5-star review (which you can read here), I absolutely LOVED this book. Ever since reading it I have wondered how you were inspired to write this particular story. Can you share that with us?

I love wallflower/rake stories. Particularly when the wallflower in question is a spinster as well. I wanted to write a story about a heroine who decides to take action by herself. On her own. And I wanted her decision to change to open her to the possibility of love. So, I asked myself . . . what would it take for a 28-year-old wallflower to make this kind of commitment? And who is the man who could handle her newfound willingness to take risks? NINE RULES was born.


How did come up with the particular nine rules? I can imagine sitting around with a girlfriend or two and having the list come from our conversation.

LOL! You’re not too far off! I knew Callie was going to make a list, but I didn’t have all nine items to begin with. That’s where my sister (who also loves romance) came in very handy. We came up with the full list in about 15 minutes on the phone one night while I was walking the dog. From there, the story tells itself!


It is wonderful to have a sister to help you when you need it! I think one of my favorite scenes in the book is when Callie shows up at Gabriel’s home late at night requesting a kiss from him. I turned to mush when he delivered that kiss and told her kisses should leave you wanting. *sigh* Did you find it easy or difficult to write such emotional and passionate scenes?

Love scenes are a challenge for me. I never want them to feel tired or wrote, and so it’s difficult because the vocabulary, the actions, the events that occur as the scenes progress require much more thought than other scenes in the book that can sometimes pour onto the page. That said, I prefer my love scenes to move the plot forward—so it’s nice to have a touchstone in them that allows the story to progress.


With the current success of NINE RULES, have you been surprised by the outpouring of support you have received from the romance community?

So surprised . . . and so thrilled! It’s pretty amazing to get email from authors who have been personal heroes and inspirations . . . and I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received from readers and booksellers and bloggers--the romance community is a wonderful place. I’m honored to be a part of it!


I totally agree with you -- there is nothing quite like the romance community. Everyone is just so supportive!

The hero of NINE RULES has a twin brother and a half sister. Please (puleeeeeze!) tell us each of these fabulous secondary characters will have their own HEA.

Yes! Nicholas St. John, Ralston’s twin, is the hero of my next book, TEN WAYS TO BE ADORED WHEN LANDING A LORD (out October 26th), and Juliana’s story, which I’m writing now, is out in Summer of 2011!


Wooohooooo!!! I'm so glad to hear each of them will get their happily ever after. I do believe there just might be a teeny, weeny fight here at The Romance Dish to see who gets to review them :0


Can you share with us what you are currently working on?

Aside from Juliana’s story, I’m also working on a YA project that I can’t say too much about, but will hopefully have news on in the coming months! Suffice to say . . . I’m keeping busy!


Yes, I would say that you do keep busy!! When you are not creating fabulous novels for us to enjoy, how do you like to spend your time?

My husband and I live with our dog in New York City, so we spend lots of time wandering around the city and exploring—we’re big foodies, so we’re always on the lookout for great restaurants! Other than that, reading, cooking and watching The West Wing over and over and over!


LOL! We are big foodies at my house too. We are always watching Man vs. Food or Diners, Drive-in and Dives.

What is one fact about yourself that we would find intriguing?

I took two years of Icelandic in college. I’ve never had to use it . . . but I can read it pretty well!


WOW, really? Icelandic? That *is* very interesting.

Will you be attending the RWA National Conference in Nashville?

Absolutely! I’ll be signing at the Literacy Signing . . . come over and say hi!


Oh, don't you worry, I'm pretty sure we will all be stopping by to exchange greetings!


Time for the Quick Six Segment:

Historical or contemporary? While I’m writing, contemporary. While I’m on a break, historical.

Roses or daisies? Roses.

Sweet or unsweetened tea? Unsweetened.

Heels or sneakers? Sneakers.

Cat or dog? Dog. But only because my husband is allergic to cats. If he weren’t, the answer would be both.

Yankees or Mets? Yankees!


Sarah, thank you so much for joining us today. I have truly enjoyed interviewing you and I am looking forward to meeting you in Nashville.


So which rule would you break if there were no repercussions? One lucky commenter will win a copy of NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE.

And be sure to check out Sarah's
website. It is full of wonderful tidbits and fun blog posts.


~ Buffie

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Margo Maguire Winner!



Thanks to random.org, the winner of THE ROGUE PRINCE is:

MARISKA

Congratulations, Mariska!!
Please send your full name and mailing address
to theromancedishATgmailDOTcom
with "Margo Maguire Winner" as the subject.

GIVEAWAY - Hannah's List

We have three (3) hardcover copies of HANNAH'S LIST to give away. In addition to the books, one lucky person will also receive a $25 Visa Gift Card. Many thanks to Big Honcho Media for providing the four giveaway items. Per their shipping policy, this book giveaway is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.) Random.org will be used to select the recipients of the giveaway. Leave a comment on this post no later than 11:59PM, May 9, 2010 to be eligible. Earn extra entries by posting this giveaway on your blog or Facebook page. (post link in comments to be eligible)



#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR DEBBIE MACOMBER
REVEALS A LOVE LETTER LIKE NO OTHER.


A grieving widower receives an unexpected gift of love from his late wife on the anniversary of her death in HANNAH’S LIST, the emotionally powerful new novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber. Connected to her bestselling Blossom Street books (SUMMER ON BLOSSOM STREET, TWENTY WISHES, BACK ON BLOSSOM STREET, SUSANNAH’S GARDEN, A GOOD YARN and THE SHOP ON BLOSSOM STREET) this story continues her moving exploration of the complex relationships among family and friends.

HANNAH’S LIST
By DEBBIE MACOMBER
MIRA BOOKS
April 27, 2010
$24.95 U.S/$27.95 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-2780-6





Debbie Macomber, the author of 92 Pacific Boulevard, 8 Sandpiper Way, Summer on Blossom Street and Twenty Wishes, has become a leading voice in women’s fiction worldwide. Her work has appeared on every major bestseller list, including those of the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Publishers Weekly. She is a multiple award winner, and won the 2005 Quill Award for Best Romance. More than a hundred million copies of her books have been sold worldwide. For more information on Debbie and her books, visit her Web site, www.debbiemacomber.com and don't forget to check out the site for HANNAH'S LIST at www.hannahslist.com.

The Romance Dish received a review copy of HANNAH'S LIST in support of this post.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Committed to Elizabeth Gilbert

by Anna Campbell

Most romance novels and I'd say nearly ALL historical romance novels, including mine, end with a marriage or the promise of marriage or a couple who married earlier in the book vowing eternal devotion. Marriage is de rigeur!

So as you can imagine, I spend quite a bit of my time thinking about marriage!

Which makes COMMITTED: A SKEPTIC MAKES PEACE WITH MARRIAGE by Elizabeth Gilbert required reading.

Like millions of people around the world, I found myself intrigued by the premise of Elizabeth Gilbert's mega-bestseller EAT, PRAY, LOVE (it will surprise nobody when I confess the 'Eat' bit was my favorite - I'm still dreaming of Italian ice-cream and it's six months since I read the book! Now that's powerfully descriptive writing!). In EAT, PRAY, LOVE, Elizabeth Gilbert sets out to discover the meaning of life via the three paths in the title. The last section 'Love' describes how she falls in love with a Brazilian man she meets in Bali. At the end, they have decided to share their lives.

COMMITTED is in many ways a sequel to EAT, PRAY, LOVE although it goes off on its own tangents and has its own journey to relate. Elizabeth and Felipe, her lover, begin their new life together, unaware that their frequent comings and goings in the U.S. attract the attention of the authorities. Eventually, the U.S. refuses to grant Felipe a visa and our protagonists' only solution if they wish to continue to live together is to marry.

Which would be fine except that both Elizabeth and Felipe have gone through painful divorces and have sworn never to marry again. It's a bit like the old Groucho Marx joke about "Marriage is a wonderful institution. But who wants to live in an institution?"

COMMITTED details the soul-searching Elizabeth undergoes as she and Felipe spend months wandering South-East Asia and wait to pass the various administrative requirements for their entry into the U.S. One of the unconscious ironies of the book is that all this takes place before EAT, PRAY, LOVE becomes a worldwide phenomenon. Money is tight and financial stresses and the discomforts of rough travel increase the pressures on their relationship.

Part of Elizabeth's soul-searching involves taking a global view of marriage. She looks into the history of the institution and also talks to the many women from various backgrounds she meets along the way. There are some fascinating insights into the traditional, usually family-arranged matches in South-East Asian society, so different and in some ways, so much more stable, than the giddy, love-based marriages in the West.

She delves into her past and why her own marriage failed, leaving so many emotional scars. She examines the marriages of family and friends in America. Felipe's past comes into play, obviously, but she's mainly looking at the female experience of marriage - what benefits does marriage offer a woman, what are the sacrifices? Can Elizabeth create a balance of these two elements so she can reconcile herself to marrying Felipe, a step they have to take if she is to return to her home in the United States as a permanent resident.

I found this book completely compelling. I could hardly put it down! I think the secret is the same thing that had people breathlessly recommending EAT, PRAY, LOVE to all their friends. Elizabeth Gilbert is almost scarily honest and her sincerity, her fiery intelligence, her intense emotional commitment to the life she lives all make the story unforgettable. She engages so vividly with everyone she meets and so intimately with the reader.

You feel her deep commitment to Felipe and yet her understandable hesitation about taking this step that has proven so disastrously wrong in the past. You cheer her courage as she continually faces up to her fears and eventually overcomes them. At the end, which is a joyous celebration of community and commitment (I love the various meanings of 'committed' that you can read into the title - at the start, it's perfectly clear that Elizabeth thinks anyone who marries is mad enough to be committed!), I had tears in my eyes. Ultimately, this exploration of marriage ends with moving emotion and shining hope for the future.

Well worth reading! Even if you're not a romance novelist!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Interview with Margo Maguire


I can't tell you how excited I am to have author Margo Maguire with us today. Well, excited is just not the right word, but I can't seem to find the right word. But Margo always does! See, I have been a fan of Margo Maguire for years. She is an auto buy for me. Her novels never fail to bring me hours of pleasure and always leave me wanting more of her stories. Margo has published 17 novels in 12 languages and even has had her novels turned into magna-animated books in Japan. She is a featured authored at The Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills website. And she holds more than one spot on my keeper shelf. Please give a warm welcome to Margo Maguire (and ignore my squeals).



Thank you so much for inviting me today! I'm very excited to share some background on my new book from Avon that will be out next Tuesday.

Margo, it is such a pleasure to have you with us. As you know I just loved The Rogue Prince! (Check out my review here) But for those who haven't heard about your latest work, please tell us a little bit about The Rogue Prince.

The premise of The Rogue Prince is all about revenge. Before the story opens, Thomas Thorne is a 17 year-old horse-country boy who is transported to a penal colony for a crime he did not commit. He was framed by two arrogant aristocratic boys (Shefford and Blackmore), just for their amusement. When Tom returns to London years later as the incredibly wealthy "Prince of Sabedoria," all he wants is to destroy the two boys and their families - just as his own were destroyed. The hitch is that the woman he falls for (Maggie) is the widow of Blackmore and step-sister of Shefford. Destroying them will destroy her.


Just hearing your description of the book makes me want to pull it out and read it again. Where did you get the inspiration for this book?


The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite novels . . . but I've always wished it wasn't quite as dark, and there was more romance. So I would say that the plight of Edmond Dantes was the inspiration for THE ROGUE PRINCE. And I was very happy not to include 300 pages that covered his imprisonment!


Yes, 300 pages of imprisonment would definitely dampen the romance. LOL! Speaking of romance, the intensity of emotion and passion between Maggie and Thomas is astounding. Did you find it difficult writing such intense scenes?


Deep emotion is always hard to write. As a writer, you have to put yourself in the place of the character and feel his (and her) anger, his passion, his distrust or his need. Then you have to put it into words. And not words like "he was so angry." I have to SHOW you how angry he was. His actions will do that, and I think THAT is what makes writing such a challenge.


You certainly are up for the challenge! Will any of the secondary characters from The Rogue Prince have their own book?

Probably not. Maggie's friends are married and don't really lend themselves to a future romance. :-) And Tom's cohorts ride away with the happy couple into the sunset. I don't want to give anything away here . . . but things don't end in your typical English Regency way. Certainly, there is a "happily ever after" but it's a different fate for Tom and Maggie than what you usually see in a regency novel.

Even though the ending is not a traditional regency happily every after, I thought it was the perfect ending for Tom and Maggie. Though I have to say I was hoping for a story on Nate. Guess I will leave that to my own imagination :-)

After writing 17 novels, how do you keep the writing process fresh?

I think it's because every book is new and different to me. There are new characters to explore, new conflicts to deal with. A lot of what makes a novel enjoyable is when the author places the characters in situations that challenge their beliefs and their abilities. It's a challenge to the author, too!


As a huge lover of medieval romances, I have enjoyed your medieval novels for years. Why does this time period seem to call out to you?

You might already know this, but my first career was as a critical care nurse. And when burn-out hit me, I went back to college and earned a degree in history. I specialized in American history, but I absolutely adored my classes on Medieval life -- and I couldn't imagine any fiction that could possibly be stranger than what I learned about the Dark Ages. There was an innocence about that time period, with chivalry and "courtly love" that just begs to be explored with fictional characters. Knights in armor? Damsels who put them in their place?


Exactly why I love reading medievals! Other than one of your own fabulous medievals, do you have a favorite medieval novel that you tend to read over and over again?

I loved THE PRIZE by Julie Garwood. Haven't read it in a long time, but maybe I'll have to search for my copy on one of my "keeper" shelves.


Julie Garwood is one of my favorites, too! Her novel THE WEDDING is the book that got me started on reading romance. Can you tell us what you are working on now?

I'm working on a novel called SEDUCING THE GOVERNESS, which will be out in late February, 2011. The setting is England's Lake District, and the hero is a former army officer who was wounded at Waterloo and is now earl of a rundown estate, and reluctant guardian of his 8 year-old niece. There is a lot of built-in conflict in this scenario, but adding to that, just before the story begins, the heroine learns that she is not the biological daughter of her parents. They have recently died, and there is no one to ask where she came from.


Oooh, that sounds like another winner Margo!! When you are not spinning your next creation, what do you like to do?

Gosh - it seems like there's never enough time for everything I want to accomplish. I love to travel. And read, of course. I do a lot of cooking, and my favorite kind is when I'm trying out a new, elaborate recipe for my family and friends. My husband and I entertain A LOT! Lately, I've been far too distracted by our kitchen renovation -- we had the room enlarged, which is absolutely great, but then choosing cabinets and countertops, tile and flooring . . . very time-consuming!


My, that does sound very time consuming, but I'm sure the end result will be fabulous. So in the midst of all the renovations, are you currently reading a book? If so, please tell us what it is.

I'm reading several books at once (I always do!) The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Muriel Barbery), Midnight Pleasures with a Scoundrel (Lorraine Heath) and Decency and Disorder, The Age of Cant 1789-1837 (Ben Wilson).


Gee, you even multi-task while reading! I have not quite mastered that skill. Will you be attending the RWA Conference in Nashville this year?


Yes! I always look forward to getting together with readers as well as my writing cohorts.


YAY! Be on the look out for squealing me :-)


Now it's time for our quick six segment:

Tom boy or girly girl? Somewhere in between - probably more girly girl as I get older.

Beach or mountains? Mountains, definitely

Chocolate or peanut butter? Oooohh. That's a tough one. Chocolate.

Coffee or tea? Coffee.

Big city or the country? Another tough one. I love both. But I'll have to go with Big City.
Spring or fall? Fall.

Thank you for talking with us today, Margo. I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed this interview. It has been a true fan girl moment for me.

Is there anything you would like to ask our readers?

Yes! The settings of my novels are very important to me. In TAKEN BY THE LAIRD, I had to find the exact castle on the Scottish coast that could be haunted -- it was almost a character in itself. I came across Dunnotter Castle which was the absolute perfect inspiration for Castle Glenloch.

THE ROGUE PRINCE takes place mostly in London, but Tom buys an outrageously ostentatious house in the country where a lot of the action takes place.

So I'm wondering how important the setting of a book is to you. Would you like to see a few more exotic settings? Like Paris? Or Russia? How about a Caribbean island? What do you think?

One lucky commenter will win a copy of THE ROGUE PRINCE.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review -- Lover Mine

Lover Mine
By J.R. Ward
Publisher: NAL
Release Date: April 27, 2010










I have often referred to J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series as "book crack." Lover Mine, the eighth book in this phenomenal series, continues to feed my addiction in a big way! Fans finally get John Matthew's story and it is most definitely worth the wait.

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was --or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned with a different face and a very different destiny.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between herself and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

The story begins just four weeks after the end of Lover Avenged, and John Matthew is searching for Xhex, who has been abducted by Lash, John's nemesis and the son of the evil Omega. John fears that Xhex is no longer alive and the thought that she may have died, especially at the hands of Lash, is driving him mad. But he channels his grief and anger into a stronger-than-steel determination to find Xhex no matter the cost. With his body guard, Qhuinn and friend Blay at his side, John Matthew searches the streets of Caldwell every night, praying that he will find a clue to Xhex's whereabouts.

Xhex is being held in Lash's brownstone, the victim of some sort of cloaking spell where only Lash can see her. Growing weaker by the day from fighting off Lash and the lack of blood that her vampire half requires, Xhex begins to doubt that she will ever escape, that she will die at the hands of her enemy. Her despair reaches a crescendo when the John and the Brothers come to the brownstone searching for her, and while she can see them, they cannot see her or hear her screams. When she sees the agony on John Matthew's face when he thinks he has failed to rescue her, her heart aches.


For all of her life, Xhex's heart had not been prone to breaking. She'd long suspected that it was a result of her symphath side, a kind of congenital condition that hardened her about things that most females lost it over.

Turned out that was wrong, however.

As she stood beside John Matthew, and watched his huge body crumple down by the bed, the organ that beat behind her sternum shattered like a mirror.

Nothing but shards.

She was utterly and completely ruined as he cradled that pillow like it was a newborn, and in this moment of his utter despair, she would have done anything to ease his pain: Even though she had no idea why he felt the way he so clearly did, the reasons were unimportant.

His suffering was paramount.



But fate is on Xhex's side, and she manages to escape. John Matthew finds her at her apartment, bruised and bloodied, so he takes her back to the Brother's mansion so Doc Jane (Vishous's mate) can take care of her injuries. Seeing the female he loves broken tears John apart and makes him want to destroy Lash even more. But his primary concern is Xhex and seeing that her physical and emotional scars are healed.


Outside, he got up on the hospital bed first and it felt like the most natural thing in the world for him to open his arms wide. If he'd thought about it, he wouldn't have made the gesture, but he wasn't thinking.

Which was okay.

Because she came to him as the spraying water in the shower had, drenching him in a warmth that leached through his skin and into his marrow.

But of course, Xhex went even further through him that that. She always had.

Seemed like he'd lost his soul to her the very first time he'd laid eyes on her.

As he clicked off the light and she settled even closer to him, it felt like she was burrowing right into his cold heart and setting up shop, her banked fire thawing his soul out until he took the first honest-to-God deep breath in months.


Xhex now joins forces with John and the rest of the Brothers, continuing to hunt and kill the Lessers and to find and destroy Lash. She knows that until she wields the dagger that pierces Lash's black heart, she will never find the closure that she needs. As tough and fiercely strong as Xhex is, will she have the courage to admit her love for John Matthew and begin a life with him as his mate?

Lover Mine is packed with action, danger, mystery and scorching hot love scenes. While Xhex and John Matthew's story is the centerpiece of the book, there are several side stories: the unrequited love of Blay and Qhuinn, a flashback of past events with Darius and Tohr, Payne's burning desire to leave the Far Side and an odd story of paranormal investigators which sets up a future book in an interesting way. I could make this a mile-long review, but I don't want to reveal any spoilers and ruin the book for anyone.

If you have never read this series--what are you waiting for??--you must read the books in order, beginning with book one, Dark Lover. There are so many characters, events and relationships that you will be lost if you don't start at the beginning. But, oh, what adventures you have in store for you! J.R. Ward is a master storyteller and the Black Dagger Brotherhood series is in a class by itself. And, yes, it's highly addictive. Don't say I didn't warn you! *g*


~ Gannon

Guest Review - - Between Friends

Between Friends
By Kristy Kiernan
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: April 6, 2010




Lifetime friendships are a staple in women’s fiction, but Kristy Kiernan gives the familiar motif a fresh treatment in Between Friends. Despite their very different experiences and ambitions, Ali and Cora have been friends since their early teens. Their friendship remains a central part of their lives even when the free-spirited Cora becomes a professor and pilot who travels the world and conventional Ali settles into married life in their hometown. When the deeply maternal Ali is unable to have a child, Cora becomes an egg donor so that Ali and her husband Benny, who have been in love almost as long as Ali and Cora have been friends, can become parents. Letty, the miracle child conceived in the early days of in vitro fertilization, is now almost fifteen.

As the story begins, Cora has been diagnosed with PKD (polycystic kidney disease) and has returned to Southwest Florida to tell Ali about the illness and to warn her that Letty has a 50 percent chance of developing PKD. Meanwhile, Ali has decided that she wants another baby. After all, there are all those frozen embryos. Benny, who is troubled by problems related to his job as a cop, is adamant that they don’t need another child, and Letty, a rebellious teen, is teetering on the brink of real trouble. Their disagreement about a second child and about parenting Letty create tension in their marriage. Change and secrets complicate all these relationships.

Between Friends is women’s fiction, not romance. Although the love between Ali and Benny is a significant part of the story, as is his relationship with their daughter, the heart of the novel is the relationship between Ali and Cora and the relationship each of them has to Letty. Kiernan alternates narrators throughout the book, so that the reader is given the point of view of Ali, Cora, and Letty. Some readers may find the alternating points of view distracting, but I think no other choice would have allowed readers to understand and empathize with all three characters. I admit I winced when Cora’s disease was revealed. A woman’s courageous struggle with life-threatening illness has been used so often in women’s fiction that it has become a cliché of the genre, but Cora’s battle is not the typical one. In fact, the book is filled with things that could have become clichés—the coming home, the marital problems, the problem teenager. It is to Kiernan’s credit that none of them do. Instead, she crafts credible, imperfect characters who love one another but who sometimes wound one another. They inhabit a world where bad things happen, but where beloved places, hands to hold, and the sun rising on a new day provide solace and the strength to prevail.

One of my tests to separate books that are just okay from those that are special is whether there are moments that stay with me after I’ve finished the book. Between Friends passed the test beautifully. Place is important in my reading, and in sentences like this one, Kiernan provides just enough detail for the reader to have a feel for the specific setting:

“We sat in the sand, still hot enough that it burned through my shorts and soft enough that it cradled me like a mother.”

Letty’s reaction to her celebrity status as a “miracle baby” rang so true to me: 

“I mean, I'm sorry, but it's weird to be, like, seven years old and be talking to my friends' moms about sperm.”

Then there’s the moment when Ali and Cora are talking about Benny and about Ali’s appreciating him anew. Ali says, “He’s really cute.” Both women start laughing and, for me, that shared laughter in the face of all their problems said so much about the friendship. I must remain silent about other unforgettable moments in order to prevent spoilers, but, trust me, there are moments so poignant one hanky may be inadequate.

I like Kristy Kiernan’s voice, and I like her willingness to tackle tough questions. Between Friends was my first Kiernan book, but I’ve already placed on hold at my local library her other novels, Matters of Faith and Catching Genius.

~Janga

Readers:  Do you read women's fiction?  Who are some of your favorite women's fiction authors?  Any books you'd recommend?  

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Living With Autism

Many of you may remember me mentioning in my New Releases for April blog that April is one of my favorite months because it is National Autism Awareness Month. The reason behind this is because my son Dylan has autism. Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). The other pervasive developmental disorders are PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified), Asperger's Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Many refer to this group as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Autism is becoming increasingly more prevalent as it is now diagnosed in 1 out of every 110 children and of those, 1 in 70 are boys. This means it is more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined. But enough about statistics, I want to tell you about Dylan.

From the time Dylan was very little, my husband and I noticed that he wasn’t progressing at the same rate that other kids his age were. He did so many activities later than others: hold his head up, crawl, walk, talk, speak in sentences, etc. He didn’t play socially with other kids, was extremely sensitive to any loud noises/sounds, and he struggled to do certain simple tasks. When we would talk to his pediatrician about it, he told us that some kids just did things at different times, so we didn’t think much about it. Later, we changed pediatricians (which was a blessing!) and when Dylan went for his 3-year check-up, we voiced our concerns to the new doctor. He saw what we saw (finally!) and referred us to a neurologist, who then referred us to a child behavior and development specialist at the University of South Florida. It was a long process as they had waiting lists because children were seen in “blocks”. (Thankfully, today it’s a much speedier process.) The wait killed my husband and me. We experienced so many sleepless nights and I cried more times than I could count. We felt like we had waited years already (which was pretty accurate) and we didn’t want to wait anymore. We just wanted to know so that our little boy could get the help he desperately needed. Dylan was finally seen and tested in May 2004 (at four years old) and was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. We had a feeling that he was autistic so while it was heartbreaking at the time, it was also a relief because we finally knew. The specialists informed us that Dylan was on the milder end of the spectrum, so we counted our blessings for that.

We moved to Georgia in August 2004 and my husband and I agreed that I would quit my job and stay home with the kids (my daughter was 4 months old by this time) because it would be better for them. One of the very first things I did was register Dylan for Pre-K. The school system where we live is phenomenal when it comes to special education services and we feel truly blessed by the many exceptional teachers Dylan has had over the years. They have helped him strive in so many ways. He is very bright kid and loves to read, but is distracted easily and still lacks the social skills of children his age. He often prefers his own company and enjoys what he calls “my time”. In fact, he has only started seeking out other kids his age to play with in the last year or so. He works very hard and has maintained an A/B honor roll status and perfect attendance since first grade. He also recently placed third in his school’s Spelling Bee and reached the 250 AR point club, which is something we never could have imagined happening when he was diagnosed. Needless to say, we are so very, very proud! He still has his little quirks, but everyone knows that that's just Dylan. :) He and his infectious smile have opened our eyes (and our hearts) to view everything in a positive light. He has taught us to appreciate every single accomplishment, whether great or small. He still struggles, but I believe that it just makes him stronger and the end results even sweeter. God had a plan for me to be Dylan’s mom and I’m so glad He did. Yes, my son has autism, but we don’t let it get us down because we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Like I said, we consider ourselves lucky that Dylan is on the milder end of the spectrum; however, so many families aren’t as lucky. Some children never speak and some need to be cared for for the rest of their lives. My husband and I hope and pray that Dylan will be able to live on his own someday. Only time will tell. And if he can’t, we’re fine with that.

In the meantime, we will do our part to help Dylan and children like him. One of the things we do to help is walk. Yes, walk. Last year, we put together a team (Dylan’s Dream Chasers) and participated in the Georgia Walk Now for Autism walk and what a wonderful experience it was! 20,000 participants gave up a Sunday morning to walk 2 miles in support of this worthy cause and a lot of money was raised. They had so many games and activities geared towards autistic children and valuable information for their parents and grandparents. It was amazing.

This year, we are continuing our tradition by raising money and participating in the walk on May 23 in Atlanta. I know that most of you don’t live near Atlanta and are unable to walk with us, but I’d like to ask that if you are able, that you please consider supporting our team by donating to this wonderful cause.

Dylan’s Dream Chasers team page
Andrea’s page
Dylan’s page


I thank you from the bottom of my heart and will leave you with this – a question that is often asked is, “Why do you walk?” My reply:

Because from the moment you were born I knew you would change our lives forever.
I walk for your future.
I walk for your infectious smile; no matter how bad the day seems, seeing your smile changes everything.
I walk for the day we can go to a movie without you covering your ears through most of it.
I walk for the day that you may experience love.
I walk for the children who can’t.
I walk for the parents who are in denial and don’t want to believe their child has a disorder.
I walk because you are my son and I love you with all my heart.



Do you know someone affected by autism or one of the autism spectrum disorders?

For more information about autism and Autism Speaks, please visit http://www.autismspeaks.org/