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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Inspirational Announcement


SWEET INSPIRATION, Klaus Brothers Series #1, will no longer be available for purchase from The Wild Rose Press. As of this week, the rights have reverted back to moi.

It will be re-released this holiday season, with a new cover. Good-bye half-naked chef dude! Good-bye oven mitt! Good-bye castle in the mist! Good-bye cookies!

SWEET MAGIK (book #2 of the Klaus Brothers Series) is still available for purchase.

Thanks to some totally not-that-subtle nudging from Julia Rachel Barrett, I have decided to work on the rest of the series and get it ready for publication for Christmas 2013. I'm leaning towards 2 or 3 novellas....Sweet Adventure is already started. And Sweet Destiny will be the final installment. And maybe Gregor will get his own novella, too. Haven't decided that yet.

All will be available in print and ebook. And possibly packaged together as a holiday series.

So, it looks like I'm headed back to the North Pole. Again. I sort of missed those lunk-headed Klaus boys.

Thinking it's time to break out the gingerbread lattes,
Penelope


Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Morning Updates




Here's a totally random stream-of-consciousness rambling. With a couple of rants thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!


1. I attempted to read Kissin' Tell (Rough Riders #13) by Lorelei James this weekend. Ugh! I DNFed it. The "hero" was a man slut who couldn't remember the names of the women he slept with. The heroine was a horndog who was pissed at the hero for treating her with respect and consideration instead of boinking her the first chance he got. Ooooooo-kay. I hated them separately. I hated them together. I hated the storyline (a repeat of the same old "blackmail you into sleeping with me" thing that I've already seen by this author). This was awful. I had to read two back-to-back Stephanie Laurens to erase the memory from my mind. Yuck.

For the record, I recently read All Jacked Up (Rough Riders #8) which I loved (5 stars). This series is pretty uneven....there are some great reads and some stinkers. Oh well.

2. In light of the ridiculousness that is happening at Goodreads (ridiculous authors getting their panties in a bunch, ridiculous reviewers ganging up on commenters, asinine Goodreads policies about posting reviews and comments), I have actually gone back to the Amazon romance message boards! Ha! Never thought that would happen. But guess what I found? There is almost no self-promo going on, and there are actually some excellent conversations about books and reading. Hmmm. Which I think is what Goodreads is supposed to be, but....um....that ain't happening lately. Hell has indeed frozen over.

3. I was forced to take my daughter and her friend to Ice Age 4. The only thing I hate more than kiddy movies is.....um, there isn't anything. I hate kiddy movies with a passion usually reserved for a bearded Hugh Jackman. Well, the joke's on me! Because the movie was actually sort of cute and I didn't want to pierce my eyeball with a sharp stick. And the preview for Rise of the Guardians (2013) looked totally rockin'.....can't wait for that one.

4. Some exciting NECRWA news.....our own Caroline Linden won the RITA for Romance Novella (I LOVE THE EARL)! Yippeee! Way to go, Caroline!

5. Twitter Tip: If you decide to follow someone, say hello. Don't just follow them, and expect a follow back. Be polite. New people who follow you but don't say hi are sort of like creepy folks standing next to you at a party. Just standing there. Staring. (*Penny looks over her shoulder*)

6. I convinced my hubby to take me out for Mexican food this weekend. As I was enjoying my icy cold Corona, the family sitting next to us (2 extremely young parents and 4 kids all under the age of 8) started a food fight. At a restaurant. No sh*t. There were French fries flying through the air. The dad completely ignored the entire thing...he was looking at his iphone the whole time. The mom was yelling "Stop it! Stop it!" And the kids were laughing their asses off and flinging food at each other. After they left, my hubs turned to me and said (with a totally straight face) "I think those parents might have been in over their heads." Ya think? Oy.

7. Time for one of my all-time biggest pet peeves. Ready? I HATE HATE HATE it when I want to make a hotel reservation, call a nice hotel, and find out that they have a two-night minimum stay. In other words, they are discriminating against single-night travelers. A hotel has absolutely no freakin' business trying to dictate my travel plans. If I want to say one night, then I want to stay one night. And if they are not willing to accommodate me or anyone else interested in a single night stay, then they need to put IN BIG BOLD WRITING ON THEIR HOMEPAGE.....

SINGLE NIGHT TRAVELERS ARE NOT WELCOME HERE

I find it unbelievably rude for hotels to follow this policy. And once I find out that a hotel does this, I will never call them again. Ever. I tried to make reservations in Newport for a weekend in August, and I finally gave up. But guess what? There were many lovely hotels in New Hampshire who welcomed me with open arms. God bless New Hampshire. I will be staying at the Hanover Inn and taking my mother to Simon Pearce Restaurant for a delicious meal at my favorite restaurant. I'm really looking forward to it!

Thus concludes my rambling and rants for the morning. I hope everyone has a great week!

All my best,
Penelope

Friday, July 27, 2012

4 MINUTES....For A Driver's License!


I just got my driver's license updated....photo AND vision test. And it took 4 MINUTES!

Let me repeat that.

4 MINUTES!


Holy Madonna Video, Batman!

(By the way, I went to AAA....un-freakin'-believable!)

I made my hair head-banger huge for the event. My 9 year old daughter told me I looked "inappropriate" for a driver's license photo and made me put my hair up in a clip.

Foiled yet again!

Have a great day,
Penelope



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Old People In Love


I've sent my Lumberjack book off to the editor. The weenie dog book is chugging along nicely. And I have about 7 other WIPs I'm working on. Paranormal, a mystery, Christmas story, etc etc. So, I had to make a decision. What to work on next?

It's hard to figure out what the next big trend will be in romance. Or anything for that matter. Who could have guessed that a poorly written vanilla BDSM book with an a-hole hero and a dim wit heroine would be a huge sensation? Or a sparkly vampire? Or a wizard? What will be the next big thing?

To be honest, I couldn't care less. And I never have. I have always been attracted to the stuff that is outside of the box. The stuff that is a little bit different, wacky, unusual, quirky. Something that is NOT the big trend, but rather....bucks the trend.

Well, I have no idea if hairy, beardy lumberjacks will become a big trend, but I sure do love them. And that's just fine with me. 

I had a character in my head, and he's old, he's curmudgeonly, and he falls in love unexpectedly. He's a great character. And I decided, even though "Old People In Love" is not exactly a hot trend in romance (haaaaaaa!), I'm writing the damned thing.

So, without further ado, here's the beginning of OLD PEOPLE IN LOVE - A GERIATRIC LOVE STORY by Penny Watson.....




Chapter One

The Old Coot



            “I would like to reiterate that I think this is a horrible idea. Awful. What the hell were we thinking?” Karen let out a long-suffering sigh and glared at her husband.
            John attempted to toss his empty beer bottle into the recycling bin. He missed. It rolled across the warped kitchen floor and stopped a couple of inches from the door.
            “You’re over-reacting, Karen. It’s not that big a deal. Your mom can handle my dad for a few days. We’ll be there Wednesday. How bad could it be?”
            Karen leaned over to collect the errant bottle. She whipped it side-arm across the kitchen. It sailed right under the counter and banked off the back of the bin. John was impressed. But then again, he was often impressed by Karen. The woman could cook like a pro, balance the checkbook, and blow him till his eyes crossed. She was a good wife. Great even. But she worried about her mom. And although he wouldn’t admit it, she might have a good reason to at the moment.
            “Your dad is a son-of-a-bitch. He has no social skills, hates visitors, and is down-right combative when anyone tries to tell him what to do.” She planted a hand on her denim-covered hip and took a deep breath to control her anger. Her breasts, plump and ripe, rose and fell under John’s watchful eyes. “My mom is polite to a fault, wants to please everyone, and gives advice like Dear Freakin’ Abby. Those two are going to kill each other after spending five days together. I should have booked a room for my mom at the inn in South Hardin.”
            John pushed himself off the island and sauntered over to Karen. He planted his arms on either side of her lush hips and smiled. “Honey. We tried to get her a room. It was booked because of the holiday. There’s nothing we can do. Your mom and my dad will manage to survive five days together, and everything will be fine.” Secretly, he was thinking Mrs. Shackel might end up sleeping in her car after twenty four hours. Maybe twelve. His dad was tough. John shrugged and lowered his face to his wife’s cleavage. “Nice view.”
            Karen giggled. “Don’t try to distract me, you horn dog.”
            He rubbed his face back and forth and then howled mournfully.
            Karen grabbed a handful of his hair and yanked up his head.
            “Ow! Take it easy, hon.” Well, hell. She had that goofy look in her eye. He could probably squeeze in a quick BJ before the game started.
            “I can’t believe we got a burst pipe this week. Thank God Joey can repair it tomorrow. Hopefully my mom will make the best of it.” She kissed his forehead. It was sappy, but he loved it when she did that. “I guess my mom will stay busy cooking Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll probably have a seventy two course meal by the time we get there.”
            He laughed. “Yeah. With my dad’s head on a platter.”
            Karen laughed, too. “With an apple stuffed in his mouth.”
            “And a cigarette hanging out the side.”
            “My mom makes really good apple stuffing.” Karen bit her lip. She was still nervous, he could tell. He slid down to the floor and kissed her puss right through the front of her jeans.
            “How ‘bout I stuff you, sweet thing?”
            Karen shook her head. “You have a way with words, John.”
            He missed half of the first quarter.


:^)
Hope everyone has a great day,
Penny


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy Happy Joy Joy


Just trying to combat the dump truck filled with negative news and bad stuff going on right now.

Have a great day!








"Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake...."

Francis Bacon, Sr.


All my best,
Penelope





Monday, July 23, 2012

What Do You Do When You're Stuck On A Plane And The Nora Roberts Book You're Reading Is Missing 20 Pages.....




....you keep reading.

Yep, that's right. I was stuck in an airplane with a book I purchased at the airport gift shop---Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts--when I realized that 20 pages, right in the middle of the book, during a crucial and climatic scene in the story, were missing.

What I wanted to do......whip the book down the aisle and curse like a sailor.

What I did instead.....grumble under my breath and finish the damn thing. It took 13 god-damned hours to get to Hawaii, and I didn't have much of a choice.

Anyhoo.....here are some super-quickie updates from my reading extravaganza on the plane and before and after vacation. Enjoy!


1. Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

This is a friends-to-lovers book, with WAY too much information about how to run your own wedding business. If you're interested in learning how to run your own wedding business, then this is the book for you. If not, you can skim over the enormous amount of detail about flowers, brides, dresses, and irritating family members, and enjoy a romance hidden in there somewhere. The chemistry between the gang of girlfriends was great, the romance between the H/h wasn't quite as hot. Grade: B-

2. A Rogue By Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

I bought this book to include in my "Penelope Project"....the heroine's name is Penelope, of course. I had never read a Sarah MacLean book before, and I was, quite simply, blown out of the choppy Hawaiian waters by this book. Yowzah! I LOVED LOVED LOVED it. It was very reminiscent of the Derek Craven-Sara Fielding relationship in Lisa Kleypas' book Dreaming of You, which is one of my all-time fav romance novels. MacLean's book is wonderful....well written, a great story, fabulous characters, and utterly, beautifully romantic. Sigh, swoon, swoon, sigh. Count me on the Sarah MacLean Bandwagon. LOVED! Grade: A+

3. Devil's Luck by Carolyn Crane

This is a short story that is part of the Disillusionist series. I continue to be awe-struck by Crane's talent. I love how her mind works....she has a truly unique way of looking at the world around her, and that comes through in her characters, the way she builds a story, and her wonderful and quirky voice. Hot damn, this was a great novella, and I sure hope she writes the epilogue she's considering. Do it, CC! Grade: A

4. Innocent Secretary...Accidentally Pregnant by Carol Marinelli

I was in the mood for a Harly, so I gave this one a go. They just don't make innocent virgin secretaries like they used to. Secretary manages to have a night of earth-shattering sex after a lifetime of celibacy, hero manages to be a dickwad until practically the last page of the book, and a baby manages to appear in spite of responsible birth control measures. Harly Power! Grade: B

5. Forbidden Falls by Robyn Carr

Another emotional story by Carr. Loved the H and h in this one, although the hero is a little bit too good to be true, but their love story is super satisfying. I was jonesing for some more sex scenes, and I think the villain sort of fizzled out at the end. Otherwise, nice story. Grade: B+

6. Nauti Nights by Lora Leigh

Since Wild Card is one my favorite guilty pleasures, I decided to try another LL book. I actually DNFed this one, but then decided to finish it because I was bored! Ha! Well, it had some major problems...a totally asinine premise and a HUGE misunderstanding that drove me bonkers and took too long to get resolved. There is a lot of sex, but it took a while to get to the emotional connection. It finally got better by the end, but I still liked Wild Card better. And I laughed out loud when the hero of this book used the "sweetest candy" line...."You taste like the sweetest candy, baby." Oh yeah! That is totally tat material, baby! Grade: B-


I also read a couple of short stories by Dana Stabenow on the plane, and a re-read of my fav Amanda Quick, With This Ring. And watched some awful movies, drank a lot of ginger ale, and wished that time travel had already been invented.

Hope everyone has a great week!
Penny

Friday, July 20, 2012

Feeling Wonky



Once upon a time, I coerced my good friend Bobbi Baby (Bobbi Ruggiero) into reading Sweet Dreams, the epic saga by Kristen Ashley that is a discombobulated long-ass mish mash of crappy writing, a hot cussing biker hero, and a make-over heroine. Our cocktail-inspired dialogue of this book is up at Wonk-O-Mance today. Please stop by and heckle us join in the conversation.

(Bobbi thinks Joey should play Tate in the Hollywood version. Babe!)

For my original review, here's the linkie!

Sh*t, babe, I ain't sh*ttin' kidding you. Babe. Sh*t!
Penelope

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Are You Nora Roberts? Why Yes, Yes I Am!



Here's a funny story from my trip to Kauai. While walking through the jungle, a nice woman asked me what I do for a living. I told her I write romance novels. She got all excited and said "Are you Nora Roberts?"

Hee heeeeeee.......

At the time, I was hot and sweaty with a wicked bad sunburn, a Life Is Good visor, my hair was big and frizzy and flying all over the place, and I had my Keens on covered with dirt, mud, and sand.

(Please look at the above photo and laugh your arse off).

On the other hand, I don't think anyone has actually seen me and Nora in the same room at the same time.....

Could be possible!








Hmmmm.....not sure. There is a striking similarity, to be sure.

It's the eyes!


Feeling like a NYT bestseller,
Penelope

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm Back, B*tches!


Koi Pond in Kauai


Aloha, Friends! Penelope is back to the land of reality after a beautiful vacation in Kauai. We explored the island, visited a gorgeous botanical garden, went kayaking and hiking in the jungle, saw lots of incredible waterfalls, got seasick while searching for turtles, ate a Puka Dog (hot dog loaded up with mango relish!), went to a luau, and the kids even took surfing lessons.


Here are some highlights of our trip..... (ETA: If you click on the first photo, you'll see larger versions of the pics)




Waterfall at the Grand Hyatt




My daughter on our beach



Hawaiian Monk Seals taking a snooze 



Scene from a luau



Fire, baby!



My kids paddling out for a surfing lesson



Natty got up on the first try!



Cristian had a blast!



View of Hanalei



Shot from the Allerton Botanic Garden



Reflecting pool



Jumbo Philodendron plant



Totally cool orchid that smells like chocolate



A wee little waterfall


Here's a funny story about our kayaking trip. I partnered with my son.....we were flying through the water like a well-oiled machine. My hubby got stuck with Natty. She was screaming, laughing hysterically, and they smashed into the river banks about 20 times. At the very end of the trip, they cut off the rest of the kayakers, crossed the river, and got to the docking area first. As the rest of the group finished up, Natty stood at the edge of the water with her paddle over her head, and pumped it up and down, yelling "We win! We win!" Heee heee heeee...she is insane.

Anyhoo, it's good to be back home, even though I do miss the wonderful ocean breezes in Kauai. Next on the agenda: baking camp for Nat, and revisions for moi.

Coming soon: Reading Update. I inhaled quite a few books on the hellacious flight to and from Hawaii. One was AMAZING! Tune in next Monday to find out which one was shockingly fabulous. By the way, I decided my new summer blogging schedule will be once a week posts, probably on Mondays. I might add a couple of extra posts here or there, but I'm really trying to finish up 2 books this summer while the kids are in camp. Good luck with that! (I can hear your sarcasm).

Hope all of you have been enjoying your summer.....

All my best,
Penelope


Monday, July 2, 2012

Off To Kauai!


We're off to Kauai!

ALOHA!

Hope everyone has a great 4th of July and enjoys the summer.

I'll be back in a couple of weeks.

All my best,
Penelope

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Martini Club Presents...The Blue Hawaiian


Since I'm leaving for Kauai on Tuesday, I thought I would include a recipe for the Blue Hawaiian. I'll be sure to try one of these next week. (Or twenty).

Blue Hawaiian (recipe from Leite's Culinary)

1 oz light rum
1 oz blue Curacao
1 oz cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
2 oz pineapple juice
Fresh pineapple and cherries for garnish

Add rum, Curacao, cream of coconut and pineapple juice to shaker with ice. Shake well....then pour into a cocktail glass with ice. If you would like a frozen Blue Hawaiian, then put everything into a blender with 1 cup of ice and blend until smooth.

Enjoy while watching the sun set over the ocean,
Penelope