Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Be Brazen For 2015!

Instead of making a list of goals for the new year, I'm going to make a "motto" for the new year.

As you all know, I'm sort of obsessed with the movie Strictly Ballroom. Not only is it quirky, funny, adorable, and crazy romantic, it also has some really awesome messages.

One of my favorite lines in the movie is this...

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived."

In Spanish...

"Vivir con miedo es como vivir a medias."

I really love this quote. I'm all about taking risks. Sometimes I try things that fail. Sometimes I try things that succeed. The thing is...following the trodden-down path is safe. Easy. Boring. It takes courage to try new things, experiment, play around, TRUST YOURSELF. Shake off the failures, dive back into the fray and try something different.

Here is my own quote for the new year...

"Forge your own path. Make your own destiny."
--Penny Watson

Sometimes our lives feel like a jungle, filled with vines and weeds and giant spiders and mosquitoes...

So what happens when you bushwhack through the foliage? What happens when you forge your own path? Maybe your path will look like this...


Buckle up, 2015. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas To All!

Merry Christmas!

As a special Christmas treat for my readers, I wrote a 2nd epilogue for SWEET ADVENTURE! What happens when Andi decides to investigate the ELVES at the North Pole? Find out at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell's blog today. She has the epilogue posted and is offering a giveaway for the KLAUS BROTHERS BOXED SET.

Stop by and leave a comment!

I hope that all of you have a wonderful holiday. HO HO HO!


Friday, December 19, 2014

A Christmas Tale

Conversation at the Penny Watson house last night...

Son: Hey Mom.

Me: Yeah.

Son: You know that Jewish family who lives down the street? At the house with no lights and no tree and no Christmas decorations?

Me: Yeah.

Son: Our house looks exactly like that. EXCEPT WE'RE NOT JEWISH!

Me: What's your point?

Son: Are we ever going to put up our Christmas decorations this year?

After my son shamed me into admitting I was a bit behind with my Christmas preparation (no cookies, no gingerbread house, no decorations, no music, naked tree, no cards) I decided to do something special today. When the kids left for school, I got out all the boxes of stuff, and ran to the hardware store to get new lights (ours were busted), and got to work!

I'm calling this OPERATION ELF. By the time the kids get back from school, the house will be transformed into a winter wonderland...there will be a fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate waiting for them, and Celine Dion Christmas music playing!


Water Naked Tree

I actually got the tree last week, but never decorated it.
It's like we have a real tree growing in our living room!
The kids did not think this was amusing.


 The first time I attempted to put on the lights, the tree looked like crap.
 Too many lights on the bottom, not enough on the top. 
Big gaping holes.
But then I took off my glasses...

 And the tree looked fabulous!
And then I ripped off all the lights and started over again.
Grumble. Grumble.


 We have beaded garlands for the tree.
They're supposed to go into these plastic containers for easy storage.
They didn't.
So I spent 20 minutes pulling them apart.
Good times!

The Balls
(I said balls.)

 We have old gold balls that are scuffed up and falling apart.
I call these "vintage" balls.


 You know how you have the "top tier" special ornaments, 
and then the "back-up" crappy ornaments that go on the back of the tree?
Well, I lost the starting line-up ornaments, 
and now I only have the subs.
I'm sure the top tier ornaments are somewhere in the basement.


Hope everyone is surviving the holidays with good spirits!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Release Day Giveaway for SOLVING FOR NIC: Kindle Paperwhite and More!

I am super excited for the release of SOLVING FOR NIC by Lexxi Callahan! Lexxi writes steamy southern-style romance. This new release--book #2 in the Southern Style Series--has an adorable smarty-pants heroine and a swoon-worthy hero who is a master of seduction. SMOKY HOT, BABY!

To celebrate the release of her new book, Lexxi is offering an amazing giveaway. One lucky winner at my blog will get a $15 gift card, and also have a chance to win the grand prize of a Kindle Paperwhite!

Here are the book blurb and purchase links for SOLVING FOR NIC...


Now that Lizzie Sellers is twenty-one, Nic Maretti can't think of a single reason why he has to stay away from her any longer. When he sees her again at Stefan and Jen's wedding, he decides he wants her. And what Nic wants, Nic gets. 

He just gets a whole lot more than he bargained for with Lizzie.

Lizzie Sellers has had a crush on Nic since she was seventeen. Now that she's started a doctoral program in theoretical math, she decides it's time to put away childish things so she can focus on millennium prizes and solving one of the world's unsolvable problems. So when she sees Nic at Jen and Stefan's wedding she decides it's the perfect opportunity to get him out of her system. There is no way the real Nic Maretti could ever live up to the fantasy she's created over the years.

Except Lizzie finds out quickly that solving her Nic problem may be even more impossible than solving the Riemann Hypothesis. And sometimes reality is way better than fantasy.

What happens when two people who have already made up their minds about their future discover an even better solution that is at once terrifying and irresistible?

“An adorably steamy hot and humorous romance featuring a young brilliant math geek and a 'worldy' slightly jaded playboy who discover that love has no defining boundaries or rules. Review to come.” Tori – Smexybooks

SOLVING FOR NIC by Lexxi Callahan is a wonderful second installment of the Southern Style Series. Once again, Callahan has created a sexy, tender, and troubled couple searching for their happy ending in the southern sunshine. I love this series! – PENNY WATSON, Bestselling Author of APPLES SHOULD BE RED

Purchase Links at...



Barnes and Noble

This is the give-away for the $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card...

A Rafflecopter giveaway

And here is the BIG giveaway for the Kindle Paperwhite! One winner will be chosen from three different websites...

A Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats to Lexxi on her new release!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DON'T FORGET! Holiday Bash and Book Sale on Saturday December 6th!


7 Reasons to attend  
on Saturday Dec. 6, from 12-4 pm
at the Residence Inn, Needham MA


What's better for holiday gifts than BOOKS? Also...fun promo items, jewelry, give-away baskets, and more!


There will be enthusiastic, fun-loving readers, authors, bloggers, friends, and family who want to hang out, chat, drink cocktails, and maybe sway to the holiday music. (GO CELINE DION!)


There will be 40 authors selling their books at this event. What kinds of books? Thanks for asking!

  • Contemporary romance
  • Paranormal romance/UF
  • Erotic romance
  • Historical romance
  • Inspirational romance
  • Romantic comedy
  • Sci fi romance
  • Women's fiction
  • YA/NA
  • Mystery
  • Horror
  • Crime
  • Fantasy
  • Contemporary fiction
  • Historical fiction
  • Memoir
  • Children's fiction
Complete list of authors HERE, including NYT Bestsellers and Award-Winners Hannah Howell, Caroline Linden, Jessica Andersen/Jesse Hayworth, and Annette Blair.

Most book sales will be CASH. Bring some cash! There is also an ATM in the hotel lobby.


There will be a cash bar with wine, beer, and a special holiday drink called THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE!


Admission is free. Promo items are free. You have the chance to win give-away baskets every hour on the hour. And...THERE WILL BE CHRISTMAS COOKIES!


Who doesn't love a party?


For DIRECTIONS to the Residence Inn, check out this LINK!

For more information about the event, check out these links...

Penny Watson's Holiday Bash and Bookfair--has complete list of authors!

Boston.com Events--Penny Watson's Holiday Bash

Boston Event Guide--Penny Watson's Holiday Bash

Needham PATCH--Penny Watson's Holiday Bash


Monday, December 1, 2014

Penelope's 2014 Top 20 List

It's that time again! Time for Penelope's TOP 20 LIST! 
Get ready for hipster cats, psychotic mermaids, 
chocolate-y goodness, caveman heroes, 
and much much more...

1. Best Debut Collection of Short Stories...RIVER TALK by CB Anderson

This is a wonderful collection of short stories. Anderson's writing voice is at times sparse, lyrical, jarring. I adored the bittersweet snippets of life in Maine. Highly recommend this one!

2. Most Blood-Thirsty Mermaid Who Scared The Living Bejimminies Out of Me...Nomia in WAKING THE MERROW by Heather Rigney

WAKING THE MERROW also wins my favorite debut novel for 2014! This book totally rocked my boat. It's a cross-genre, horrifying twist on the mermaid legend that hops back and forth between current times and colonial times in coastal Rhode Island. Scary as hell, great writing, lots of humor, and the promise of more excellent things to come in this series. A HUGE winner!

3. Second-Most Embarrassing Reading Addiction for the Year (Includes Billionaires, Secret Babies, and Wide-Eyed Innocent Heroines)...HARLEQUIN PRESENTS

Thanks to Lexxi Callahan, I may have developed an unhealthy addiction to HP books. I think I read about 200 of them? I'm not counting, because A.) I'm in denial, and B.) I don't want to think about how much money I spent on secret babies this year. Anyway, it's almost impossible for me to pick just one favorite, but I think I've read THE BILLIONAIRE'S PREGNANT MISTRESS by Lucy Monroe about two dozen times. AND IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER! *whimper*


4. Most Adorable Tea Time: BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY...Pinkies Up!

I took my daughter to the afternoon tea at the Boston Public Library, and it was delightful! We had cucumber sandwiches, Mutan White tea with lemon-vanilla and pink rosebuds, and delicious little sweet treats. If anyone is searching for a highly civilized activity in Boston, I highly recommend this ritual.


5. New Favorite Series Filled With Lusty Love and Chocolate-y Goodness...LAURA FLORAND's The Chocolate Series

I have a weakness for foodie books and for authors who make the setting jump off the page. Florand does both with exquisite care. You can practically taste the cinnamon-dusted chocolate as her luscious heroes pull them off the parchment paper. And forget about getting that ticket to Paris. Just read one of her books, and you will be happily transported to the most romantic city on earth--immersed in the sights, the scents, the charm. These books were created for true romance-lovers. Just lovely!

6. New Favorite Cocktail That Packs A Punch...THE MOSCOW MULE

What do you get when you combine icy cold vodka, ginger beer, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and mint in a copper mug? NIRVANA, BABY!

7. Favorite Historical Romance...THE PIRATE'S SECRET BABY by Darlene Marshall

Marshall has the perfect balance for me...lusty romance, humor, flawless writing, colorful characters. I always love her stories. And you can't beat the title--score another point for secret babies!


8. Best Quirky Hipster Romance...GEEK WITH THE CAT TATTOO by Theresa Weir

Oh boy, did I love this book. A smart-ass cat with a POV, a beautifully-written story with music and humor and amazingly romantic moments. I am a HUGE fan of Theresa Weir. I adore authors who take risks and write outside-of-the-box...and then hit a gigantic home run. And this book hit it out of the park for me. Swoony.

9. Favorite Newly Discovered Horror Movie With A Twist...THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

This film came out in 2012, but I didn't watch it until this year. Holy canastas! This was brilliant. A fabulous play on horror victim vs. viewer, mixing up the cliches and expected characters with humor and great cinematography. LOVED!

10. Favorite New Hollywood Cutie Pie...CHRIS PRATT

Coz this...

And this...

And this...

Case closed.


11. Favorite Pilgrimage of the Year/Most Inspirational Author Talk EVER!...LOUISE PENNY

My pal Bobbi Ruggiero and I were lucky enough to hear Louise Penny speak in Norwich, Vermont this past summer. Not only is she an incredibly talented author, she is also gracious, lovely, professional, kind, and thoughtful. I bow down to her greatness. And also give her T-shirts! Hee hee!

12. Favorite New-To-Me Author Writing Irish Small Town Romance...ZARA KEANE

I got a big kick out of LOVE AND SHENANIGANS, an adorable, quirky, funny and romantic story set in a small Irish town. Bravo, Zara Keane!

13. Stupendous New Super Hero Series...VIXEN by Julia Barrett

Totally unexpected mix of crazy-good writing, twists on the super hero concept, and even a spot of romance. I'm eating these up like sour cream-and-onion potato chips. I NEED MORE!

14. Most Embarrassing Neanderthal Hero Addiction I Just Can't Quit...LYNDA CHANCE

There are alpha male heroes...and then there are Lynda Chance alpha male heroes. Basically, a Lynda Chance alpha male hero makes a regular old alpha male hero look like a politically correct hipster who knits and has pet kittens. Lynda Chance alpha male heroes are cavemen who are crude, rude, sexy as all hell, and jacked on testosterone like a lab rat. This is without a doubt my #1 MOST EMBARRASSING ROMANCE ADDICTION for 2014. If I had to pick one favorite it would be SEDUCED BY THE AMERICAN MILLIONAIRE. The characters are a bit older, which I always like. And the hero is...I can't even...OUT OF CONTROL!

15. Favorite Beard of the Year...TOM MISON

Colonial America never looked so good. 

16. Best Furry Urban Legend...YETI

Is he cute and cuddly? Does he like to decapitate people? Depending on whether you adhere to the "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" version or Syfy "Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon" version, you'll either get a super snuggly dude or a furry killer. Take your pick.

Yeti, Girls Gone Wild version

17. Favorite Inspirational Story...THE UNEXPECTED BRIDE by Lena Goldfinch

I don't read a lot of Christian inspirational stories, but this one was lovely. It included several of my favorite topics--mail-order brides and loggers! Goldfinch has a really gorgeous writing style and it was a perfect fit for this adorable book.

18. Most Ridiculous Over-Hyped Concept I Already Discussed Two Years Ago, People!...LUMBERSEXUAL

I think there have been about 4,972 articles about "lumbersexuals" in the last couple of months. My blog post from two years ago...WEENIES IN A PLAID SHIRT

Hipster + Plaid Shirt + Skinny Jeans = NOT A LUMBERJACK! I know for a FACT this guy can't use an axe to save his life.

Just say no to hipster lumberjacks!

19. #1 Most Embarrassing Book I Read This Year...CABIN BOUND SUBMISSION: BRED BY THE LUMBERJACK

In my defense...never mind. I have no defense. I spent $2.99 on this book and the tenses were skipping from present to past from sentence to sentence. And the lumberjack's name was Paul. And...*Penny hangs head in shame*

 I can't post the real cover. It's too embarrassing. Sigh.

20. Favorite Book Read in 2014...THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion

This book was actually published in 2013. I have a weakness for super smarty pants-characters, especially those who are awkward and totally lacking in social skills. Don Tillman fits the bill. He is a professor searching for a wife, in the most systematic, rational, reasonable way possible. But as we all know, love rarely follows our well-planned efforts. This book was a breath of fresh air--quirky, funny, adorable, sweet...and of course, romantic. I always embrace books willing to take a chance on a different kind of hero. This was fantastic.

Best of all, the sequel--THE ROSIE EFFECT--will be released soon. Yippppeeeeeee!

I hope you enjoyed the 2014 list. What was your favorite book this year?


Friday, November 21, 2014

Beard of the Day


Sleepy Hollow put me to sleep, but hell and damnation this guy is HOT! Tom Mison is a British actor who is rocking the beard. And the scraggly hair. And the 19th century Colonial American duds.


Happy Beardy Friday!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Not All Indies Are Created Equal: DIY-Pub Vs. "I Run My Own Publishing Company"-Pub

Once again, I see folks on the message boards complaining about "self-pub" or "indie" authors and how shoddy "those" books are.

Problem: You can't clump every self-published book and author into the same bin.

Just as you can't clump every traditionally-published author/book into the same bin.

I just read a Harlequin filled with typos and errors.

I also read a self-published book filled with typos and errors.

I also read a trad book that was well-executed and produced. AND I also read another self-published title that had excellent quality writing and production.

So what's going on?

As far as trad-published books...the big pubs are clearly cutting editorial corners. As well as digital formatting corners. That's nothing new.

But what I would like to really address today is the whole "indie" thing because not all indies are created equal.

I own a business. A publishing company. For me. I make all the decisions. And because I want to produce a high quality and professional product, I hire professionals to help me with this business.

I hire a professional cover artist.

I hire someone to format my books for print.

I hire someone to format my books for digital release.

I hire someone to professionally edit my books.

I have a crew of beta readers who edit for content.

I pay money for ads and other promotional options.

Is this expensive? Maybe. It's an investment in MY business.

There is a very big difference between a publishing business (whether it's run by a New York company or a smaller company or a single person) and a DIY-pub.

A DIY-Pub could be your Aunt Ethel who wrote a family history and wants to throw that baby up on Amazon so she can say she "published" a book. Good for her. I have no problem with that.

However, if you...

--make your own book cover

--do NOT hire a professional editor

--do NOT hire professional formatters

--promote yourself by fighting with peeps on message boards

...I do not consider you a professional publisher.

That's a DIY project.

Maybe you're awesome at formatting. And maybe you have a graphic design background and can whip off a gorgeous cover. Fine.

But even the most experienced authors--who have been writing for YEARS--need an editor. They just do. I can tell when the big-wig NY-published authors are skipping the editing portion of the equation. It's glaringly obvious and pretty embarrassing.

Once again, the bottom line is JUDGE EACH BOOK ON ITS OWN MERITS.

Clumping all self-published authors together into the same barrel is ridiculous.

Feeling irked,

Friday, November 14, 2014

Updates from Penelope!

Yeti Takes a Selfie!
Girls Gone Wild Party!

1. SPECIAL HOLIDAY DEAL! The Klaus Brothers BOXED SET is now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble! For a limited time (offer ends 12-31-14) you can buy books 1-3 for just 99 cents! It should be available at Kobo soon.

2. OH MY BOOKS posted a great review for SWEET ADVENTURE, and Gaby is offering an awesome give-away (Klaus soaps and books)...GO CHECK IT OUT!

3. I made a YETI WILL MAKE YOU DEADY Etsy treasury collection. Take a look!

 Yeti Decal from InAnInstantArt at Etsy!

4. About 5,932 people have sent me links recently about "lumbersexuals"...so I thought I would repost my link to one of my most popular pieces, WEENIES IN A PLAID SHIRT. Enjoy!

Hipster Lumberjack...ACK!

5. Looking for a free quickie sweet (rated G) holiday story? Try A LUMBERJACKY CHRISTMAS!

6. Don't forget to mark your calendars. THE HOLIDAY BASH AND BOOKFAIR is coming up on Saturday, December 6th. We have more than 40 authors involved, including Hannah Howell, Jessica Andersen, Caroline Linden, Annette Blair and many more! Here's the link with more info!

Happy Weekend!