When I was growing up in Central Florida the space program and NASA was a really big deal. There wasn’t a launch that I couldn’t see from my house (even though I lived in the middle of the state and not on the coast) in fact when there was a launch sometimes my dad would get out the ladder and we’d all climb up and sit on the roof to watch it. This is probably something that no parent would do today but I loved it.
My first job was at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando and it was in Tomorrowland. The ride I worked on was Mission To Mars. It was a simulated space journey to Mars and part of my job was interrupt the audio animatronic Mr. Johnson in mission control to get guests onto the space craft. I had a thirty second interaction with a robot, how cool is that?! If you remember the ride you might have thought it was tired in the 80s but a part of me just loved it. And in that last hour before the theme park closed and we didn’t get that many guests through the ride I’d make up stories about going to Mars. Since I was a romance reading addict from an early age those stories always involved myself as the plucky heroine and some dashing astronaut dude as the hero.
This series is really close to my heart. It came out of a conversation about the space program and ranches in Florida. I also grew up in a very rural area and my parents have had everything from an egg ranch to a citrus grove. I never had any doubt about where the meat on our kitchen table came from (my dad was a big proponent of not naming animals anything except steak or bacon since that was what they’d become!). So I was remarking to my editor that most people don’t realize that Florida has so many ranches. And then we talked about combining it with the space program.
The NASA missions all launch from Florida but mission control and training takes place in Texas—a place I’ve also lived and when I got home from the conference I sent my editor an email and the series Space Cowboys was born.
I’ve got an autographed copy of NO LIMITS to give-away to one of you. All you have to do to be entered to win is to tell me something from your childhood that you loved or tell me about your favorite Disney World ride…mine is It’s A Small World—which I also got to work at! It was really a dream come true. I loved every second of it.
Some cowboys are outta this world…
Astronaut Jason “Ace” McCoy tried to escape Cole’s Hill, Texas—and the memory of Molly Tanner’s dark eyes and strawberry-scented hair—among the stars. Now he and Molly have jointly inherited her father’s struggling ranch. And having failed his latest medical tests, Ace is on leave—maybe forever.
He’s determined to sort things out with the ranch and get back to Houston as soon as possible. What he isn’t counting on is that Molly’s only gotten more beautiful over the years…and she still wants him. The passion between them is hotter than rocket fuel—and just as dangerous. He can’t promise anything as long as there’s a chance to go on another mission. But even in orbit, this attraction has no rules…and no limits.
Harlequin Blaze, On Sale: September 1, 2016, e-Book, ISBN: 9781488000355 / eISBN: 9781488000355
Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m hooked. It started when my niece picked me up at LAX for the RWA conference in San Diego. I spent two days with her and my sister and Katie (said niece) was already playing. I had texted my kiddos a few days earlier to alert them about the app since they had both been huge Pokemon fans back in their elementary school days. I never thought I would download the app or play it, but Katie wanted to find out a few things and she needed someone who would let her play on their phone as well as her own.
So I downloaded it and the addiction began.
- Walking. Even though I know that I should get up from my desk and walk every 30 minutes for better health, I don’t. But with the Pokemon app I do get up. There’s a Poke-stop right near my house and I go up there on my breaks to reload on pokeballs and other cool things like potions.
- Social dialogue. My sister, niece and I all went to get a pedicure before they took me to San Diego for RWA and while we were having our toes done the news was filled with stories of Pokemon Go. Everyone in the nail salon was chatting about the new app. Even while I was at RWA I had several conversations about the app. J
- Parent-kid bonding. There aren’t a lot of things online games or apps that families can do together. My kids and I are lucky in that we nerd out on a lot of the same things so talking isn’t ever a problem in our house. But the Pokemon Go app is reminding us of the time we stood in line to see the Pokemon movie with Lugia, when Coco got a gold Pokemon card from Burger King (it was her prized possession for a long time) and how many hours we all spent in the game room watching the TV show together.
- Addicting. Once you start playing, you want to keep playing. I think this is sort of a pro if you factor in the walking. Last night I went on two separate 30 minute walks so that first my hubby and then my daughter could finish hatching an egg (you have to walk several km to do this).
- Common sense. I’m trying to think of a nice way of saying this but sometimes in the fever of playing a game, common sense goes out the window. No matter what rare Pokemon you think you might find remember to put safety first.
- Catching them all. What if I never catch them all??? Just kidding. J I don’t mind if I never catch them all. I’m just having fun playing with my hubby and kids and texting my niece to find out what she’s found and get her tips.
What about you? Are you playing Pokemon Go? Are you sick of Pokemon Go?
Readers, as you know by now a bunch of us went to the RWA conference in San Diego last week. First stop was the multi-author signing, which benefits literacy programs. Here we are together.
I also got a shot of Theresa signing and my signing buddy Tina Gabrielle took one of me.
The signing had a few interesting characters too. This guy was promoting his wife’s book. What a great husband. It was hot in the ballroom.
Theresa, Kristan, and I met up again at the Rita awards reception. Theresa and I were celebrating, an Kristan took this shot of us in sunny San Diego.
We didn’t just drink and schmooze. We went to workshops and we discussed issues affecting our world. Julia Quinn was taking pictures of authors for the #whatireallyreallywant campaign.
And then it was time for the Rita awards. I can’t even explain how surreal it is to see your photo, name, and book on the big screen.
Neither Theresa or I won, but we sure had a fun night.
What do you really, really want? I have a bag of assorted books to send to one reader who comments. (Winner chosen randomly, announced Sunday, and contacted Sunday).
I’ve been struggling the last few days as I’m sure many of you have with the news from Orlando. My hometown–a place of much joy, happiness, love and acceptance–took a really hard hit. And I don’t know how to make sense of it. But as I was trying to figure out what to write on this blog today I thought wouldn’t it be nice to just spread a little bit more love around?
There’s a reason why I read and write romance novels and the last few days has reiterated that for me. Picking up a book where I know I am guaranteed a happy ending is really what I needed. I can pick up Susan E Phillips Heaven, Texas and laugh and fall in love with Bobby Tom Denton again. I can pick up a book by Shana Galen, Teresa Romain, Mia Marlowe and Vanessa Kelly and get swept back in time and go on a adventure that will end with good guys saving the day and couples joined together forever. I can read Kathleen Pynn, Cindy Kirk, Nancy Robards Thompson, Jesse Hayworth, and Kristan Higgins and be reminded that home and family are strong bonds that can’t be broken. All of the authors on our blog write books that are a healing balm for both me and many of you during troubling times.
They help remind us of the good parts of humanity and of our community.
Today I’d like you to tell me about something or someone you love. It can be anything or anyone. I love my family more than I can say, but I tell them every day. I love my goofy dog who gets caught in the hole she chewed in her blanket and drags it behind her like a cape. And I love that my hometown in Florida that is coming together in strength and support.
Thanks for helping me spread a little love today.
I hate that May is almost over. Not for any reason other than I’m still so behind. I love that summer is teasing me with sunny days and warmer weather. And I can’t wait for my son to come home from University, but when I look at my to-do list there are a lot of unchecked boxes. There are a lot of things that really I thought I’d have finished in February or March and uh, it’s May and they are still unchecked.
I did go to Paris. So that was a nice item that I fully enjoyed checking off. I also travelled for the first time in a really long time on my own. When I got divorced in 2007 it affected me in ways that still surprised me today. One of them was ability to just blindly trust people, which had the trickle down effect of making it really hard for me travel on my own. I hate that. I used to love meeting new people and seeing new places. I still love it but I have to get over this huge mountain of fear to do it. Ugh. There is nothing like getting older and feeling as insecure as my high school self.
On the heels of my successful four days in Paris I went to London by myself for the RNA summer party. I haven’t been making friends in the RNA like I have in the RWA. I blame my natural shyness for that but this time I went by myself on the train (my husband usually goes with me and plans the train/underground stuff) and got on the underground and found the Waterstones’ bar where I was to meet my editor and the other Harper Impulse authors.
This weekend I spent a lot of time reflecting on these three things. I’m going to be more focused in June and get those things checked off my to-do list. I’m also going to continue getting out there…out in the world and trying the things that scare me.
What about you? Anything you haven’t done/have done lately that’s changed you? Tell me for a chance to win a Cheryl’s Cookie Card and my latest release from Harlequin Desire HIS SEDUCTION GAME PLAN.