Psyched for Romance

Sports Romance & Romantic Suspense With a Psychological Twist

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

Hooray for YA! Thank you to Kathy from I Am a Reader Not a Writer BLOG and Amber from Down the Rabbit Hole BLOG for hosting this giveaway.

I'm uber-excited for the release of my first YA novel in March, titled Streamline.

(We're still working on the cover, so instead, this is Michael Phelps, Olympic Swimmer!)

Here's a blurb about Streamline:

Seems like Leo Scott has it all: looks, brains, and athletic talent. He’s captain of his high school swim team with a bright future in college and beyond. But Leo has secrets. His mother’s crippling car accident has devastated his family and left Leo to deal with his father’s abuse, battered and alone.

Leo’s girlfriend Audrey Rose is poised for her own share of success. As one of Florida’s top high school swimmers, Audrey dreams of college swimming stardom. But there’s an obstacle to her glorious rise to the top. Her number-one supporter—her father—is in prison for murder.

Part murder mystery, part tale of young love in a military family, this gripping story takes readers on a journey from Pensacola to Annapolis. Leo and Audrey must band together to rise above the adversity they encounter and find their true selves in the process. When everything’s on the line . . . streamline.

I'm giving away an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) ebook of Streamline and a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card. Enter with the Rafflecopter form.

Also, feel free to leave a comment and tell me YOUR favorite YA novel.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dialectics in Writing

Today I want to discuss dialectics. No, not dianetics, ha ha. I first heard about dialectics when I learned skills from Marsha Linehan's "Dialectical Behavior Therapy" to use as a psychologist, but I think dialectics also apply to writing.

A dialectic is a union of opposites.

You have a dialectic when you have two opposing statements that are both true, joined by an AND (not a BUT!)

For example, here's my dialectic for writing this blog post right before bedtime:
I want to go to bed (waah) AND I want to connect with my readers by writing a great post.

Both are true. In therapy we use dialectics to acknowledge both sides of the coin -- to see the whole picture. Dialectics help increase empathy and decrease defensiveness.

* Alcohol helps you relax and alcohol gives you scary beer goggles.
* You love your mother and you are positively furious at your mother.
* You hate feeling dependent and you're scared about him leaving.

Here are some dialectics I've noticed about writing:

* Writing is art AND writing is work.
* I feel less pressure to sell books because of my day job AND I get little writing done because of my day job.
* I want to please my readers AND I can't please all readers.
* I write for myself AND I beam when a reader enjoys my novel.
* Writing is solitary AND writing is a way to connect to people.
* My cat Izzie is a good writing companion AND my cat Izzie has horrible fishy breath!

What dialectics have you noticed in YOUR life?

Bounce with us, authors and readers! Check out the Omnific BLOG for deets.

Dance Hall Days at Nicki Elson's Blog

Today I'm hanging out at Nicki Elson's blog, where she interviews me and gives a 4 star review of With Good Behavior!

It was great to read this quote from Nicki's review:

The author’s experience as a psychologist shows, because background plays an important role in shaping each of the characters, and we also see how the choices they’ve made along the way have had a profound impact on their lives. Definitely no shallow characters here.

Thanks, Nicki! Nicki Elson is the author of the fun and sexy 80's romp Three Daves, which I loved. Check out my review HERE.

I'm joining Nicki's "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" Blogfest on February 10th to talk about my 80's celebrity crush. Here's a hint:

Your ego's writing checks your body can't cash!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge

At first I wasn't that into Young Adult fiction. But releasing my debut adult novel exposed me to and book bloggers, which in turn drew me to the world of YA. The Twilight and Hunger Games series also made me a YA fan. Now I find myself ready to launch my first YA novel, Streamline, in March.

To celebrate, I'm joining over 100 bloggers for the 2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge, hosted by The Eclectic Bookshelf!

My first YA read of the year is a novel I've heard great things about, and the story certainly didn't disappoint. Here's my review of Anna and the French Kiss.

One Mignonne Story

What an adorable book! Characterization is so important to my enjoyment of a novel, and I loved these characters. The main character Anna is a 17 year-old whose parents have divorced. Her father writes sappy novels that have become wildly successful, and he decides to uproot Anna from Atlanta to give her the cultural experience of attending a Paris boarding school. Not surprisingly, she hates this idea. Anna has to leave all her friends behind, including the boy at the movie theater she just kissed for the first time, and she doesn’t speak any French to boot.

Anna’s petite frame and snarky tone are typical of YA fiction, but what makes her unique are traits like her infatuation with old movies (she writes a movie review blog in hopes of becoming a critic), the gap between her front teeth, and her love for her younger brother Seany. Here’s one of Anna’s humorous quotes:

”My father is fluent in cliché. Obviously you’ve never read one of his novels.”

Luckily Anna befriends a cool group at the boarding school, including tall jock Meredith, smart, sarcastic Indian Rashmi and her boyfriend Josh (an affable artist), along with eye candy boy Etienne St. Clair. Etienne’s charming and handsome, on the shorter side, with a lovely English accent and perfect mussy hair. Anna calls him St. Clair when they’re friends and Etienne when they’re more than friends. St. Clair has family problems of his own -— a cruel French father and an ill American mother. Anna is infatuated by him:

I’m suddenly distracted by an odd purple-and-red knitted stocking cap walking into the lobby.
“Oh God,” Rashmi says. “St. Clair’s wearing The Hat.”
“Is there a story behind The Hat?” I ask.
“Only that his mother made it for him last winter, and we all agreed it was the most hideous accessory in all of Paris,” Rashmi says.

The group of friends grows to care about each other. Here Anna tries to cheer up St. Clair:

“You have Nutella on your chin,” Rashmi says, pointing with her fork.
“Mmm,” I reply.
“It’s a good look,” Josh says. “Like a little soul patch.”
I dip my finger in the chocolate and paint a mustache. “Better?”
“Maybe if you didn’t just give yourself a Hitler,” Rashmi says.
To my surprise, St. Clair gives a snort. I’m encouraged. I redip and paint one side up in a swirl.

The above exchange reminds me of my best friend Gwynn--we make each other laugh by purposefully smearing food on our faces. We may be 40 years old but we have teenagers’ senses of humor.

The banter between Anna and Etienne is sweet and funny, and I enjoy her teenage voice which comes out most clearly when she speaks IN CAPS.

And then his hand is inside my pocket. My heart spazzes, but he doesn’t notice. He pulls out my passport and flicks it open.
His eyebrows shoot up. I try to snatch it back, but he holds it out of my reach. “Why are your eyes crossed?” He laughs. “Have you had some kind of ocular surgery I don’t know about?”
“Give it back!” Another grab and a miss, and I change tactics and lunge for his coat instead. I snag his passport.
I open it up, and it’s . . . baby St. Clair. “Dude. How old is this picture?”
He slings his passport at me and snatches his back. “I was in
middle school”.

The major bummer for Anna is that St. Clair already has a girlfriend. Merde! What should she do?

This novel was humming along at a 5 star rating for me until the last part of the story, when the angst and misunderstandings became a bit too much for my tastes. I think the story could have ended sooner and been a better book. But it’s still a fantastic read. Au revoir!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CONduct Series Merchandise!

Omnific Publishing continues to amaze me with their creative ideas and support for authors. The latest is the development of t-shirts, hats, mugs, and tote bags with our book covers! Check out merchandise featuring With Good Behavior (The Conduct Series #1):

With Good Behavior T-Shirt
With Good Behavior T-Shirt

With Good Behavior Travel Mug
With Good Behavior Travel Mug


With Good Behavior Women's T-Shirt
With Good Behavior Women's T-Shirt

With Good Behavior Jumbo Tote Bag
With Good Behavior Jumbo Tote Bag


and Bad Behavior (The Conduct Series #2):

Bad Behavior T-Shirt
Bad Behavior T-Shirt

Bad Behavior Travel Mug
Bad Behavior Travel Mug


Bad Behavior Women's T-Shirt
Bad Behavior Women's T-Shirt

Bad Behavior Jumbo Tote Bag
Bad Behavior Jumbo Tote Bag


Coming in March will be my third novel published by Omnific -- Streamline. I can't wait to see the cool swimming pool cover show up on a t-shirt!

Thursday is the time for Omnific's Blog Bounce -- instructions HERE.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sights and Sounds from The CONduct Series

Happy New Year! I spent New Year's Eve in Hilton Head with my sister Susan, who just adopted THE CUTEST PUPPY IN THE WORLD. (I'm not biased -- judge for yourself):

His name is Auggie because they got him near St. Augustine. I already miss my fur nephew.

And I have some more images to share with you today from The Conduct Series, romantic suspense novels.

With Good Behavior and Bad Behavior feature Grant Madsen and Sophie Taylor, parolees who fall in love and battle bad guys.

 Thanks to Julie from A Tale of Many Reviews for framing these photos!

When Grant gets tipsy as the docent for a Chicago architectural cruise, he has fun describing this architectural wonder, the Chicago Spire:

*giggles* Can you guess the gender of the architect for that project?

Grant and Sophie's boss, architectural cruise ship captain Roger Eaton, has no tolerance for sadness or whining on his ship. He posts this plaque in the bridge:

Ah, Rog. Later in the story Sophie marvels at Grant's technique in the sheets. Here's the marquee that flashes in her mind:

Thank you to my pal Riem for making this banner.

Stay tuned for more sights from this series on my facebook page ( And for the sounds of the series, you can check out the With Good Behavior playlist on this blog. There's also a popular song on the radio that makes me think of Grant and Sophie:

We found love in a hopeless place (Rihanna)

Falling in love on your parole officer's doorstep is quite a hopeless place, indeed. But Grant and Sophie found love and hope there.

Now it's time for the Author Blog Bounce, hosted by Omnific Publishing. Bounce over to Omnific's blog for details.


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