THE RED BIKINI Launches Today!

The_Red_Bikini CoverThe day is finally here! The Red Bikini has launched! I can’t tell you how thankful I am for all of the support of my blog friends, Twitter friends, Facebook friends, book club friends, work friends, Firebird sisters, long-time high school friends, old teachers (looking at you, Mrs. Cox!), and my wonderfully supportive family. I really couldn’t have written this book without the constant encouragement, support, and help of all of you – I can’t thank everyone enough.

But I can give away prizes! I’m giving away stuff all over the place, and I want you all to enter. Don’t think you can’t win because you’re my cousin or my fourth grade teacher or my coworker or my Firebird friend. I want you all to win! I’ll have a list at the end of this post of all the places you can enter to win stuff.

In the meantime, here are some ways you can help make The Red Bikini a success:

  1. Buy the book, if you haven’t already. I don’t care if you pay 99 cents or $7.99 (and I promise, if I see it for 99 cents anywhere I’ll tell you). At the start of my career, all I need is the logged purchase for any price whatsoever. You can buy it from Berkley itself, Amazon, the Book Depository, iTunes – anywhere. I get one notch higher on a “bestseller” list no matter where you buy it. You can even be like some kind of old-timer and drive your covered wagon to a Barnes and Noble bookstore and buy it there! I’m supposedly on the “Summer Reads” table in Barnes and Nobles across the country. Speaking of which …
  2. Take a picture of you and my book! I would love, love, love to see pictures of you and my book! If you see it in Barnes and Noble (whether you’re buying it there or not), please take a picture of you and the book, and send it to me. (If on Instagram, tag me @mizwrite or hashtag it #theredbikini so I’ll see it.) AND I’d love pictures of you and my book in your home state/country.(But, er … please buy those ones!) I’d love to see where you read – on a New York subway, on an Australian beach, in an Arizona desert, in a Vegas casino, wherever – and where The Red Bikini gets to travel! Send any pics to so I can make a collage and share in my newsletter and social media pages. Or, on Instagram or Twitter, tag me @mizwrite or hashtag it #theredbikini and I’ll catch you that way!
  3. Write an Amazon review. Apparently, this is Super-Important. (Hence the cap letters.) You can start leaving reviews on Amazon as of today, and it really makes a difference in a writer’s career how many reviews she gets. Whether you buy the book on Amazon or not (they don’t care), please – if you have a few extra minutes – leave 3-4 sentences and however many stars you like. The number of reviews, apparently, is what determines how many Amazon lists you get on (like the “…if you like this book, you might like this one…” variety). So it’s Super-Important. And tell your friends about reviews! Speaking of which …
  4. Tell your friends about the book! If you have friends who love to read contemporary romance, please spread the word. Whether you’re standing in a bookstore, sitting in a hairdresser’s chair, waiting at the car wash, or seeing someone read on the subway, I’d surely appreciate the shout-out. If you’re shy, but you’d hand out The Red Bikini postcards, I’m ordering a bunch of purdy ones I’d be happy to mail you. Please email me your snail-mail address at, and I’ll send a stack to you asap! Also, here are some social-media posts if you’re a social-media- type person:
    1. My friend’s/sister’s/daughter’s/(fill-in-the-blank)’s book just launched this week! If you like beach-read romances, this one’s for you:

OR, an OC focus if you’re a local:

  1. My friend’s/sister’s/daughter’s/(fill-in-the-blank)’s book just launched this week! If you like beach-read romances set in Orange County, this one’s for you:

So those are some things that can really help!

Now here are all the places I’m celebrating this week and giving stuff away:

  • July 1 TODAY! — My Firebird buddy Tammy Baumann is throwing a virtual launch party for me over on the Firebirds blog here, all day. We’re talking about hot heroes, dating younger men, and seeing the OC housewives in Target. Come check out our interview and enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card and a “Sandy Cove” souvenir pack.
  • July 1 TODAY! — There’s lotsa surfer and beach talk going on between me and Lorelie Brown (new author of Riding the Wave, also a surfer book!). Today she and I are listing our Top 10 surfer movies and which ones inspired our heroes Fin and Tanner on the Delighted Reader Blog here. Our publisher, Berkley-Penguin, is giving away a huge beach bag prize with both our books, sunscreen, a beach towel, and more cool stuff, so be sure to stop by!
  • TODAY through July 4 — I’m also doing a REALLY HOT giveaway with New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery all week here. Come read our excerpts and answer 1 quick question about Fin and 1 quick question about her hero (from the excerpts) and enter to win a $25 gift card from each of us to a bookstore of your choice. Fun stuff!
  • July 2 – Lorelie Brown and will be interviewing each other over on The Book Reading Gals Blog. (Come learn who she based Tanner Wright on and who I based Fin Hensen on!) You’ll have another chance to win the Berkley-Penguin beach bag filled with books and sun goodies, too. That interview should be here tomorrow.
  • July 2 – Lorelie and I will be on A Bookish Escape sharing our “California Dreamin’” playlists that we used to write the sun and surf of California. You’ll have yet another chance to win the Berkley-Penguin beach bag filled with books and sun goodies! That post will be here.
  • July 7 – Lorelie and I will be on The Bookish Babe blog, listing our Top 5 beaches, in case you want a little summer escape yourself. (If you’re heading to California, I’ll tell you the secret spots!) More chances to win the Berkley-Penguin beach bag filled with books and sun goodies. I’ll post that link when I get it.
  • July 8 — Next Monday, head on over to the KwanaWrites blog where my dear friend Kwana and I will be talking about what we like to see in a hero and heroine. Over there, you can win a $10 Amazon gift card a “Sandy Cove” souvenir pack. That post will be here on July 8.
  • July 9 – FACEBOOK PARTY! My Firebird sisters Tracy Brogan (“Crazy Little Thing,” “The Best Medicine”), Terri Osburn (“Meant to Be,” “Home to Stay”), and Kim Law (“Ex on the Beach,” “Hot Buttered Yum”), along with new author friend Lorelie Brown (“Riding the Wave”) and I will be having a “Beach Blanket Books” Facebook party from 2-6 p.m. PST. (You can attend in your slippers if you like!) We’ll all be giving away books, gift cards, beachy stuff, and there will be a grand prize of ALL of our books (signed) inside a huge beach bag filled with other beachy things. Look for the signup soon on my Facebook page. (Or leave me a comment below and I’ll send you an invite as soon as it’s done.) Please come! It’s going to be so much fun!

So that’s a start! I also wrote a guest post for BookPage, a “Dear Reader” letter for Berkley’s newsletter, and did an interview with Harlequin Junkie, but I’m not sure when or where those are appearing, so I’ll let you know soon. (I’ll be updating my blog with links every day!)

This is so exciting! Here we goooooooooooooooo …

I Have an Agent!

Yes, indeedy!

I’m officially an agented author now!

Now all those weeks of the kids having no clean socks; the refrigerator being mostly empty; missing most of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; ignoring the kids’ hints that maybe I should decorate for Christmas; having to go out to eat again because I was too busy at the computer; missing the last part of Ricky’s “The Walking Dead” family marathon; and using up every last second of my vacation time … well, it all seems worth it!

I scrambled to meet my November 30 deadline to finish writing the next manuscript, then a January 2 deadline to turn in the polished manuscript to the next Golden Heart contest, and also mentioned to the agent who I really wanted (squeeee!) – Jill Marsal at Marsal-Lyon Literary Agency – that I’d send her the new ms on Jan. 2 also.

It took zero-ing out on vacation time and that burying-myself-in-a-cave thing, but I did it.

And she called me the next morning to offer representation!

Yippee, 2013!

Here we goooooooooo

6,000 Words!!!

I’m beside myself with joy that I knocked out 6,000 words last weekend!

I think that’s a record for me — 3,000 words a day.

Of course, my house reflects it: My floors are covered in dust, the fridge is empty, laundry is spilling out of the hampers, and it looks like a bomb went off in my living room.

But 6,000 words, people. I’m giddy.

The best part is that I think I only have about 6,000 words left! Until “The End”! I can hardly believe it.

(And if I could do 6,000 words in a dedicated two-day weekend, I can certainly do 6,000 in a dedicated, four-day  Thanksgiving weekend, right?)

So I’m counting down the hours, minutes, until Thanksgiving weekend. …

I might just have this puppy done!

The Next Big Thing

I was tagged in a writer publicity tour called “The Next Big Thing,” where writers from around the world tag each other to say who they have their eye on as the next big writer. (Whoo-hoo!)

I was thrilled, of course, to be tagged by my friend, literary writer Nancy Freund in Switzerland (more about her below), to answer the following questions about the manuscript I’m working on now.

Here are her answers about her next book, Effort of Will.

And now here go mine:

1. What is the working title of your book?

Making Waves

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I had this character floating in my head, because I’d been writing her sister’s book for the previous two years. In that book, her slightly-jealous dear-ol-sis says “Giselle looks like Grace Kelly – everyone remembers her.” … But I had the sense that a lot more was going on in Giselle’s seemingly perfect life. … Continue reading

Sipping Seaside in San Clemente …

One of the less-angsty parts of writing a novel is doing fun research on your locations.

And the book I’m writing now is set about 20 minutes from me, in adorable San Clemente.

I chose San Clemente because it’s one of the least populated beach towns in Orange County and still has a cool, “old school California” vibe about it. It’s the most southern city you can possibly visit in OC before a long, long freeway drive through nothingness into San Diego County, and therefore it’s too remote for most people. For that reason, San Clemente always has a “locals only” feel to it, which is what I wanted for my novel. Plus, I set it there because it has some of the best surf in OC; it’s home to The Surfrider Foundation, a world-renown environmental group; it spawned the two biggest magazines in the industry, Surfer and Surfing magazines; it houses numerous board-shapers; boasts a chunk of the apparel, gear, suits, boards and more in the $6 billion surf industry; and is home to tons of competitive surfers over the years. Oh, and did I mention the great surf? Since my hero is a professional surfer, this just seemed like his home. Continue reading

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