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 …

My First Industry Review (Also Entitled: The Time I Stopped Breathing for a Second)

Okay, my first official review came in from one of the top trade magazines! (The trades include Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, and Library Journal. And, in romancelandia, Romantic Times as well.)

I actually stumbled across it Saturday night (even though it was dated Monday morning). I was working on the weekend, setting up a promo post for my blog, and when I went to get my Goodreads link, I saw that I had an uptick of followers on Goodreads all on the same day, May 1, which was last Thursday, and since I knew I hadn’t posted anything on that day, I figured there must have been a review of some sort out on the Interwebzz.

I Googled my book and, sure enough, a Publisher’s Weekly post came up! I about had a heart attack! (Because the way my mind works is this: Why didn’t anyone tell me PW reviewed me??? It must be because it was a bad review… omg, omg, they must hate me….)
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Cover Reveal!


I first saw my cover last November, when we were in New York in the fall. My editor sent it via email, and asked “What do you think??” I felt very writerly indeed as I was texting back and forth with my agent and editor throughout the day — as cabs were zooming by and I was throwing a scarf over my shoulder while walking the streets of NYC. … <big grin>. … Surreal moment, to be sure.

Anyway, tell me what you think! It’s not what I was imagining, but now that I’ve looked at it for awhile, I like it.

And how about that adorable tagline that a copywriter wrote? — “Love. Strings attached.” Love, love, love that!

What do you think?????

Finished Book 2!

My messy desk after Book 2 was done!

Well, overall, after 8 months, 2 drafts, 99,000 words, 320 gallons of iced tea, a new computer, and some crazy holiday weekends, I think I can say “I DID IT” about my Jan 1 deadline to complete Book 2!

On Jan 1, I was at 99,960 words (perfect word count for me), and had written an ending!

However, the ending is … well … “soft” (not very dramatic). The black moment is seriously lame, and there are a couple of loose ends that didn’t get exactly tied up.
Sooooooo …. I still have some work to do!
But I gave myself this whole month to edit for that very purpose, which will be just perfect. (It’s due to Berkley on Feb. 1.)
My next steps are:
  • Cut 2,000 from the first half.
  • Write another 2,000 in the second half to bolster the black moment and make it more dramatic.
  • Then do the fun “editing on the word level” stuff, like deleting words I use too often, changing up sentence rhythms where I got lazy, deleting all of my adverbs, tightening up dialogue, that kind of thing. That’s really my favorite part of editing.
Overall, I’m really happy about this story, though. I love these characters — Lia and Evan. The story has some fun whale-watching tales, a sweet “Cinderella” theme overlaid on top, and some serious sizzle. I can’t wait to share it with everyone!



Well, this is just the most exciting post I’ve ever written: I sold my book!


*cue confetti and champagne corks*

My lovely agent Jill Marsal helped me sell my first book to Berkley-Penguin Publishing in a 2-book deal!

Berkley bought “Making Waves,” about Fin and Giselle, which should come out July 2014. Plus the follow-up book (working title is “Finding Delta”), about Giselle’s youngest sister Lia and her hero Evan, which should come out March 2015.


I’m still peeling myself off the ceiling.

I’ll write more soon. … For now, I’ll be Snoopy-dancing around the living room. …

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