The only thing that could overshadow the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina blowing ashore is the threat of another storm following its path. As I listened to a memorial service as the remains of 85 unclaimed victims of Katrina were laid to rest, my stomach felt as if it were tied in knots.
However, the sadness the memorial service evoked was only a part of the unsettling feeling in my gut. It was the lines wrapping around gas stations, the shopping baskets filled with cases of water as people filed out of Wal-Mart at 7:00 a.m., the sheets of plywood bouncing in the beds of pick-up trucks as I drove to the coffee shop this morning. That's what caused the sickening feeling. Anyone who has ever been through this ritual knows exactly what I'm speaking of. It's what you go through when a storm is headed your way.
Of course, we're still days away from knowing exactly where Hurricane Gustav will hit, but don't tell that to folks who are still living in cramped FEMA trailers three years after Katrina. For them, and many others in my neck of the woods, "it's better to be safe than sorry" is no longer just a cliche. They are words to live by.
Some time today, say a prayer for those we lost three years ago, and those who are trying to save what they have today.
Even though I'm not a big Meme person, my friend Gwyneth Bolton, whose yummy Hightower series is making a huge splash on the romance scene, tagged me for a really fun one. So, yeah, I decided to take part.
I'm a meme murderer, so I won't be tagging anyone. However, for any of my loyal blog readers who want to take part, simply copy and past the paragraph below:
I am going to list three categories of books. 5 MUST Read Books, 5 Books on Your Nightstand, and 5 Look For These Soon. Keeping with the theme, I am going to tag at least 5 bloggers. They should put these same lists on their blog but SUBTRACT one book from each list and ADD one of their own. Then they should tag at least 5 more bloggers. It will be fun to see how the lists change as it goes around the blogosphere. Please come back to this post and leave a comment so I can see how the lists are changing as they go around the blogosphere. Since this is Book Buzz…please keep your lists to titles released in 2007-2009.
5 MUST Read Books: Orange Mint and Honey by Carliss Brice Conception by Kalisha Buckhanon The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Soulja Better Than, Leslie Esdaile No Control by Shannon Butcher
5 Books on the Nightstand: Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking my Father Home Lise Funderburg From Harvey River by Lorna Goodison Trading Dreams at Midnight by Dianne McKinney Whetstone Murder Mayhem & a Fine Man, Claudia Mair Burney Peach Blossom Pavilion by Mingmei Yip
5 Look For These Soon: The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family Midnight: A Gangster Love Story by Sister Souljah Red Light Special by Risque Rainbow’s End, GiGi Gunn Dark of Night by Suzanne Brockmann
Speaking of must reads, here's a picture of my friend Anne Sophie who flew all the way from France to buy a copy of my current must read, Release Me. Okay, so she didn't fly all the way to the States just to get Release Me, but she did go to one of my favorite Barnes & Nobles while visiting New York City, and was sweet enough to send me this pic of her buying my book. I just love my friends. They so rock!
You may have heard of Stand Up To Cancer on ABC, NBC, or CBS. It is a wonderful organization that is striving to finally put an end to this dreaded killer. They profess to being "where the end of where cancer begins." Isn't that a lovely thought?
This past summer, I had the privilege of being a part of the Stand Up To Cancer campaign video.
I've lost many family members to this horrible disease, and a dear friend is in the fight for her life. She is a true warrior, and I am honored to stand up for my friend, Andrea.
Check out the Stand Up To Cancer video on YouTube, and submit your own video for who you stand up for! (You'll see me standing in front of the famous St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter).
Don't worry, I'm still planning to blog about some of the great workshops I attened while at RWA in San Francisco, but I just had to showcase the absolutely gorgeous cover for my third and final Holmes Brothers book, RESCUE ME!
The art department at Dorchester Publishing deserves an award. Or, at the very least, some really fancy chocolates.
As stated in my previous post, I spent the past week in lovely San Francisco attending the Romance Writers of America's National Conference. I've attended the conference every year since joining the organization back in 2002, and I must admit this was my best conference so far.
In addition to attending fabulous workshops (everyone should check out Blake Snyder's Save The Cat, but more about that later), I also had the chance to catch up with friends I had not seen since last year's conference.
If I had to include everything about the conference in one post, it would take up an entire page. So instead, I'm going to break this down into chunks of fabulous fun. The first tantalizing event: The RWA Literacy Autographing, or as I like to refer to it, a romance reader's dream come true. There were over 500 authors signing at this year's event, and I was lucky enough to be among them.
At the literacy autographing, I had the pleasure of sitting next to debut author, Esri Rose. I first met Esri in Atlanta at the RWA 2006 conference when she was up for a Golden Heart. A few weeks ago, I noticed another author in the "R" section at my local book store, and was so excited to see she'd sold her book. It was great sharing space with her at the signing, and I look forward to being neighbors on the shelves of Barnes & Noble for many years to come.
I have to admit, I was a bit surprise by the number of visitors I had at the signing. If you'll recall, last year, about sixty of my nearest and dearest friends attended to see me at my first ever RWA signing. However, this year, only a few could attend.
The one thing I didn't expect was having fans whom I didn't have to cajole into attending. Yes, there were actually people who came to my table because they'd read and enjoyed my work! Fascinating! (Note to Jessica from San Francisco: Sorry for grabbing you and jumping up and down like a crazy person. I was just so excited someone recognized me from my website.)
If there could ever be a down side to finally having my own table at the RWA Literacy Autographing event, it's that I no longer have the chance to go around and meet some of my favorite authors. Luckily, I was seated a couple of seats from the fabulous Karen Rose, and was able to gush about her latest book, but that was just one author out of many whom I adore.
Does that mean I'd give up the chance to sign at RWA? Not on your life!