Friday, February 13, 2009

Suz Brockmann GuestBlog: When Push Comes To Shove

CONTEST TODAY: Several LCBs each win copies of "Dark of Night!" Number TBA/

From Michelle:
When we first met Suz Brockmann @ RBTB, we helped her spread the word about a Navy SEAL's need for a bone marrow transplant. You jumped on-board 'cause that's just
you. Plus, it's hard not to be swept up in Suz's enthusiasm -- or in her talent for writing books that leave in their wake 90% of even the finest romances. Her newest, "Dark of Night" is no exception, with a finally-requited love story that left me breathless and cheering. Please welcome b
ack Bella Suz with your warmest "See, that's what we're talkin' 'bout!" Bella buongiorno...

From Suz: I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

And, yeah, okay, unlike Blanche Dubois, my dependency isn't physical – it's emotional.

See, like you Bellas do, I believe that most people are good, and that when push comes to shove, they'll treat others kindly and respectfully. Even when hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

About a million years ago, back before my books hit the New York Times bestseller list, I established an internet message board as a place for readers who enjoy my books to gather.

But it soon became more than a place to socialize – it became a place in which members actively practiced the art of kindness.

It started in earnest when a friend of mine, a sailor named Rob, found out that his tour aboard the U.S.S. Radford had been extended. Instead of coming home for the holidays, he and his shipmates weren't returning to the States and their loved ones until well into the new year.

This was a bummer, Rob told me, because many young sailors never received packages from home. Their families had struggles of their own, and just never got it into gear to send anything. When the members of my board found out about this, a plan was quickly formed wherein Rob would be our Radford contact. We'd send packages – cookies, snacks, books, and other small gifts – to him, and he would distribute them among the crew.

Rob's APO address was posted on my board – and within a week, the packages started arriving. And arriving. And arriving.

Rob kept a running tally of the number of packages and the amount of postage spent to send them (well over $1,000)! And he kept us updated as to amount of joy they brought (priceless!). No doubt about it, the members of my board took the phrase "support our troops" very seriously.

Throughout the years, the regular posters on my board have taken on many similar projects, both big and small:

• Christmas ornaments were sent to the mother of a retired SEAL who'd lost a lifetime of decorations in a hurricane.
• * $4,000 was raised to support the UDT/SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce, Florida.
• Cards of appreciation went out in the dozens to a Vietnam vet who now worked at the post office – a man who got misty-eyed when a board member sent package after package to Iraq, to servicemen and women whose names she didn't even know. He wished, he'd told her, that he'd had that kind of support when he was overseas.
• Bone marrow donor registration drives were organized across the country in response to the news that a SEAL needed a bone marrow match. Bonus: a member's husband was a one in 25,000 match for a desperately ill 12-year-old boy – something that would never have happened without the combined efforts of the entire group. (Lives literally saved by my board: two, and counting...) (Find out more about registering as a bone marrow donor at www.marrow.org )

My internet board is moderated now by a small group of brave and generous volunteers – a change that happened just this past year. But for years it was self-moderated – which, in hindsight, was pretty miraculous in and of itself.

I have always depended – and will continue to depend -- on the kindness of strangers.

Because there's nothing like witnessing honest goodness and genuine, unconditional caring for others to completely drown out all of the unpleasant noise and cacophony that comes with living in this high-speed, easy-access, internet-connected world.

Question: What acts of kindness, random or otherwise, have you participated in (or been the recipient of!) by belonging to RBTB or other internet blogs or boards?

I'll check in first thing today (ETZ), then be back dinner time and again after. -- Suz
***
Tomorrow: ME, MY VALENTINE! Show yourself the love -- and find out who's won the "Aint It (A) Grand!" contest!" Ain't gots no Love Day lovah? Don't think the one you got gonna' get it right? Hang here at RBTB and sing praises to the wonder that is you...for prizes!
***
Sign up in the sidebar for the NEW RBTB newsletter by 2.28 for a chance 2 win a $25 Borders card!
***
Authors: Wanna be a FOB? Link RBTB from your site/blog and send me your url @ mbuonfiglio@rbthebook.com. I'll link you up on the Friends of Bellas page!If you sent me your url in the past and don't see it here, I apologize! Please do send it again so I can make you a FOB.

100 comments:

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas, and welcome, Suz! Fab to have you back at RBTB! I only can say that my life has changed because of the many, many small and large kindnesses shown me by friends made here at RBTB and at many places online. I fought starting a blog when I began writing about romance for Internet Broadcasting, but my husband, now apparently known as MPG, Male Perspective Guy, said I'd be silly not to and, if you blog it, they will come. I so hate to give him the satisfaction of having been right.

Anyways, I still remember how I couldn't wait to get up inthe morning to check in with my new online friends. As my community of friends and colleagues grew, I became amazed at the extent of good karma and 'pay it forward-ness' of connections made online w/in the romance community and industry. Imperfect a mode of communication as the Internet is, it's glorious in its imperfection: the things that make it miserable are the same things that make it rock.

The thing I love most about the connections I've been fortunate enough to have made -- and continue to make -- is how diligently groups of individuals work to see that nobody takes away their right to keep things positive, which is just as protected a form of 'speech' as any.

Those folks are really dear to me, and have helped build RBTB over the past years and continue to keep it strong. I'm really blessed and I hope folks who come here feel that way when they make connections with other people. If that's the case, then I feel like I've done something pretty special.

So, thanks, Suz, for visiting with us today, and for reminding us how your readers use the forum you give them to help so many. You provide the "fame platform' that brings the attention to the causes, and they use that as a springboard to help so many. Thanks for sharing their stories. Kudos to them!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Suz - I met you several years ago at a signing in Westbury, NY - think it was Borders or B&N. I really enjoyed it.

Re acts of kindness - I participated a few times during the holidays to send pkgs to soldiers. I think it so sad some of their family members are in such a bad situation that they couldn't send a pkg to their loved ones far away. Outside of blog, I give a check to a club that makes up food baskets during Christmas and have chosen a child's name from a Christmas tree to buy some gifts from their request lists. I have even collected money from my office to choose 2 more children.

It is nice to give back to make some people happy.

Pat L.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thanks, Pat, for stopping in today! It is sad and unfortunate that our troops who do so much for us earn so little for doing it. Thank you for seeing the need and doing something about it. And it was awesome that you got your office involved to help at Christmas, too. That was really nice of you. :)

If you stop back in today, tell us which books of Suzanne's you like...

Stacy~ said...

Hi Suz! I've mentioned this before but I know you meet too many people to remember. I met you years ago at a booksigning in Schaumburg, IL, but I was a fan waaaay before that, starting with "Kiss & Tell" when I fell completely in love with Marshall Devlin. Once I read it, I was hooked. That love continued with the TTD series & now the Troubleshooters series. I recently re-read "Dark of Night" because I loved it so much. I was a fan who was more in the Sophia/Decker camp, yet what you did in DoN blew me away, and I completely adored it. You are THE best.

Hmmm, people are so incredibly generous in this community. Recently, though to no effort on my part, I was involved in a situation where an author was about to be evicted from her home, and we helped raise money for her. I don't think she raised quite enough, but to see readers and authors come together to help this woman and her mother was incredible. So many are suffering with the economy, and yet here they were, giving to someone a little worse off. It shouldn't shock me how generous the romance community is, but I think what shocks me is that there really doesn't seem to be an end to the good things people will do for others despite the difficulties of their own situation. It makes me proud to be a part of it in some small way :)

Caridad Pineiro said...

I think each of us can make an impact with our small acts of kindness. I regularly get together supplies for the soldiers and ask people on my blog to do the same. At our local writing group, one of our members collected for the soldiers and we also used to collect at Christmas time for a battered woman's shelter. If each of us just did a little, then a lot of good things could get done.

Stacy~ said...

Michelle, as always, I thank you for having Suz here today. You might not know it, but I am a tad bit of a fangirl when it comes to her, and I'm glad you were able to figure that out. Now that is talent.

PJ said...

Welcome Suz! Great to have you here today.

At my grandmother's knee I learned both the importance of giving back and to believe in the inherent goodness of mankind. Just last night someone said to me (a bit sarcastically), "You're a glass half-full kind of person, aren't you?" to which I proudly replied, "Why yes, I am!" :)

I've made wonderful friends online and in the romance community, women who routinely extend their love and support to those in need.
My late dh was career military so I've supported overseas military personnel for years by sending cards, books, food and other small necessities. I've sent packages through organized drives at various boards, given boxes of books and other items through internet projects and, locally, to nursing homes, cancer centers and abused women's shelters. At least once a month I deliver homemade cookies to a local nursing home and to the CCU nurses in the unit where I volunteer. A couple years ago I participated in a project to give Christmas to a romance author and her family who lost their home in Katrina. I also give back by doing a lot of volunteering where I live - at the hospital, in the schools and through pet rescue. I've been on the receiving end of that love too. When I injured my knee, requiring surgery and a lengthy rehab, on the heels of a hospital stay for salmonella sepsis I was feeling pretty down. I was surprised and delighted to begin receiving cards and boxes in the mail filled with warm greetings and great reading from many of my friends at the Eloisa James/Julia Quinn board. Those women are always doing nice things for someone else - like the auction we organized to raise funds for one of our board members and her children when her young husband suddenly and unexpectedly died.

Okay, I'm going to shut up now although I could go on and on about the nice things that people I know have done for others. There truly are many good people in this world doing good things for others. Wouldn't it be nice if they were the ones who routinely got the headlines?

Farrah Rochon said...

This question really got me thinking, and I realize I've done quite a bit over the years because of friends I met on the net. A group of us participated in a walk/run for cancer in NYC some years ago, and we've sent care packages for the troops (several who were husbands of some of the girls in the group) and, just this past Tuesday, I brought some items for care packages for one of my local RWA members who is serving in Iraq with her husband.

The thing with random acts of kindess is that it's a win-win situation. You end up feeling just as blessed as the person you helped.

Michele said...

Just like Stacey, I too am a fan-girl of yours, Suzanne. I've got all your books so far, Frisco's Kid being the hardest to find. :-)

I was Wow'ed! by Dark of Night and read it in one sitting. That's what days off are for. LOL

As for acts of kindess, I've recently been the recipient but I've not benefited personally. My son has. He has had a tough transition into 7th grade, from a secluded program to an inclusive program and its demands were/are tough. One of the requirements was to provide actual newspaper clippings about countries around the world, even hard to find ones...each and every month. Sounds easy but it's not. The US is very tuned into itself and unlike other countries, rarely reports on other cultures on a regular basis. I'm a big fan of an overseas author and have been gushing over her books for a few years. She lives in one of those "hard to find" countries so I asked her if she could hook me up with a newspaper that would ship papers from overseas. She did one better. She's been sending a care packet each month for him to use with AMAZING articles for him to pick from. All at NO charge. She won't let me pay her back!

So like your fans on your board, Suzanne, authors are special and giving too. Even to complete strangers who will NEVER meet. All that water, you know?

Also too, a young man from Helsinki Finland dropped by to visit my 'Sea Garden" application on Facebook. What are the odds that my son would get assigned a month long project on Helsinki and this guy just happens to say "Hi from Helsinki"?? I wrote and told him the scoop, asked him if my son could ask him a few questions and he was MORE than happy to help my son. Turns out he worked as a librarian for the Helsinki City Library. Talk about a font of information!

I can say that their willingness to help my son has helped teach him to understand what it means to give, to help others. That there is so much to be gained when there is no expectation for repayment, that one should NOT expect payment. Society, materialistic as it is, tends to gloss over that fact. An act of kindness is its own reward and when you pass it on, which we are always looking to do, has far reaching effects.
And in this age of the internet and instant access, is a global reach.

Life is good.

bbaugh290 said...

HI Suz,

I love the troubleshooters. I've read every one. Well all but DON I bought it Monday, but I can never but your books down when I start reading (expect to grab a snack or a drink or run to the bathroom) So I'm not starting it till tonight after I fix supper for the kids.
This is the first blog I've ever joined but I did get involved with a group called "Soldiers Angels" because of Joann Ross newsletter, and adopted a soldier named Vanessa she got to come back home only a couple of months later and sent me a wonderful card thanking me and my kids for writing to her and sending a care package. If any one is interested in helping their are lots of things you can do to help just go to soldiersangels.org to find out more.

Arkansas Cyndi said...

One of my favorite people is Elaine Viets. When she had her stoke (and it was unclear if she would make it), the group on The Lipstick Chronicles began collecting get well cards for Elaine. Elaine told me that she got over 400 cards and that she read every one (more than once). I truly believe that kind of support is so therapeutic.

Nina in Ohio said...

Hi Michelle & Suz!

I've been a Brockmann fan for years and love her SEAL books. Grew up on military bases (and my high school cross country team would compete annually in a fun run with the SEAL team on base in the Philippines! - Always enjoyed checking out those cute & hunky dudes!)

Suz has always been a big proponent of Random Acts of Kindness and I was so glad the SEAL found a match for the bone marrow - how's he doing? I have been a bone marrow donor myself, for an unknown recipient. I have many friends who are still in the military or whose children are now in the service so I know that all those care packages you send are very appreciated!

Just finished Dark of Night and loved it !!(so don't pick me for the prize) Suz is an automatic hardback purchase for me :-)

Treethyme said...

Hi Suzanne, it's Becke from BN.com. I got Michelle's email announcement that you were going to be here today and had to stop by.

I've made countless friends over the internet, many of whom are now real friends and not just virtual ones. I sometimes worry about people who only communicate online, but I think for most of us, it's an immediate way of keeping in touch with friends and with the world at large.

When the son of a friend of mine was take prisoner in Iraq, our local community rallied around her. When there was no concrete news of him for almost four years, the internet was the tool that rallied the world and helped keep Matt Maupin's name in the news.

When his remains were found last year, it was no longer just our small community that was covered in yellow ribbons -- people from all over the world mourned with his family.

During the years Matt was missing, his mom started a scholarship fund in her son's name and founded a support center which has sent hundreds of computers and thousands of boxes of treats and supplies to our troops. Prior to last year, every box they sent was also filled with photos of her missing son, so no one would forget him.

You always hear complaints about how dangerous the internet is, but it can also bring out the best in people, and turn strangers into friends.

MPG said...

Male Perspective Guy (MPG) here.

As a result of my connection to RBTB and its creator, many random acts of kindness have come my way. I have many more facebook friends now, and I enjoy tracking the positive energy associated with them.

I have this friend who once said to me that he doesn't need more friends because he doesn't see the ones he already has. I think guys are like that. The bellas seem to have the capacity to embrace all who participate. That's kindness in and of itself.

Mujerluminosa said...

Hi Suz,
DoN is one of your best. Thank you.!!
One of the best things about being a part of your BB is the friendships fostered. I've made life-long friends going on 8 years now! I am also a proud and honored Suz volunteer - how lucky is that?!!! Thanks again for the great post; and special thanks to RBTB for today's issue.
Hugs,
Stephanie (the gal that had a Vietnam MIA bracelet when she was in the 5th grade!)

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi, Michelle and Bellas!

It's always such a pleasure to visit your blog -- and there's already such a lot of wonderful posts!

I was hoping to have the cover art for HOT PURSUIT to show you today -- I was recently sent a draft of it, but I didn't want to make it public without my publishers permission. I've also just gotten a draft of the cover blurb, too -- which can be a little weird, when you're only writing Chapter Four of the book!

I'll be posting that on my website in the relatively near future.

Things have been crazy in my life lately -- and the release of DARK OF NIGHT has been just a small part of the chaos! See, I have a production company called "small or LARGE Productions," and we just finished post-production on our first indie film. (Low budget. LOW budget) It's called JOLLY, and it's a holiday comedy. (Our imdb page is up -- whoo hoo!) We're entering the movie in a ton of festivals -- hoping to get a few showings in real theaters and maybe find a distributor.

If it gets selected for any of the fests, I'll drop in and let you know.

small and LARGE is also working on bringing LOOKING FOR BILLY HAINES, the play that I co-wrote with my husband, Ed, to a theater in NYC. We did a staged reading last fall in Boston, and we'd love to do a more fully realized version.

LFBH is a comedy in two acts, with dance. Because there's no such thing as too much dancing.

Anyway, I'm going to be back here to chat some more this evening, because I've got to go write Chapter Four of HOT PURSUIT right now.

Hugs,
Suz

Lis said...

Hey Suz!! It is so good to see you here. I, too, am a HUGE fan, have loved all the Navy SEALs books right from Prince Joe onward.
This is a great topic - when I started hanging out with a group on a message board, then set up another group within that one, my son (the teenager!) was amazed that Mom was actually gettin' with the program! But it's really made me aware of how thoughtful, kind, and supportive cyber friends can be.
Our family has gotten very involved in community events since my son joined a local volunteer fire department Explorers program. Through them we've raised money, dontated food, delivered Christmas presents, and yes, fought fires and helped at accidents. My son's dream is to be a firefighter when he gets out of school, and as its always been his passion to help others, I know he'll be a good one! So thanks for the topic, and for writing such great books about every day heroes!!

Lis said...

Hey Suz!! It is so good to see you here. I, too, am a HUGE fan, have loved all the Navy SEALs books right from Prince Joe onward.
This is a great topic - when I started hanging out with a group on a message board, then set up another group within that one, my son (the teenager!) was amazed that Mom was actually gettin' with the program! But it's really made me aware of how thoughtful, kind, and supportive cyber friends can be.
Our family has gotten very involved in community events since my son joined a local volunteer fire department Explorers program. Through them we've raised money, dontated food, delivered Christmas presents, and yes, fought fires and helped at accidents. My son's dream is to be a firefighter when he gets out of school, and as its always been his passion to help others, I know he'll be a good one! So thanks for the topic, and for writing such great books about every day heroes!!

azteclady said...

*waving at Suz*

Good morning, all!

Thank you, Suz and Michelle, for today's visit with the Bellas.

There are so many positive things happening all around us, it's just a matter of paying attention. I've been a poster at Suz's message board for a long time, so I've seen first hand how strangers across the globe can unite for a good and generous cause.

But truly, these initiatives can (and do happen) all over--recently there was the Sharon Cullars auction that Stacy mentioned, but there are many others going on all the time, such as the SmartBitches helping spread the word about the need for donations of books at the Kohl's House for transplant families (here) or the Share the Love foundation started by Maya Rodale and Ann Bleakley, or author Shiloh Walker's frequent efforts to help victims of different natural disasters (an auction to help victims of the Myanmar tsunami, a drawing to raise funds for victims of hurricane Gustav, etc.)

There are plenty of asshats all over the world (and there are days when they seem to outnumber the decent folk) but yeah, "Good will overcome" if only we focus on that rather than on the nastiness.

Thank you for the reminder, Suz!

Manda said...

Hi Suz! Another rabid fangirl here (though I try to keep the foaming at the mouth to a minimum;). I met you at RWA San Francisco last year. You did such a great job hosting the RITAs--that is such a tough gig but you nailed it!

I read DON almost as soon as it came out and loved it. One thing I am in awe of with your writing is how you manage to follow all those plot threads to a conclusion. Plus, there's your characterization. Okay, I like it all. There, I've said it!

Re: online kindnesses, I have been the recipient of such generosity from the various online communities I belong to. When I had heart surgery last spring I got well wishes from some people I didn't even know. And some of my online friends (Hi, PJ *waves*) banded together and sent me enough books and memorabilia to start a bookstore. There is something humbling and wonderful about the generosity of the romance community.

Morning, Bellas!

mec said...

Good morning, Bellas and Suzanne

Re acts of kindless - as others have mentioned, sent packages to soldiers, contributed to holiday food baskets and toy drives.

I've been a fan since Hero Under Cover was first published. My favorite book is All Through The Night - it reminds me of a dear friend who I lost to AIDS. Although not an agent like Jules, his partner was an actor. I regret marriage was not possible for him.

Looking forward to reading DON.

Playground Monitor said...

Okay, Blogger ate my first comment and I don't want to type it all in again.

I'm a fairly new fan-girl. I met Suz in Dallas where I got the last copy of HOT TOPIC. I'd already read it. I stood in the middle of Books a Million and cried over the dedication. I treasure my autographed copy. I also saw how gracious she can be (and her parents too) when I went up to her after the Ritas last year and said "May I just be rude and interrupt and get my photo with you?" Her dad took the photo plus an extra just in case.

I too believe in the goodness of people and have seen it in action too many times to mention especially in the romance community. And while I was typing this my website mate who's also prez of our chapter called me and mentioned that Romance Writers of Australia has set up a deal to mail romance novels to Australia. It's beyond bad there with the fires and maybe reading a romance can take someone's mind off the fact they've just lost everything they own. She also had the name of an R&R facility in Iraq where we can send books and snack stuff for soldiers. I'm all about supporting those guys and gals.

Last Christmas I got an angel from a tree, only this was a senior citizen angel. He wanted bath towels, pajamas and a robe. He got that from me and more. This tree was filled with names of seniors who can't make ends meet on their retirement income.

Gotta go write. And I'm going to copy this comment in case Blogger is still hungry.

Marilyn

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Suzanne, Michelle and Bellas!

Well, I've encountered a wonderful general kindness throughout the Romance reading and writing community. There's a sweet and very warm sense of welcome whether it be in cyberspace on blogs like RBTB and elsewhere... or in person. I was totally overwhelmed, in the nicest possible way, when I was greeted at RWA last year with hugs and enthusiasm by so many people. I felt like I was 'home' somehow, you know?

Obviously, there're people out there who don't know me and maybe never will... but every romance person I've met, whether online or otherwise has been kind and positive towards me.

Love you all, peeps!

Portia Da Costa said...

Oh, and just wanted to thank any Kimani authors and editors who drop by... I won a book prize when they guest blogged, and I received *two* books, a very nifty bag, a smart pen and various other nice goodies!

More kindness! And much appreciated. :)

marye.ulrich said...

Becke, of Treetyme fame, gave me Body Guard. I loved it.

Last year I wrote a short story about a soldier and in my rejection letter it was recommended I expand the story at least 3x. As I read Body Guard I kept looking at the way you had the main story line, then interjected two romances, as well as had at least 2-3 other shorter story lines. I still can't figure out how you did it.

My question, how do you build your plots? Story board, some other technique, magic?

I hated when the story ended. Will definitely be reading more of your stories.

The research from my story about the soldiers pushed me to begin a "writing supplies for soldiers" in our OVRWA group. We collected 10 boxes of Romance novels which we gave to our local VA hospital. (We were told that to send Romance novels to Afganistan could result in people being punished because of cultural/religious taboos.)

We also sent boxes of supplies for the soldiers to pass out from their vehicles. (We were told that if the soldiers pass out paper, pens, and especially colored pencils, the children will sometimes tell the soldiers where dangerous people and hidden bombs are located.)

There are a lot of good people everywhere. Thanks for encouraging them.

What is Suzanne's website?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

oo, I wish somebody'd give me a bodyguard, marye! Oh. You were talking about a book. my bad.

Suz's url now's linked above (which you reminded me I forgot), but her site is: http://www.SuzanneBrockmann.com.

Great project you and your group came up with. I'd heard that same thing about the colored pens, etc. We can certainly make the case for the obvious, about how the objects create safety for soldiers and peace. But thinking about how coveted an object that can bring lines of color into a child's world is is really humbling, thought provoking, amazing.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Stace, this is kinda your attitude, Recently, though to no effort on my part But you're a connector in this community -- I noticed it almost as soon as we met way back in 06 -- and folks like you spread the goodwill. Not to embarrass you, but that's why you/your blog won the inaugural RBTB Community Spirit Award.

This year I also began presenting the Good Karma Awards. There's so much goodwill and excellence practiced in the romance community on- and offline that obliterates the vocal minority. That goodwill deserves to be pointed out, even though I don't know anyone who acts well on-line or off for the praise.

I love that Suz chose to do kind of the same thing today. I think women especially need to make themselves aware of the good they do. So many are brought up to be selfless in a way that makes acknowledging good works one does akin with something to feel guilty about.

Let the self-praise flow!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

peej, I'm sorry i didn't know about your illness. I do know that sepsis is pretty insidious and has a way of creeping into the psyche, not just the bloodstream. I'd say that I wish I'd have known so I could have baked you some cheerful cookies like you do the folks at the home? But you recovered much more quickly and happily this way. Thanks for all you do for people. I know I always feel cheerful when you've stopped by.

hiya, caridad! i first met you at Plotmonkeys (a lovely positive karma place that earned me many RBTB Bella friends), then in an elevator at RT.:) Having an online connection made the "in=person" easy, and for many of us, writers, readers alike, cuts through awkwardness. Looking forward to your GuestBlogging with us NOVEMBER 6!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Welcome Farrah! you wrote:
The thing with random acts of kindess is that it's a win-win situation. You end up feeling just as blessed as the person you helped.
That's just the plain truth, isn't it?

Michele, having a son who's having a difficult transition into 6th grade in a new state and school, I understand how any time a person reaches out, it's a blessing. I'm so happy for you and your son that people reached out to you online.

bbaugh, I'm gonna speak for the Bellas, too, when I say it's an honor to have ours be the first blog you've joined! We're big troubleshooters fans, and totally respect supporters of our troops. Thanks for the tip on SoldierAngels.com, and to you and your kids for doing such a nice thing.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thanks so much for stopping in, Arkansas Cyndi! You've hit the nail on the head when you write: I truly believe that kind of support is so therapeutic. Maybe more so when we're lucky enough to do the giving, no?

Nina, now that's a high school memory worth memorializing on facebook! lucky girl. You ROCK for being a bone marrow donor, no small thing, Bella. You have my total respect and admiration.

Becke (treethyme), thank you for sharing that story of how powerful the connections we make on the Internet can be. I know I speak for the Bellas when I express sympathy and great sadness over the loss of your friend's son and a brave American soldier.

I am a shameless believer in the idea that 'good will out' on the Internet, that even the goodness shared between the survivors of such a tragic situation eventually trumps the negativity and evil. And anyone who'd like, is welcome to quote Pollyanna here on that one, cause we've all seen it happen.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thanks, MPG [sniffle, sniffle] I'm so proud of my Bellas, if I may say be so presumptuous as to say so.

omg, mujerluminosa! i SO clearly remember the mia bracelets. Viet Nam was part of many of our lives, either centrally or peripherally, depending on our ages. I think some of our impulses to give to troops were honed back at that time, or if we have parents who served in Korea or WWII, like my dad.

I'm really glad you're a volunteer for Suz. That's very cool and quite an honor. It's no mean feat keeping the tone of a message board or blog going in a certain direction. But I know Suz's stalwart fans, like the Bellas, feel a lot of ownership and desire to see everyone treated well, and that helps keep things fun and moving in the right direction. Good for you and all you folks at Suz's Boards. :)

Hey, lis! I think so many of us have surprized ourselves with our ability to navigate this whole Inet thing, no? Yay for us! Good luck to your son, and thanks for your good works.

Hey, azteclady!!! Thanks for reminding us of all those great campaigns. You've reminded me to mention Brenda Novak's Annual Auction for Diabetes Research which is an extraordinary outpouring of generosity from the romance community and beyond to support juvenile diabetes research. Glad Suz et al have you as a member of Suz's boards, too.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

'morning, Manda (yet another whose presence cheers me). hmmm, ashamed to say I didn't know you'd had surgery either. As with pj, you can feel good about the fact that you wouldn't have had to accept my baking any Get Well Soon cookies from me that surely would have lengthened your recuperation. My apologies. I hope you are feeling better.

mec, so sorry for your loss. Many of us who've known men and women who'd have loved to acknowledge their emotional commitment to partners as Jules and Robin are able to, are comforted by Suz's treatment w/ respect of gay couples and rights issues, as well as hers and her family's work with groups working for equality.

Play, you rock. How nice to think of the seniors, when we usually think of only kids. Hope that doesn't sound too mercenary. You know wha I mean. Will you please send me info on the Australia thing?

Portia,, I think so many of us were so pleased to meet you in person! Everyone kept writing me to say, "wasn't Portia so sweet! I'm so glad I got to meet Portia." And I was like, "Yeah, she's ok if you like nice people, I guess."

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Suz writes: Because there's no such thing as too much dancing.

I think MPG might beg to differ.

Jane said...

Hi Suzanne,
I love your books. Maya Rodale, Hope Tarr and other authors recently debuted Lady Jane's Salon a Romance REading Series. It also serves as a fundraiser for Maya Rodale's Share the Love organization. Share the Love gives romance novels to women by donating them to prison libraries, domestic violence shelters and halfway houses.

Kate Pearce said...

first off I just wanted to say how much I love your books and how I still go all fan girly whenever I see you at a conference-and I'm way too old for that LOL

Acts of kindness-quite a few years ago, one of my kids was diagnosed with having cerebral palsy. At the time, I had a 4 year old and another on the way, and I didn't drive.
Some of my friends simply disappeared on me, or cried or tried to offer me miracle cures. I didn't really want any of that. The people who really came through for me were two groups of mothers I met through clubs I'd joined. They did practical things, helped get me to hospital appointments, filled up my freezer with food, took my eldest away on play dates. All done without a fuss or asking for anything in return. Those were the people who helped us as a family get through that first terrible year and I'll always be grateful to them.

As a writer I believe in paying it forward, I offer writing advice, funding for good causes, free books etc, anything I can do when I'm asked. i do beleive a little practical kindness goes a long way.

bbaugh290 said...

Hi Michelle,

Ive been enjoying checking in here to see whats going on. I noticed that you put soldiersangels.com instead of .org but I tried both and either way it takes you to the same home page.
I have a fifteen year old son and a thirteen year old daughter and even my too cool for anything son wrote a couple of letters and got involved in picking things for the care packages.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

oops, sorry bbaugh. :) thanks for the clarification. you got good kids.

Kate, thanks for sharing that, and for helping others. And you're never too old for fan girliness. imo.

Thanks for the info, Jane!

Nancy said...

Suz, wonderful blog! You were kind and gracious when I met you at a conference a few years back, so I'm not the least surprised that your group has facilitated so many acts of kindness.

I've been involved in fund raising for big and "small" causes due to connections to authors and their loops. It's an honor as well as great fun to participate.

All continued success!

Light,
Nancy Haddock

dbrown3400 said...

Hi Suz,

Been a fan since TTD and was lucky enough to find some Loveswepts also. Years ago we had dinner at an NJRW Conference which was loads of fun.

Online connections give me a chance to respond to requests from many organizations. When an internet friend has a special need, I'm usually in a position to help in some way. I've also participated in fundraisers locally.

Donna

Stacy~ said...

One thing I'll mention for newer fans is that a lot of Suz's older books are being or have been re-released. "Kiss & Tell" came out (I think) in Oct, and the 2nd book in that trilogy, "The Kissing Game", comes out Feb 24th.

Michelle, you are way too nice to me. Srsly, there are those who do much more -i.e. Laurie D from Laurie's Laudanum who works tirelessly to send care packages to the troops - and should be recognized for all the wonderful things they do everyday. Like Lori Foster & Dianne Castell and their annual reader/writer event where donations are collected for a variety of charities. They've definitely inspired me. God bless 'em :)

Playground Monitor said...

The Australia thing should be posted on our blog tomorrow. I forwarded it to you via email just now. Permission was given to forward so if you want to post it here you can.

RubyD said...

What a great subject....I'm a cup half-full kind of person, also.
On one of the websites I belong to we earn points by taking surveys. After Hurricane Katrina we pooled those points and turned them into thousands of dollars for the relief funds.
I have been fortunate to win some books from authors' blogs and websites. Some of those have been sent (and more will be) to my granddaughter who is a Marine stationed in Iraq. She and her buddies love romance novels. Guess I should send some thriller novels for the guys *g*.
Care packages that she shares go out every couple of weeks and I try to add something to every one of them. The last one was yarn and knitting needles. She is making hats and scarves to give away.
Thank you all for some of the ideas and weblinks.

orannia said...

Morning Michelle & Bellas, and welcome Suzanne!

Suzanne - that was a lovely, heart-warming post - thank you! It is a joy to realise that humanity can be capable of such compassion in a world in which it can be sorely lacking at times. I received a birthday present from an internet friend - we've never met but chat often. She saw from a post on a book blog that I liked a particularly OOP book and she knew she had a copy. So she sent it to me. I actually dislike celebrating my birthday, but receiving this book out of the blue totally made my week! I was rapt!

And for presents to the armed forces - I'm done something similar. When I was at university (college) a army friend was sent to Bosnia. So I told him I'd write. He didn't think I would...he received one letter a week for 6 months, and I included all the news, gossip, silly stories from the university paper, the local sports team's results, jokes, crosswords, etc. Oh and general knowledge questions (we were having a competition :) And at Christmas he received a book and food package :) He said he got more letter than the married men :) I started numbering them (as a joke) but it was good because they occasionally turned up out of order! He told me the letters made him feel like home (and me) wasn't (weren't) that far away... And doing that didn't feel like a burden at all - I loved doing it. I cried when I got the first letter back from him..I couldn't open it my hands were shaking so badly :)

Please don't include me in the contest as I'm only up to The Defiant Hero *embarrassed* I'm a late starter :) (It's actually quite scary how accurate that statement is!) But can I just say that I am so enjoying The Defiant Hero - the emotional intensity of Meg and Nils' relationship is...heartbreakingly beautiful :) I am so looking forward to the rest of the series!

Apologies for the long post and All the best for the release of Dark of Night Suzanne!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

orannia, I look forward to your comments and was wondering whether we'd hear from you today. I'm sure your friend felt the same way. Only, I'm sure it didn't take him several years to spell your name right, unlike some blog hostesses you know...(and you were too nice to correct me).

And I'm a late starter to romance in general and even have learned a lot from you. In fact, now that I think about it, I think I've actually BOUGHT more books because of you. hmmmm... And we've got some work to do so we can get you loving your birthday as much as I love mine. You can start practicing by taking part in tomorrow's self-love day. :)

Rubyd, what a neat thing you and your sitepals did. It's neat that so many books from cyberspace get recycled. You're very thoughtful.

um, stace? Are you trying to steal my Catholic of the Year award? Laurie is awesome, too, a recip of this year's RBTB Good Karma award along with Ms Foster, the Romance Unleashed chicks and Brenda Novak. Can't wait til next year. I'm sure some of the folks we talked about today could easily end up on the list.

The Reader/Author Get-Together in Ohio is just a big love fest. I can't recommend it highly enough, and I know Stacy and other Bellas have been going and inviting us for years. Can't wait til June, and I'm hoping lots of Bellas come, too so we can have us a little partay.

Super, dbrown! That's a great point. And good for you for your generosity.

Thanks for the news, play.

Treethyme said...

Here are images from Matt's funeral and from an earlier memorial service that I had posted on my blog, if anyone is interested:

http://the-garden-muse.blogspot.com/2008/07/staff-sgt-keith-m-matt-maupin-rest-in.html

http://the-garden-muse.blogspot.com/2008/07/staff-sgt-keith-m-matt-maupin-love.html

http://the-garden-muse.blogspot.com/2006/07/garden-for-sgt-matt-maupin.html

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi, Pat L!

Ah, Westbury! (I used to live on Long Island...)

Sending packages to the troops is always rewarding -- whenever I travel, I always save the little hotel shampoos to send. And hand and foot warmers! Oh, my gosh, when my son Jason had an acting gig in Juneau, Alaska, I sent him hand and footwarmers by the boxload. And the internet site where I ordered them had a special deal that would allow people to send some to the troops for a discounted price. I jumped all over that (knowing how well they work and how COLD it is in Afghanistan in the winter!). I remember being so pleased that this company was willing to do this.

It does make you feel good!

-- Suz

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thank you very much for sharing those with us, Becke. We owe a debt of gratitude to staff sgt Maupin, as well as his family and friends.

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi, Stacy~

Schaumberg -- the public library, right? What a library...

And hey, have you seen the reissues of those early Loveswepts? THE KISSING GAME is coming out in just a few days. (This is one of my personal favorites of the short rom coms I wrote early in my career!)

It is amazing when people who don't have a whole lot to give still share. It's inspiring, I agree!

-- Suz

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

This is a note from Bella fave Anne Gracie regarding the Rom Writers of Australia bushfire disaster initiative:

Hi everyone, long time no see.

I'm just popping in briefly to thank all of you who've expressed concern about the bushfire
disaster we've had here, and to tell you that Romance Writers of Australia are launching a
book appeal. We know that for many affected families, books will not be high on their list
of necessities for some time to come.

But...We also know how valuable books can be in providing time out when reality gets tough.

So…With the aid of some wonderful volunteers, we've put together a
Romance Writers of Australia Bushfire Book Appeal.

What we need?
FICTION BOOKS! Romance books, children's books, genre books, whatever – either new or in sparkling condition.

Please send them to:
RWA Bushfire Book Appeal
c/o 89 Rennie St
Thornbury Vic 3071


When to send them?
Now! And any time over the next few months. The books will be boxed and delivered to the appropriate neighbourhood centres/community centres/libraries in batches as soon as practicable.

Feel free to pop a note inside, or if you're the author, sign the book.

With thanks

Anne Gracie
Forwarding this message on behalf of Romance Writers of Australia Inc.

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Caridad said:

If each of us just did a little, then a lot of good things could get done.

This is so true. Working with a group of people makes it possible to get things done.

-- Suz

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

Love the Pay it Forward idea. I'm a big fan of shows like Clean Sweep. Every spring I end up with tonnes of stuff for the Salvation Army, books for the library, etc.

Suz, I have to ask about George Faulkner, will we be seeing more of him? Loved Bodyguard and I'm still not sure Kim or Nicole or someone else?:-)

Thank you, Sofie H.

Suzanne Brockmann said...

PJ,

You are so right -- and definitely do tell us more, if you feel so inspired!

As I was reading your post, I was thinking "What goes around comes around," but in a good way! (That expression can refer to not so nice things, too!)

I have a good friend who is an elementary school teacher (ie not a big salary earner, don't get me started...), and she wasn't too careful with her finances when she was younger, always buying things for her class and her classroom and her friends. Her philosophy was always "I invest in people!"

And sure enough, when her father fell ill, all of her friends chipped in a small amount of money (she had so many friends!) to get her a plane ticket home.

And we all loved being part of that group that helped her, too.

-- Suz

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Sofie! I hate to admit I haven't read TB! Or, maybe I should be happy that I still have it to look forward to? But I also don't know this show "Clean Sweep?" Yes, I"m ridiculously out of touch...

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Farrah!!!

Brave, brave Farrah, who always sat in the front row whenever I gave a workshop at RWA.

It's nice to see you here! How's the writing going?

And I agree with you completely about the win/win.

And next time you contact your RWA member who is in Iraq, please pass along my thanks for her service!

-- Suz
P.S. You going to RWA National this year in DC?

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Oh, Michelle,

I think there's nothing like being a mother watching someone being kind to our children.

That's something that you never, ever forget.

And talk about good things appearing when you need them. Helsinki -- that happens more often than one would think it should. Good karma, I bet. ggg.

-- Suz

Treethyme said...

I just read my first Anne Gracie, and I've ordered her backlist. I forwarded her appeal to my local RWA chapter loop and to another loop I belong to.

Thanks for telling us about this.

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hey, bbaugh290.

Thanks for posting the soldier's angels link -- that's a great organization.

You know one of my readers works at the USO in the airport at Dallas, and when I visited there a few years ago, I stopped in and had a tour. It was amazing, the sheer number of service people who came through that one facility in the course of a single day.

And the programs and services they provided were wonderful.

If anyone ever wants to give back, with a donation of money or time, the USO is a great way to do it, too.

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Arkansas Cyndi,

You are absolutely right about that kind of tangible support being therapeutic.

And even words of support on a board or blog help a whole lot.

My dad just had a knee replacement, and my mom in particular got a lot of mileage from all of the well wishes from her internet friends.

-- Suz

bbaugh290 said...

Suz,
When you mentioned the airport it made me think. I have to take my kids to Atlanta airport about 4 times a year then pick them up from return trip to their dad's anyway do all the airports have mini parades for the troops like they do in Atlanta.
They have 4 USO workers two in front two in back carring flags as the troops move through the airport to their plane. Everyone stands and applaudes till the last one is gone.

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi, Nina in Ohio!

At last report, Justin, the young SEAL who had the bone marrow transplant was doing quite well.

He's been in touch, regularly, with a number of people from my board, and apparently it's not an easy road. (But he's obviously a fighter.)

Anyway, when the news came down that one of the people who registered was a match for a little boy, Justin's response was that the news turned a tough day into a wonderful one. He said it made it all worthwhile, to think that this boy found his match because someone registered as a result of Justin being ill...

What an attitude, you know? Just so inspiring and impressive.

Thank you for asking about him!

And how wonderful that you were someone's hero, too!

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Becke,

Nice to see you here!

What a heartbreaking and inspiring story.

Life can be hard, but no matter what happens, we can survive with our friends by our side.

You know, I was always leery of internet friendships -- until I saw them in action. I love going to booksignings and seeing readers from my message board meet each other for the first time, as old friends!

-- Suz

Princess Bumblebee said...

Welcome, Suz! This is so exciting. I am a huge fan of yours and am hoping not to gush too much here! I'm currently smack in the middle of DON and am lovin every breathless, intense, hilarious minute of it! It's just great. Keep up the good work! What I love about your writing is that you convey exactly what your ...imperfect as they may be, but intensely lovable..characters are thinking. There's absolutely no doubt what's in their heads!
As to online give-of-yourselfness, I think there is a lot more of that happening than most people realize. I was there about the bone-marrow transplant and was blown away by how many responded just online. It was amazing.
Here at RBTB, Michelle is always bringing important things to our attention, which we love, and has a great sweeps, which I just got my package of a free surprise gift, a tote bag, notebook, free books, and fancy pen, the other day and it just made my day. All I gotta say is..Koodos to a great community we have!

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hey, MPG!

It really is nice to see that "hey, we can squeeze in together, there's always room for one more" mentality!

I love coming here -- I always feel so welcome!

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Stephanie!

I agree completely -- and isn't it funny how time flies?

I realized recently that I've know some of my "new" friends since 1993. Eek.

Hugs (and see you soon!),
Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi, Lis.

Your son sounds amazing -- you must be so proud.

And it makes sense, doesn't it, that firefighters would appreciate a sense of community? Men who work in a team, who rely on one another so absolutely -- you have to really value community to be able to do that.

Absolutely inspiring!

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Howdy Azteclady -- nice to see you here!

And it totally is all about your focus. If you look for ugliness, you'll find it. But if you look for goodness.

It's out there.

hugs,
Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Manda,

It must've been amazing to be on the receiving end of that -- I keep coming back to good karma! ggg.

I'm glad you liked DON -- I can't tell you how much fun it was to write that book and tie up so many story arcs.

-- Suz

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Principessa! so glad to see you today! Really, DON? I could barely breathe from the first graph on, you know? Geek hero? Thank you, ma'am, may I have another?

You know, my always blushing about your crush on shia aside, I used to feel embarrassed about how close I felt to my online friends, especially here at RBTB. Then I started to think about how women a hundred, two hundred years ago corresponded w/friends and may never have seen them again once they married and moved away.

When we online girlfriends get to meet, it's a treat, but our not meeting face-to-face doesn't lessen the importance of our friendships, or the impact we have on each others' lives.

In the online karma game, I don't think we can pick and choose in terms of impact: Our negative behavior affects and strikes as intimately as our positive, loving behaviour. It's naive and probably a function of denial to believe differently.

Ooo, and btw, I wish i could have won one of those kimani gifts! Kelli Martin and Hquin were very generous with readers that day.

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi, MEC.

Thank you for being a "friend of Jules."

And wow -- we've been in this reader/writer relationship for a long time, if you read HERO UNDER COVER! I'm impressed!

Thank you for posting here today.

P.S. Have you listened to the audiobook of ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT? It's read by Michael Holland, my absolutely favorite singer/songwriter. If I were casting a movie of the Troubleshooter series, I would have Michael play Jules -- it's always been his voice that I hear in my head when Jules speaks.

With that said, listening to Michael read ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT is like hearing Jules himself read it. (A treat!)

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hey, Marilyn!

I hope the pictures from RITA night came out all right!

You are so right -- Australia's reeling from the fires -- there are lots of opportunities to help out, particularly for authors who want to donate books for fundraisers.

If you have any links, please post them.

I know that the Australian chapter of Romance Writers are having a conference next week -- and their using the opportunity to raffle off a number of signed books to raise money for people who lost their homes.

(Australian readers, you can bid on a chance to win one of three signed copies of DARK OF NIGHT at the conference!)

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi Portia!

Isn't it fun to meet an online friend for the first time?

I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle B, after being online buddies -- and it was so nice to be able to sit across from her and chat. (She's gorgeous, by the way! As beautiful as she is nice!)

We rendezvoused in a restaurant in Boston while she was in town for a visit. And we lingered so long over lunch that both of our husbands came looking for us! ggg.

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi, Marye,

you asked about plotting -- I'm an extensive outliner. I make notes and notes and notes. And then I make more notes.

For me, it's all about interweaving the subplots with the main plot of the story. (And in a romance, there are two main plots -- the internal conflict/romance and the external conflict/plot. But that internal conflict is just as important, and it's usually here where I bring in the theme of the book.

In BODYGUARD, one of the main themes of the book was perception -- both self-perception and how the rest of the world sees you. (I visit this theme frequently in my books.) Another theme was choosing to live (vs. living a half life -- another theme I use often). I try to tie all of the subplots together based on the book's theme.

In the course of writing, I'm continuously making lists. I make a list of every scene in the book, adding to it as I write a new scene. I include whose point of view the scene is from, and what plot event or action burst happens in that scene.

The cool part of writing, though, is that there are no wrong or right ways to write. You gotta find your own groove, and do it your own way.

I'm pretty scatter-brained, so I need those notes and those lists. But many of my fav authors are "seat of the pants" writers -- they write the book with minimal notes. It's all about what works for you-the-writer!

Hugs,
Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Michelle B.,

You get that MPG up on his feet right now!

Hugs,
Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Jane,

Share the love sounds wonderful!

And how excellent to empower women with romance novels, filled with strong role models!

-- Suz

PSMitchellpov said...

Hi Suz,

So many good things have come about for me because of your online community.

Involved in many wonderful projects on the BB, my world has expanded a great deal. I've visted with new friends and been to exotic (to me!) places.

Your BB is a place to learn about so many things: new authors, new music and new ways of looking at things.

Thank you for opening up so many wonderful experiences to so many people.

Peace and Long Life,

Peggy Mitchell

MarthaE said...

Hi Suz and Michelle! I've been reading lots of Suz's books and it surprises me how many there are!
Your acts of kindness are Wonderful! We help with Angel food ministry distribution every month at our church and sponser children at Thanksgiving and Christmas either through the school or church by buying a gifts from a list given to us. (Sort of a like a local Angel Tree.)

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Kate,

I'm so glad that you found the support you did. And how wonderful to be able to pay it forward!

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hey, Nancy,

"Small" causes can often be the most rewarding!

Thanks for posting,
Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hey, Donna -- nice to see you here!

It's been a while since I've gone to that NJ conference -- I miss that. They always threw a great party!

So nice to see you here!

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi, Ruby D!

Your granddaughter is lucky to have a grandmother like you!

Please send her my regard and my thanks.

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Orannia,

Thanks for posting -- what a wonderful story.

I, too, am a letter writer from way back, and I still love getting cards and letters in the mail. (Email's great, but, a letter...!) So I can imagine how wonderful your friend felt to get your letters.

Hugs,
Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi, Sophie!

You asked about George Faulkner -- my original plan was for him to return as the hero of his own book!

I've been a little sidetracked lately though, but yes, I do plan to write his book. Someday!

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Michelle,

Thank you for the info about the books for Australia.

And bbaugh, I'm not sure all USOs have parades like the ones in Atlanta -- what a nice thing!

-- SUz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi, Princess Bumblebee!

I'm glad you're enjoying DON!

And you're right -- this community rocks!

-- Suz

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Peggy, your type of testimonial is the kind I like best. Where women who think maybe they'd never [travel outside their home town, get on a plane, fill in the blank] do it because they've met people online that have become friends and challenged them to 'bust out!' I feel quite triumph in your words. Or maybe I'm just reading too much of what I want to? :) Good for you.

That's so great to hear, MarthaE. It's really neat how some people just connect others and make us feel better about ourselves just for knowing them.

Grazie mille, Suz,, for taking so much time to swap comments with us today. Sound like so much is going on for you. I know the theAter is near/dear to you, so it'll be so exciting to follow the success of your shows on stage and screen.

And I have to say that MPG still talks about how much he enjoyed getting to hang w/ you and Ed in Boston. He gets a little star-struck around the writer-gals. Or overwhelmed when there are big bunches hanging around the joint. But he's always good for cookin up some beignets, which, I guess, keep him busy and out of the way...

blackroze37yahoo.com said...

well ive not done anything like that of the most ppl who has replied

i kept 1 of my daughters bf, who had done 2 tours , and was scared to death that they was going to send him back, so after his leave back home here, he went back to the fort in ny. and he didnt sleep. and heck, neighter do i, i talked, or listened actually to his drunk ramblings 2,3,4 hours a night or more. from his (well personally thought of it as cell)

lucky he got to come back home. but he still calls the nights the nightmares comes for him, even though him and my daughter split up, and she dont understand why im still talking to him.

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hey, Peggy!

You know, when I was writing that blog about the good things that happened because of our board, I left so much out -- all of the little acts of kindness.

How many people have come to the board looking for an out of print book -- and had many people offer to send them their copy to read and return?

It's way cool. Thank YOU for helping to keep it around!

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hi, Martha E!

Sometimes I'm surprised by how many books there are, too! ggg.

I've been a published author since August, 1993.

How could that be? I'm only 17 years old... (In my mind...)

-- Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

blackroze,

You did a really great thing -- by being there and listening.

Too often, in this crazy, busy world, we don't slow down enough to listen -- but you did.

It sounds as if you helped him -- and still help him -- immensely.

Hugs,
Suz

Suzanne Brockmann said...

Hey, Bellas and Michelle!

It was a pleasure visiting with you today!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Keep the kindness flowing!

-- Suz

marye.ulrich said...

Thanks Suzanne for the ideas on plots. I hadn't even thought about the internal and external elements, duh! That is a big help. Do you ever share your notes after the book is published? I would love to see how things are laid out.

Any suggestions for books on writing? I just finished Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell and liked it, but still feel I need more basics.

ps. Bought another of your books today.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

marye, have you considered joining your local chapter of Romance Writers of America? It's the best place for writers at all stages of "the craft" to learn. You get to hear from published authors, network, take part in writing and critique groups and -- probably most important -- meet and find supportive friends who either are or have been exactly where you are. Go to http://www.RWAnational.org for more information. You'll be so happy you joined. There's also an online chapter.

blackroze, I agree with Suz. Sometimes we can't solve someone's problems. Often, they're in no position even to solve them themselves. But they still need someone to listen to them. Positive, active listening can make a huge difference, especially during 'drunken ramblings,' if they help keep someone safe. As long as you remember to take care of yourself and make sure that you're not getting taken advantage of or feeling emotionally drained by helping your friend, it's a very giving thing you're doing.

Suz! Thank you --grazie mille -- for spending so much time with us today, and for caring about what we've written.

You've given us a gift today, a chance to let us take a look at all the good done online, and also to look at the ways we help others. It's good for us occasionally to kind of remember the really nice things we do for others. Giving is supposed to feel good. And we like to remember good memories. So, my unsolicited advice is for everyone to feel good about your contributions and remember them when you need to brighten your day.

Buona notte, Bellas! See you tomorrow for Me, My Valentine's Day!

Playground Monitor said...

Wow! What wonderful sharing today. But isn't that what the romance community is all about?

The DH and I had our Valentine's dinner tonight. I have my RWA meeting tomorrow and he got invited to go camping and hiking with some guys. I'd rather have smoldering toothpicks shoved under my fingernails than camp. Bye honey! Have a great time while I'm hanging with my writer friends.

I remembered another episode of writers rising to the cause. Back in 2004 a friend who lives on the Florida panhandle coast had her roof damaged by a hurricane. The spot where water poured in was above the bookshelf with all her keeper romances. She mentioned she'd lost her beloved copy of Prince Joe plus others. I'd just bought PJ at a used book store and read it. I sent it to her. Others on that email loop sent her books as well. She bemoaned the loss of an autographed book she'd just got at the RWA conference. I know the author, emailed and asked if I could buy one of her author copies to send and Ms. Author said,"No, you can't buy it. But I'll autograph it and mail it to her. What's the address."

I need to listen to the audio of All Through the Night. Loved that book plus Hot Target. You've created a wonderful character in Jules Cassidy. He is what he is without any stereotyping or over-the-top characterization. He's the kind of person I'd want watching my back.

Marilyn

P.S. The pictures turned out great!

amy*skf said...

So late--but I love these posts, and I always love what Suzanne Brockmann has to say.

You always touch my heart, so eloquently--and yet so simply. Because being kind should be simple. It should be second nature--first nature even.

Laurie said...

Several author site auctions for fellow authors dealing with illnesses or sudden deaths in their families. EX: Brenda Novak diabetes Lori & Laurie's Support the troup packages before Christmas. Several HS support projects in our community: Molly's House, Hibiscus House...

My SIL's group Supporting Darfur

Keep on contributing to all worthy causes!

orannia said...

Thank you so much Suz! I know I've probably missed you but I just finished The Defiant Hero this morning and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it - from the intensity of Meg & John's relationship to the Eve's heartbreaking story about Ralph. I have to say, at the end of Ralph's story I was crying (but in a sort of happy way). I can't wait to read the third book!

Michelle - thank you :)

Farrah Rochon said...

P.S. You going to RWA National this year in DC?

Even though I doubt Suz will see this, just coming stopping in to answer with a huge YES!

Kris said...

Wow, some great comments.

Just wanted to say, I love Ms. Brockmann's books, Dark of Night was AWESOME!! You are my favorite author, thanks for the wonderful stories.

i was the recipient of a RAK. I was going through a very hard time financially and an online friend new that I was missing being able to get books and sent me a amazon gift card to buy books with.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thanks, Kris, for sharing that. What a great friend. What could feel better?

I'll let suzanne know you guys wrote a bit late and I know if she has time, she'll check in.

Thanks for reminding us of those great efforts, Laurie.

Play, what an awesome effort. Actually efforts, as in gathering the new keeper collection *and* getting out of going camping on Love day. Very canny.

orannia, that sounds like an awesome experience. Crying in a good way is the best. Are you sure you're not Italian?

Becke Davis said...

The online romance community is amazing. I belong to one online group where we found out one of our members was going to have serious surgery. In a matter of days we had sent tons of cards and raised enough money to put together a really kick-ass get well basket for her. I've seen things like this again and again!