Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Wallflowers No More

This is my girl, Janice Lynn, bless her heart.

She and I e-met when she sent me her debut novel, "Jane Millionaire," winner of the American Title contest. That's the fan-selected contest sponsored by Dorchester Publishing and presented by Romantic Times mag.

So Janice and I take on like we're old friends, and she's not only introduced me to industry folks, she made sure I was comfortable and had friends to hang out with at RWA.

It's the miracle of this medium we've created for ourselves, Bellas. Our little corner of cyberspace, where we can chat about romance and sex and love and life with a supportive, snark-free Band of Sisters.

Tell us about your best friends. What does friendship mean to you?

Today's blog is in honor of the fact that the divine LISA KLEYPAS will GuestBlog with us tomorrow, August 3. We're celebrating the release of "Scandal in Spring," the fourth novel in her Wallflower series.

The Wallflower novels are centered around four best girlfriends who are on the outside looking in, yet forge their lives the way they want. And they find some totally hot alphas along the way.
Thank you CHRISTINA DODD, for your very fun GuestBlog yesterday! Xtina really knows the value of great girlfriends like her chicks at SquawkRadio.com, and we're glad she's one of our Bellas now! Stay blogged-on for winner of contest.
Encore! Read my review of Wallflower novel 3, "Devil in Winter," then get yourself a copy of "Scandal in Spring!"
Encore due! Susan Donovan GuestBlogs here Friday, August 4! Her newest, "The Kept Woman," is just terrif!
Encore tre! BAMABELLE! You're the winner of the copy of Christina Dodd's "Trouble in High Heels!" Email me, Bella, at romance@ibsys.com .


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buon giorno, Bellas! Gosh, wasn't yesterday fun? Of course, I was checking in in the middle of tons of things I needed to finish for this week's package -- Miss Nora and her special interview, btw -- and youz were makin me laugh all day.

Especially since I moved here 2 years ago, girlfriends have been the saving grace in my life. They've centered me, made me laugh, helped me navigate the changes I go through. And one in particular taught me it's OK to get a little giddy about guys other than my husband. :)

You know that here, you e-friends have given me women to talk to about romance who don't judge that I like it, who seem to read it for similar reasons to mine. And I always learn from you, which is such a nice thing to say about a friendship with a woman.

Sometimes friendship can be just about doing that dance of protecting one's self from a friend's jealousy or pettiness that's below the surface of her "niceness." I think some women can't help themselves. And that's so energy sapping.

But, fortunately, that's not what happens here. And I try to protect myself from those relationships at this point in my life. Wiser, maybe?

amy kennedy said...

Such fun Michelle, love the picture--why are you wearing my dress?

One of my friendships has lasted
since we were both 14--we're both late 40s now. Sometimes we go months without seeing each other, but then when we do, it's as if we've seen each other every day.

Another developed over years of working with each other. A slow and steady build-up of friendship. I know how lucky I am to work with one of my best friends.

And another still was one where I decided to take a chance and say, we should do something sometime--here's my e-mail and phone number.

I meet lots of people at the library, so many times I've thought--gee, that is a cool person, I bet we could be friends--and then haven't done a darn thing about it. Really, how do you make friends outside of the people you work with, it's all so full of possible rejections.

I just reverted to second grade.
You wanna be friends? And it worked.

And then there are the Bellas--I am honored to be a bella and to count you all as friends.

Rach said...

My best friend is also my cousin. Growing up in the south, your family tends to be around forever--that is until this generation spawned four of us who moved away--and we were all raised together.

We have been friends since I can remember. We have helped each other through our fathers' illnesses and then deaths. We have gone through those awful middle school years together, my marriage and kids, her new steady boyfriend, everything. There truly isn't a thing we wouldn't tell each other.

To that end, we keep each other's secrets--especially from the family! =)

Another best friend I met my freshman year of college when I sat next to her the first day of chemestry class. She and I are pretty inseparable and in fact, she moved three hours away to be here near me =).

My last group of best friends are the women I work with daily. I have NO idea what I would ever do without them. We are each other's back-up and support. The fact that I'm trying to move away from them KILLS me! They are the reason I actually have no interest in a new job, but am looking because of the fam.

Okay, majorly long-winded this morning. Oops! But, we're the Bellas and we're allowed to do these things once in a while, right? I'm so glad I've got ya'll too!!=)

Kati said...

Wow! We have a cornucopia of guest bloggers! I'm thrilled about LK and SD coming!

I'm so blessed to have several good girlfriends whom I adore. My closest friend I talk to a couple of times a day. She's so close that she's more like family than just a friend. She and I share a birthday and have very similar personalities and interests. My roommate is a close friend, but we get on each others nerves occassionally, so it's a different kind of friendship.

But truly, my best friend in the world is my sister. She's my desert island person. I couldn't do without my Sara. She's the very best there is and I simply adore her.

I have another girlfriend who I met when I was 12. We were joined in our mutual love for Duran Duran. She lives in Melbourne, Australia now, but when I do get to see her, we pick up like it was yesterday the last time I saw her. She's among the very best people in the whole world.

amy kennedy said...

Rach, I keep thinking I'd like to get a job in a school library, so I'd have the same schedule as my 7 year old--but then I think about leaving my friends--I can't do it.

And Marykate, I absolutely should have counted my sister--she is my touchstone, when I had my first child I called her every day--not exaggerating--every day. We talk or e-mail almost everyday.

Kati said...

Oh, Bellas, I didn't want to say yesterday to interuppt Christina's day, but my review is up on AI. Eve Silver's HIS DARK KISS (yes...the November release). It rocks!

Rach said...

See, Amy, that's what I'm talking about. You get it!

MK, as for sisters, well, J and I are only just now getting to be close again. As little kids we were very close, but then, as teens, we were SO different we had nothing in common other than a love of fighting. Now, with marriage, parenthood, etc. we are rediscovering each other. It's rather nice =).

Rach said...

MK, great review! =) How creepy yet intriguing =). Can't wait until it's released!

Playground Monitor said...

We owned a business and in addition I was working outside the home and trying to juggle business, job and family and sadly I let friendships fall by the wayside. Dumb, I know. But now we don't have the business any more, I'm not working outside the home any more, I have an empty nest and for a while I was feeling pretty friendless.

Then I joined RWA and met an amazing group of women who are so willing to share and take you under their collective wings and I had new friends. And then a small group of them asked me to join in with them on a website and blog and the Playground was born. We live fairly close to each other but between jobs and families, we don't get a lot of face time together but we sure do burn up cyberspace with our email loop. And the second Saturday of the month is our day to meet before our RWA meeting and not only have a board meeting of sorts but just have fun. Last week in Atlanta was great but even more so because I could share it with my RWA sisters and website cohorts.

And let's not dismiss the importance of e-friends. My husband scoffs at the idea but I consider them as near and dear as the ones right here in town. And many I've gone on to meet -- like the one who flew in from New Jersey last Wednesday just for the Lit Signing in Atlanta. WOW! And Janice Lynn was an e-friend as well. I was part of her Vote for Jane Millionaire loop and we finally met at an RWA conference. Last week in Atlanta was FULL of e-friens meetings and it's so nice to put names and faces together.

You're definitely wise to avoid any relationship that's draining and negative. Life's too short to spend it having someone suck the life out of you.


MsTypo said...

My best friend in the world is my hubby. The day he told me i cried like a baby in the computer lab at my university surrounded by all the computer geeks who thought i was a freak. It was beautiful. :D :D

My best friend from HS was and is amazingly cool. The first time we met i told her she was a stuck up witch... or something like that. :p Despite that awkward beginning she was even my maid of honor when i got married. No matter how many years or miles separate us we always giggle like girls when we finally reconnect on my rare visits home. That's friendship!

My efriends rule! I'm even going to meet up with a bunch of them for the first time in person next week when i'm in Australia. These women know stuff that i won't even admit to myself. I guess that's the comfort of the internet and knowing that these ladies don't judge me.

Manda Collins said...

Morning, Bellas! Where to begin? Friends are so important in my life.

The best things I took away from college and grad school (meh, degrees are okay too, I guess) we're friends for life. There's the one I team taught Freshman Comp with--our friendship was forged in the fires of academic angst.

I email back and forth with another every day. She's a SAHM, but she's also a darn good poet. (But she writes real poetry not limericks;) Her marriage is the one that makes me believe that the HEA we love in romance can really happen.

Another dear friend is also a librarian--we met in college and bonded over a mutual love of PBS. Sad but true, folks;) She's the only person I know who remembers all those Mysteries and Masterpiece Theatres that inform my wacko world view!

Then there are my cyber pals. Michelle and the Bellas--who I appreciate so much. I love this safe place that Michelle has carved out for us. A place where we can get all intellectual if we want, or can talk snaxy men, or both! Seriously, you guys are wonderful and I love that we are not snarky like some other places. We come in giving one another the benefit of the doubt, and THAT is what sets us apart, I think.

Am also friends with the Bon Bon Girls over on Eloisa James Bulletin board. To paraphrase Mr. Bennett in P&P we are among the silliest girls in cyberspace, but we have loads of fun.

Michelle--you are so right about energy sapping people. You've just got to stay clear of them. My theory is that they see someone who has the confidence and self esteem that they don't have and latch on like leeches. It's not pretty and though I hope I'm not mean about it, I try not to get involved with people like that. Life is too short, and a girl's gotta take care of herself.

One more thing, I read my first Nora Roberts this weekend (I know, I know, I'm waaaaaay late to that party). But I loved it. So am excited to see your interview with her!

Manda Collins said...

Okay, just saw how long my above post was--jeez. Sorry guys. Guess am long winded today:(

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

NOT long-winded at all. I thought we all might like to spend some time talking about the friends who make us feel great. Suspected we'd get a little wordy.

Rach said...

Manda, you too love PBS?? It's the only channel that I ever turn on (it seems) and we have digital cable. Go figure =).

I'm with ya'll on the e-friends/cyber friends front. I may not know you in person, but ya'll are here for me when I need you. Michelle has created this great place where we can come together and act all goofy if we wanna and it's cool. I'm with Manda, I don't like those snarky places.

They're the kind of friends (who aren't really friends) that are draining and need to be avoided at all costs.

So, Michelle, Bellas, thanks bunches for listening to me rant and rave =). Ya'll are the best!

Rach said...

Manda, I'm often long-winded. Don't sweat it!

amy kennedy said...

Nairobi, I told my husband (before he was my hubby,or even a thought that he would be my husband) that if he were a girl he'd be my best friend--I think I did the gender thing because there were so many...undertones. But I would literally tell him everything.

Marylin, how wonderful that you found these friends--like I said, it's hard to stick your neck out.

Rach, my sister and I really became close after marriage and kids--she's 6 years older than I am--but the older we get the closer in age we get.

Manda, if it's interresting, it's not long winded, and you are always interresting.

Speaking of my sister, she has a best friend--they call each other breast friends--maybe you have to be there.

Michelle, I guess we really do like to talk about our friends--and again, why are you wearing my dress?

Gorgeous picture.

MsTypo said...

Breast Friends... That reminds of a line in a book i read ages ago. Can't for the life of me think of the title though.

"Through thick and thin!"
"Through sick and sin!"

Kati said...

One of my best friends in the world is a guy. We met the first week of college and are extremely close. I talk to him at least once a week. His wife is relatively cool with it. She didn't really have a choice, I was in his life before she was, so she kinda had to accept me. And she does. I do my part not to be too in her face about the fact that we chat really often. But they've been married a decade, and she seems OK with it.

But he's my "YOU MEN!" guy. When I'm dating a guy who is acting like a freak, he's my go to guy who can give me some ideas about the whys and wherefores. He's also my guy friend who tells me when I'm being obsessive about a something.

We've been friends for 17 years.

Vivi Anna said...

Ah friends...I realized this past week at the conference that I have many more than I thought I did...

I finally met my Allure girls (7 of us that promo together, and have just recently announced that we have an anthology coming out together from Avon Red called ALLURING TALES: Awaken The Fantasy) for the first time, and it was magic...with Cathryn and Lisa it was like I'd just hooked up with my best girlfriends from high school. OMG, did we have fun, and their husbands are fantastic and made me believe in that romance we so love in our books.

My sister and my mom are also my best friends. I wouldn't be who I am without without their friendship and support.

I also have a couple of male best friends that I wouldnt' give up for the world.

Oh, and Michelle, can you email me at vivaciousvivianna@yahoo.ca about blogging...

Rach said...

Speaking of e-friends, there are a couple we haven't heard from who we usually do by now. I wonder where Julie is today. Anyone remember her saying anything about being out and about?

I'm pretty sure we'll hear from Stacy and Michele before the day is out. Monica is busy on deadline of sorts. Lucy pops in and out on occassion , and I know I'm leaving out a ton--and to those of you I have, I'm so sorry!

amy kennedy said...

Yeah, Rach, where are they--of course there is that dreaded "work" thing--luckily I ahve the day off--my husband is coming home early and he's taking us to the ballgame--yah!

Vivi--don't you love that instant click--I truly believe there is fate involved.

MK guy friends are great, the only ones I have now are through my husband--not really that close, but comfortable, glad you've had one for 17 years.

And Nairobi, love the through "sick and sin"--gotta tell my sis about that one.

Janice Lynn said...

Michelle~you look gorgeous, but WHY ARE YOU WEARING AMY'S DRESS????? tee hee. Okay, seriously, Michelle's post is great & touches on one of the biggest blessings I've gotten from my writing career--friends. Real ones. The kind you can't easily find and the kind who are there for you through the ups and downs. Through the e-writing world, I've made friendships that I cherish with all my heart. During the American Title contest Michelle & Marilyn (hi Marilyn!) mentioned , I very quickly learned who my friends were, the ones who got excited and were happy for me each round. My husband is my best friend, but between the Wet Noodle Posse, the Writers Playground, various other e-groups, and all the wonderful people I met during the American Title contests, I have truly been blessed. And then there's Michelle, bless her heart, you got to love her because she makes you smile...and laugh so hard your belly hurts.

Here's to good friends! May you all be blessed with an overabundance of friends who love you just the way you are.

Vivi Anna said...

So true Janice Lynn about Michelle. I thought I would pee my pants every time we hooked up at the conference...she's so funny! And drop dead gorgeous...so gorgeous I wanted to be really mad at her, but just couldn't because she's so gracious...

robynl said...

My 'bestest' friend is a true friend. We met in the '70's and worked together in a drug store. She and I have moved many times since then and have re-married also. She lives thousands of miles away but we keep in touch via phone and internet. She is always there for me and I just need to phone her and upon hearing her voice and insight into a problem I usually can relax. Hooray for friends!!!!

Manda Collins said...

It just occurred to me how lucky we all are to have all these friends. And each other. Thanks for the uplift Bellas!

Hmmm, don't remember Julie saying anything about being out today. Doesn't she know she has to let us know when she's not going to be here? Hehe.

Michelle, Amy's dress looks great on you. Don't blame you for stealing it;)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Youz are killin me, cause I really, really have to write.

But, can I say this? Once, I was in line waiting to pay for this pair of awesome suede and leather boots. Knee-high, kinda riding look, but cute.

Anywayz, there's a woman in front of me who looks really put together. And this is like, six months after my kidney transplant and I'd just stopped wearing a wig (i'd lost my hair due to an infection) and started sporting a short do.

So, I tap her on the shoulder and say: you look just beautiful. And she smiled and said: you know, only a woman who's confident in herself can compliment another woman.

I will never forget that. It made me realize that giving another woman credit doesn't diminish me, it simply is a good and nice thing to do.

Thanks for all the nice things you say about me. It really means a lot to me and makes me feel great. I need my girlfriends to help me with that. :)

Julie in Ohio said...

Hey, all!! I really need to win the lottery. This working thing is for the birds.

My mom and hubby are my best friends. Mom is the only one who know the majority of my secrets. You know, there are some things that mom just doesn't need to find out. :o)
What my mom doesn't know, my husband does. He is great...when he isn't driving me nuts. :o)
I have a sister who is 3 years older than me. She is wonderful but she has always been a "mom" to me. We aren't as close as we could be but we are closer now that we are married and have kids than we were.

When it comes to e-friends, there are none that compare to the Bellas. You all are the bestest of the best and I feel blest to be able to call you friends. *BIG HUGS*

MK, I had guy friends when I was in school but my boyfriend at the time took serious objection to it. We fought about it all the time. I'm glad you were able to hang on to yours. They are great and can give you a different perspective on relationships. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

Michelle, I have to, also, comment on how radiant you look. Really you look absolutely stunning.
I love that dress. When your done borrowing it from Amy, can I use it? Any chance I can borrow your body, too? I don't think mine could pull it off. :P

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Doh! Dammit, Amy! It's my dress! She's the one who told me my closet was pathetic and that I had to buy clothes!

Well, thanks for saying the nice things. I loved getting to dress up. They had chocolate fountains, but I feared getting it on the dress, especially given my history.

Julie in Ohio said...

OOH, I love chocolate fountains. It makes me want to go skinny dipping every time I see one...

You should never fear chocolate.
Chocolate is easier to get out than grease. I know this from experience.

Rach said...

Yes, Michelle, you did indeedy look fabu!

Chocolate fountain...(going into a Homer Simpson-esque drooling state).

Off to pick Monkey up from the Grandma. See ya'll when I'm back on-line!! =)

Diane Gaston said...

This is a great topic for after the RWA conference, Michelle! This makes two conferences we've shared (RT and RWA) and I never even saw you once at either of them!

Whenever I attend the RWA I am struck with the joy of friendship. Romance writers are special that way, in an amazing way I've never encountered before. Like Janice Lynn, I'm a member of the Wet Noodle Posse, the Golden Heart finalists of 2003 who have bonded together in an incredible group friendship. But there are also my wonderful close friends at Washington Romance Writers, some of whom were sitting right in front when I accepted the RITA for Best Regency (clever of me to slip that one in! the book was A Reputable Rake by Diane Gaston). I love going to RWA and basking in the presence of so many friends.

I also did some thinking about communities during the conference, how people like your readers here bond together in more than discussing Romance novels. I think the internet has allowed us to develop communities and friendships that we had no way of forming before. It certainly has enriched my life!


Julie in Ohio said...

I see how you are, Rach. I get online and go off. :P
I hope you have a better trip this time then when you dropped her off. :o)

Congrats on your RITA, Diane!! How exciting!!

Julie in Ohio said...

It just doesn't pay to type fast. *sigh*

Figure out which word Julie left out of her post and fill in the blank with a word of your choice. :o)

Have you ever played Mad Libs?

Unknown said...


First, thank you so much to you and Princess Christina for the wonderful prize! I am so excited to have won! Yesterday's blog was exceedingly funny. Thanks Bellas for the stories!

I love the picture of you and Janice! You both look so pretty!

My best friend and I have been friends since birth, literally. Our mothers were best friends and had us seven months apart. We grew up together, almost like sisters. Even though we now live across the country from each other, we are still very close. I know she is always there for me, as I am for her.

I am a fairly new Bella, but I already know that I am honored to be one!

Julie in Ohio said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Julie in Ohio said...

Congrats, Bamabelle!!

*sigh* I guess I'm Amazon bound.
Are there any other books I have to get? *wicked grin*

Manda, which Nora did you read?

Trish Milburn said...

This is a great topic. I'd been having a case of the blues this summer, but last week among all my writing buddies (the Wet Noodle Posse, my chaptermates, and too many other great friends to name) was just what I needed to get in the saddle again.

Kati said...

Jules - You need to THE WINDFLOWER!!!!!

Can I say, that I'm sitting in my office and totally grooving to the new Five for Fighting song? Love it! That guy has such in interesting voice.

Julie in Ohio said...

Trish, there is nothing like a friend to cure the case of the blues. If you have trouble finding a free friend, puppy kisses work, too. :o)

Janice Maynard said...

Love the picture, Michelle. I hated missing the Saturday nght shindig. :(

Without sounding maudlin... I lost my two best friends to cancer - six years apart. They each apssed away before I sold my first book, and they would have been so proud.

But I feel more than blessed with the wonderful friends I have made in the years since... many of whom are book lovers and writers like me!

I loved catching up with so many online friends at RWA and I can't wait for the next opoprtunity!!

janie Maynard

And P.S. - a super congrats to you, Diane, for your Rita!!

Julie in Ohio said...

MK, thanks! I knew there was a book that you all were telling me about. I'll check it out. :o)
I haven't heard the new Five for Fighting song yet but I liked their other stuff. :o)

I can't believe I'm actually ahead of schedule with the upcoming guest bloggers! I have already read SIS for LK tomorrow and I read THE KEPT WOMAN for SD on Friday. I happened to get it during my big Amazon rebellion. WOO,HOO :o)

Monica Burns said...


How that for a cyber hug. I found a free moment to post here at work, but I have to make it quick cuz I'm the one cooking dinner tonight. (Yes, my DH is good an cooks dinner so I can get caught up on business things with my writing so after dinner I'm free to write. A sweetheart!)

Friends are something I'm not in short supply of, including the chickadees here at my fav hangout. As for best friends...I don't think I have any. I share equally with all my friends, although there are the occasional moments when I share something private with someone who I know will either appreciate or understand the info being shared, but it doesn't have to be a best friend.

I have friends with all kinds of interests, so that makes it easy to share all of my eclectic tastes. *grin*

For me, friendship is about sharing, whether it's intimate details about childhood, married life, kids, personal tragedy or whatever. It's about sharing yourself with someone else. Giving of yourself to someone, lending a shoulder for tears to fall on, offering an ear for someone to vent into, offering a hand with a physical load or simply being there with a teddy bear when a loved one crosses over.

For me friendship is about giving. I love giving to others (although I freely admit that I have a VERY hard time taking when others want to give to me. *smile*). Giving to others makes me feel completed and gives me the sensation that I've accomplished something good.

The Internet has opened up the world for so many people. Recently there was a study about the fact that people don't talk to their next-door neighbors anymore because they're always on the computer. Well HELLLO! I don't have anything in common with the folks that live next door or across the street, in fact most of my neighbors I find annoying (I live in a community that resembles Stepford). So if getting on the computer and talking to people I enjoy communicating with means not talking to my neighbors, I'm all for that.

So I usually come here where I can hang out over the blog fence and chat up guys, movies, books, romance, sex...you name it, we talk it! So thanks for being good friends, bellas! And Michelle, our connection at National was something else. I feel like I've known you for years. Making people feel that much at ease so quickly is a very special gift.

Hugs to all my cyberfriends here! {{{{{BELLAS}}}}}

Ok, now it's back to the underground. This new paranormal series is getting interesting. Never thought I'd be able to write something so outlandish! LOL

Julie in Ohio said...

{{{{BIG HUGS}}}}
Right back at 'cha, Mon!

I didn't know you were righting a paranormal! What kind? vampire..werewolf..shapeshifters?
I love me a Alpha vamp, or even and Alpha wolf. I can't say that I wouldn't find a shapeshifting Alpha male hotter than hades. :o)

amy kennedy said...

Hey, Julie, darn you and your reading proclivity. It's browny points, isn't it? I'm just finishing It Happened One Autumn.

I love reading all the posts, Monica I so understand the wanting to give but having a hard time accepting. Glad you could check in with us.

Congrats Bamabelle. And Rats. Oh well.

Okay, it's not my dress, nor would I would I have the look of such gorgeousity in it. But I still want it.

Janice, my heart goes out to you--and they are proud. Know that.

Hi, Diane and congratulations. Trish, ain't friends grand.

Playground Monitor said...

Back up, back up, back up.

Kidney transplant?

Is your story posted somewhere to inspire others and encourage folks to be an organ donor?

A friend of ours had a kidney/pancreas transplant because if diabetes. He wrote a thank-you letter to the donor's family (all he knew was it was a teenage boy killed in an auto accident). Fast forward about 5 years and the local TV station was doing a feature on him and how he'd surpassed the doctors' expectations. The donor's family happened to be watching and guessed this might be one of their son's recipients (they knew his first name from his letter). They called the TV station and by the 10 o'clock news that night had united both families in a real tear-jerking feature story. The two families have since become fast friends and my friend is quite involved with the organ donor community. I'd always marked it on my driver's license before; now I'd adamant that they use every bit of my body possible to enhance someone else's quality of life.


Rach said...

Hi Bellas!! I made it to NC in one piece and am now surrounded by a Monkey and a Bit. The Monkey is outta control she is so excited to see me--gotta love that!

Hey Mon! {{{{{HUGS}}}}} backatcha, Babe! We love hangin' with you too!

Jules, what MK said, WINDFLOWER!!

Janice, how AWFUL to lose your two best friends! Isn't it wonderful there are those who can step up to the plate when needed?

Diane, superBIG congrats on the RITA! That is so AWESOME!

Amy, LOL! I love "gorgeousity" =)

Michelle, if you are willing to tell it, I would love to hear your story. I too am an adamant organ donor. My father, who was so very very ill with kidney disease (among other things) insisted that any organs or tissue he had that was usable be used.

Manda Collins said...

MK, I didn't tell you congrats about your review being up this morning. I remembered on way home from work and thought, I wrote all that other stuff and forgot, MK! Anyway, congrats. It's awesome!

Julie, the Nora I read was The Blue Dahlia, I listened to it on tape on the drive out of town this weekend. It was cute. So cute I bought The Black Rose at Walgreens when I got home.

Mon, you're so right about neighbors. I've always wondered about that. Just because you live in the same neighborhood doesn't mean you'll have things in common.

Rach, glad picking up Monkey was uneventful. Even gladder she was happy to see you. You are obviously a good mommy:)

Diane--supercongrats on the RITA. A Reputable Rake was such a fun read. Cyprian was delish;)

Congrats, Bamabelle! Glad to know the prize is coming to the home state. (I'm in Mobile.)

Rach said...

Oh, geeze, completely forgot to wish Bamabelle congrats for her prize. Ooops! Congratulations!!!!

Julie in Ohio said...

Well, heck I guess I'm not doing so well either. I read MK's review but I forgot to tell her "YOU GO GIRL". A wonderful review. You did Eve proud. I have her DARK DESIRES in my TBR pile. I'm eager to start reading it. I have never read a gothic before.

Wait a minute. If I'm not mistaken that gives us two more people who are getting ARCs we can pump for information.

MK & Manda, you wouldn't hold out on us, would you? *g*

Julie in Ohio said...

Rach, glad your trip was uneventful. What is your secret to having the kids be happy you came to pick them up? Mine kick and scream all the way. :o)
Did Monkey do any decorating while at grandma's house? :P

Manda, BLUE DAHLIA was the start to a great series. Another great series with great heroes is her Chesepeake Bay. SEA SWEPT, RISING TIDES, INNER HARBOR and CHESEPEAKE BLUE are the books and they won't disappoint, IMHO. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

Amy, I didn't post that to be bragging. I am more surprised I have them read then anyone. I'm the one usually going "Who are you and why don't I know?". :o)

I think my secret is that my husband works nights so when the kids go to bed I'm left with only my books. TV doesn't impress me much. I do love "House" and am addicted to "American Idol" but they are over for now. *shrug*

I loved IHOA. I think Lillian is the best Wallflower. Don't get me wrong I love every single one of them but Lillian slapped me right across the face from SECRETS OF A SUMMER NIGHT. :o)

Rach said...

Ah, the Chesapeake series. I did so enjoy Anna and Cam! Boy, talk about kicking some major booty, Anna's the girl. I also liked the JEWELS OF THE SUN, TEARS OF THE MOON, HEART OF THE SEA series. Oh, and the KEY trilogy. Okay, heck, they're all good!

Julie, I think the secret to having them happy to see you is to have them with a Grandma ("Lissie" to her) who is not into spoiling that much. There was little to no TV, and quite frankly, the child is a bit of a mama's girl, so... In fact, she's so wound up at this point I have NO idea *how* I'm going to get her settled to sleep!!

Rach said...

Jules, I'm not much of a TV watcher either. In fact, I have never seen an episode of IDOL or HOUSE or any of the others out there. Seriously. Mostly it's just PBS Kids during the day and then no TV at night.

Yes, I can hear the shocked gasps now. I'm a big, fat, LOSER!! But, I'd much rather read, visit with hubby, write posts for my blog, etc. than watch TV.

I was quite the TV addict as a kid and all through college. I think kids are what really killed it for me. Most of the shows I would want to watch are on at 9:00, meaning they aren't over until 10:00, and when you have to get up at 4:30 the following morning that is WAY too late.

Okay, how in the *world* did I get so far OT???

Julie in Ohio said...

It was my fault, Rach. Sorry. :)
If you are a loser then I am, too. I just have a hard time watching TV. Now movies on the otherhand. Given the opportunity I would watch every one out there. "Given the opportunity" are the operative words here. :o)

See, 'friends', we comisserate (sp?) together. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

Have any of you read Samantha Storm before?
I received an e-book of her EYE OF THE STORM in the prize pack that I won at Lucy's place last week and was wondering if anyone was familiar.

Stacy~ said...

Hey, how 'bout a big group hug? LOL Seriously, you guys are incredibly fabulous, and gorgeous beyond belief...even if I haven't met most of you in person, I can say that and be right because you have generous and loving hearts. Hugs to you, girlies.

I'm a really private person, so I'm not surrounded by girlfriends, but the ones I do have are ones that "get" me and my weird idiosyncrasies. I'm really shy when people first meet me, then I bring out the sarcastic side. If I can tease you, then that means I feel comfortable enough around you to "be myself".

Most of my friends have very different tastes than I do - in books, music, movies, so I treasure my on-line friends because there is that common interest and fascination that we can talk about and not get bored. I love that. Now if I could just find friends who like country music so I have someone to go to those concerts with...*g*

I feel pretty comfortable around guys as far as being friends. I think it's cuz I like how guys don't get all sensitive when I give them a hard time. I don't take myself too seriously, so I don't mind that "give and take" teasing.

Monica, I can relate to a lot of what you said, too, about sharing, giving, and accepting. I love knowing there are those of you here who understand and relate to a lot of what I go through. You guys rock!

Julie in Ohio said...

OK another really strange thing is reading a book on the computer. My husband was reading over my shoulder and I found it a little disconcerting. *g*

Maybe after this I will be brave enough to get the epis from JQ. :o)

Rach said...

Ah, it's all *your* fault, Jules!! ;oP Thanks for being a good friend =).

Haven't read Samantha Storm. Let us know how it is!

Stacy~ said...

Rach, you are NOT a loser, because if you were, then so would I be one - I don't watch t.v. either - and I may be a dork but I'm not a loser LOL.

Here's to books and on-line chatting :)

Rach said...

Hey Stacy! I *knew* you would be along when you could =)!

Julie, I'm serious about this, e-books are WAY super EASY!!! The second epis take NO time to download and are SO worth it!!

See how many words I put all in caps?? They must be good ;oP

Rach said...

Okay, dork I am, not loser =). Thanks, Stacy! =)

Julie in Ohio said...

I have no doubts that they are good, which is why I'm chomping at the bit to get them. But I'm a private person and I hate having someone reading over my shoulder...even my four year old. :o)

Stacy, is that a new pic in your box? It reminds me of fireworks or some psychodelic(sp?) color explosion. :P

Stacy~ said...

Anytime, Rach *g*

Yep Julie, new avatar stuff. I keep hoping to come across a decent picture of me to put in there, but I'm not the most photogenic, so instead I dazzle with the pretty colors :)

Julie in Ohio said...

I really need to figure that out. I feel left out because I don't have a pretty picture. :(

Anyone coming to Ohio soon? Maybe you could stop by and put it on for me. :o)

Rach said...

Stacy, I meant to comment on the new avatar--very pretty and colorful!

Julie, do you do any photo-sharing online, such as photobucket.com or snapfish.com? If so, getting a picutre is SO easy! Click on my avatar, and then email me and I'll be more than happy to help you out. Really! =)

Playground Monitor said...

waving hands in the air

I'm from Bama too! The Huntsville area.


Rach said...

Cool! Now we know of a Virginia crew and a Bama crew =).

Julie in Ohio said...

Ok, Rach. You don't know the project you just initiated. :o)

Looky, another Southern Belle. I live south of my northern town. Does that count? *g*

Anonymous said...

Awww, what a great picture! You both looked so beautiful that night! You fit right in with us crazies, Michelle. Talks about taxidermists and roosters (ahem!!) were nothing to a broad like you! LOL!

Hope to see you again soon!


Anonymous said...

Transplanted Bama: only been here for a year (almost to the day, arrived last year August 7th) to go to Alabama. I love the people here, everybody has been so nice, and I have made two life-long friends (boy and girl) who have given me an appreciation for Southern food and sweet tea.

PS. Although my girl friend explained to me the "bless your [her] heart" comment, today was the first time I overheard it in an actual conversation. Histerical.

Great topic, Michelle!


Manda Collins said...

Hey, Marilyn! *waves northward*
Always glad to see another Bama girl! Now if we can get a Montgomery and a Birmingham we'll have the major cities covered;)

Wonder where Bamabelle is...

Julie, we're all Southerners to Canadians;) Unless we've got a Bella from the North Pole.

Manda Collins said...

Hi Maia, Glad you're enjoying Tuscaloosa. I was there for three years. Taught English for two. Fun town.

Michele said...

Me and my "fairy" won't be fluttering in to join the fun for a bit. Going to Maine. Looks like I'm going to be missing some awesome guest blogs...again. Have tons of fun all!

amy kennedy said...

Julie, I would never think you were bragging--I wish I were bragging--and I have to say I adore Lillian as well. Playing rounders in her knickers. Yes.

Rach, I can't lay claim to "gorgeousity" it's from Louise Rennison's books--teen fiction, all concerning Georgia Nicolson, hilarious hilarity. I told you I read everything.

I always wished I were southern-- charm, hostessing abilities, great sayings, lovely lilting accent. No, I 'm from Minnesota--oh for sure. Not that *I* say that.

Marilyn, I'm pretty sure Michelle used to speak on the subject. I'm a donor too, Marilyn--and I always remind my husband.

amy kennedy said...

Gosh, I keep forgetting to congratulate Janice Lynn (fab pic) on her American Title competion win.


Christina Dodd said...

Congrats to Bamabelle! Enjoy!

And thanks again, everyone, for welcoming me so kindly!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

LOL, Leslie!

Maia, it's true! I had just learned the BY(H)H thing, too. SO funny, these Southern Bellas.

Yeah, when I look at stats, there are lots of us from Canada, the South, the Northeast, UK. Then it's cool to see who drops in from around the world. What a flippin cool medium. :)

Hey, Marilyn, I'm so happy to hear about your support of organ donation. In my FAQs I ask folks to sign a card and talk to their families, but I've never told the story cause I don't want to bore folks to tears. But it's got some cool elements. It ws great meeting you at RWA, btw.

Hey, did you all know Xtina Dodd likes to use spicy language sometimes? I'm shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED!!!

Playground Monitor said...

Are you familiar with www.clustrmaps.com? They have code you can install on your website or blog and it tracks where your hits come from. I get all geeked over it.


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hey, Trish! Glad you stopped by. That's what these chicks do for me, too. Join us any time, and you'll be one of the ones making somebody else's day!