Sunday, June 03, 2007

SquawkBlog: The Finale

I think one of the greatest influences on the creation of Romance: B(u)y the Blog was the tone set by those classy chicks of Squawk Radio. They may have closed shop June 1, but Squawk Radio will long be remembered by those of us who love romance. When they asked me to join them on an all-expenses paid spa weekend to unwind after the festivities of last week, I was flattered. Then I arrived at the joint, and I was, well, hell -- just give em a buongiorno, and make it the Bella kind...

(Michelle Buonfiglio steps into the huge
steam room at the Siberian Magnificent Muskox Spa and Fat Farm and finds her quarries — Lisa Kleypas, Teresa Medeiros, Connie Brockway, Elizabeth Bevarly, Eloisa James and Christina Dodd, the six elusive Squawk Radio authors, dressed in towels and dripping sweat. Amid cries of delight and air kisses, Michelle settles down on the hot wooden bench and begins the interview.)

Michelle: First — what are you doing in Siberia?

Connie: We needed a rest after the spectacular two-year run of Squawk Radio, and this is the only place we figured we’d be safe from Kitty Kuttlestone, our part-time reporter and full-time nemesis.

Michelle ge
ts a peculiar expression on her face: You wanted to get away from Kitty?

Teresa: Yes, she wanted more money and she kept threatening to move in with us. Finally we told her we were going on the tequila tour of Mexico and then slipped away here. (The Squawk Radio authors exchange high fives.)

Michelle (watching as the door opens and a shadowy figure steps in and makes her wa
y across the steam room): What if she got it mixed up with the vodka tour of Russia?

Lisa adjusts her tiara: Don’t be silly, Michelle, not even Kitty could screw up that badly.

Michelle: Right. Of course, you’re right. Let me get right to the
se questions. We all know Squawk Radio was the first group author blog on the internet. How did it get started?

Christina: W
e're six published writers of various genres with well over a hundred and fifty books published between us. We’re New York Times bestsellers, collectively we own five RITA awards and we’ve been published for almost a hundred years. We’ve been emailing each other every day since 2001, amusing ourselves and each other. Or at least amusing ourselves. We share our woes and our triumphs, give unsolicited advice, say “I told you so” way too much, and whine a lot. One day, Connie said, “Why don’t we make these emails blogs and get our names out on the Internet?” Thus Squawk Radio was born. Or rather, after weeks of fighting about what to name our blog, Squawk Radio was born.

Michelle: Yeah, well, rumors are flying that after two highly successful years, you guys are closing the doors of Squawk Radio because you can’t stand each other anymore. You're supposed to be friends — are you fighting?

Liz: That’s ridiculous. Who told you that?

Michelle: (looking guilty) I don’t remember.

Liz: We're friends forever. Hey, stop pinching my fabulous abs!

Connie: Yeah, we're totally fond of each other. Stop passing around the picture of me wat
er skiing!

Teresa: We would never fight. We’re too sweet, too loving, too — ARE YOU SHOVING ME?

Eloisa: Knock it off. You ripped my disse

Lisa: Ow! You pulled my hair extensions.

Christina (smiling weakly): We're friends. Good friends. Really.

(A snort sounds from across the steam room.)

Michelle (loudly): What do you think was the secret of Squawk's incredible success?

Teresa: We wer
e the first author-driven blog to target readers as our desired audience. We never took ourselves seriously but we took our responsibility to our readers very seriously. We tried to be more of a magazine than a diary and discuss universal topics that related to their daily lives, not just ours. And I think our chemistry and the fact that we were already friends before we started the blog made us unique. The internet can be a very cold and unfriendly place at times and from the beginning, we tried to make Squawk Radio a "soft place to land".

Christina: Also we were very stern about no fighting and no flaming — it was our blog, and we weren’t going to put up with the snottiness you see on other internet sites.

Michelle: Some people claim all the success was due to Kitty Kuttlestone.

Eloisa: Only Kitty claims that. I mean, how good could one drunk, cigar-smoking old windbag reporter be?
(A fit of coughing occurs across the steam room.)

Lisa: (Frowning) Speaking of cigars, does anyone else smell a cigar?

Michelle: Not me! How will you six Squawkers manage to keep in touch with each other now that Squawk Radio has closed its doors?

Teresa: Probably the same way we did before we started Squawk Radio. A wild flurry of daily e-mails peppered with insults, in-jokes and one-liners and a lot of juicy phone calls where one Squawker calls another and begins with..."Can you believe what (Insert Your Squawker of Choice) said in that e-mail?" And we always try to get together at RWA National and the regional conferences for hours of conversation and a really fine meal. (But don't tell Kitty because she hasn't managed to find us yet!) Occasionally one might even open one's front door and find a Squawker standing on the stoop, suitcase in hand. (The only obvious response being to slam the door and dial 911.)

Eloisa: The truth is that before Squawk Radio, there were days when 75% of my email was Squawker-generated -- and I don't think that's going to change! Plus we have each other on speed dial... Yesterday I was at a booksigning and a fan had told me she was going to be there. My phone rang in the middle of the signing. It was Teresa, calling from Kentucky to New York City to tell me that the fan (in New Jersey) had missed her train, then had called a friend of hers (in Georgia) to tell me she'd be late, who had emailed Teresa... Come to any of our booksignings and we can give you a head's up on all the rest of the Squawkers!

Michelle: What was your favorite thing about the entire Squawk Radio experience?

Liz: It was discovering there are so many smart, funny, articulate, interesting women out there in the world. And making friends with all of them. And discovering how very much we all have in common, in spite of being completely individual. It's hokey to say, but enjoying the company of everyone on Squawk Radio went a long way to restore my faith in humanity.

Michelle: What’s going to happen to the Squawk Radio blog site?

Connie: It’s not going to be a blank screen and despite Terri's pleas, we are not turning it into a never-ending loop of Russell Crowe sweating it up in Gladiator. Nor are we going to let it lie on the shoals of cyber-space like the derelict hulk of an abandoned ship. Squawk Radio is no longer going to be a daily blog, but it’s going to be here and we are going to be popping in regularly. Right now, the plan is to use Squawk as a sort of Squawker’s Hub--- a place to post what’s happening on our individual websites, to stick links to any new stuff we add on our sites or list appearances we’ll be making, as well as announce book pub dates. And if any of the Squawkers who don’t maintain a personal blog want to, they can always write a blog just for grins. Additionally, we’re exploring the idea of opening the blog up to friends and acquaintances of ours to post what amounts to drive-by blogs. We love it too much to let it become a black hole.
Besides, the site’s paid for until next April.

(From across the steam room) Cheapest bunch of broads in the known universe.

Lisa (suspiciously): Who said that?

Michelle: Probably one of the people who work here. Haven't you been tipping them?

Eloisa: Free books!

Michelle: What do you consider the greatest legacy of Squawk Radio?

Christina: We built a great community of readers and watched them chat together in the comments, then start emailing each other and calling each other, and we developed such a lot of affection for them all. So for us, Squawk Radio’s legacy is that out of our friendships — Lisa, Connie, Liz, Terri, Eloisa and me — so many other friendships have formed.

Michelle: Where can we find you guest blogging in the future?
Feel free to self-promote shamelessly.

Teresa: I'll be blogging with the Goddesses at on June 12th plus I'll be posting the occasional blog on my own site at:

Liz: Wherever the blogging tides take me. I'll also be at my own blog, which you can find here:

Christina: I’ll be blogging about SCENT OF DARKNESS on July 9 at , about TOUCH OF DARKNESS on August 7 at

Michelle: And Christina, don't forget you'll be blogging with me at o
n July 12, Live! from RWA in Dallas.
Thank God Kitty's not here, or she'd wanna horn in on it.

Eloisa: I’ll blog here and there — and at Michelle's blog at June 27. It's easiest to find me at my Bulletin Board . Please don't be shy and do stop by!

Connie: I’ll be popping up here and there. And since I have my brand new graphic-licious MAC, I’ll be attempting to make my own video-blogs, or is that video-trailer?, whatever, I’ll be making them and let’s face it, that oughta be good for at least a couple of laughs. Plus Kitty has threatened to hack my site at, so…

Michelle: What's in the future for each one of you?

Teresa: Liz is going to be writing more touching and hilarious romantic comedies for Berkley. The first, FAST AND LOOSE will be out in April '08 and the last OPUS book, OVERNIGHT MALE will be out in July '08. All this while following a Clash tribute band around the country as a groupie in her spare time.

Liz: Teresa's next historical for Avon will be out in the Spring of 2008. In her spare time, she'll be scouring the internet for that infamous "Russell Crowe in his tighty-whiteys" pic and posting it on her website .

Lisa: Christina will be launching her paranormal series DARKNESS CHOSEN this summer with back-to-back releases, SCENT OF DARKNESS in July and TOUCH OF DARKNESS in August — you can read excerpts in the paranormal section of her website at . She’s also continuing work on her contemporary series, the Fortune Hunters. And who are we kidding? LaDodd doesn't have any spare time.

Christina: Lisa will be publishing Cam Rohan's story MINE TILL MIDNIGHT this fall and her next big contemporary will be out in early 2008. When she's not giving us research tips and polishing her tiara, you can find her playing mummy to her two little darlings.

Connie: Eloisa just launched her four- (and possibly five-!) book DESPERATE DUCHESSES series this month. She'll continue to terrorize the students in her classroom after being voted "Shakespearean Scholar You'd Most Like To...Um...Date."

Michelle: Um, if you don't mind my taking back the mic for a sec, I wanna mention that Eloisa's DESPERATE DUCHESSES will be one of the premiere Feature Reviews at Romance: B(u)y the Book when it moves to June 25. OK, return to the love fest.

Eloisa: Connie's next big contemporary SKINNY-DIPPING will be out in early 2008. You can read an excerpt from it on her website at In her spare time she'll be rescuing small (possibly rabid) animals and trying to rehabilitate (the possibly rabid) Kitty Kuttlestone.

(Unable to contain herself any longer, a skinny, saggy-boobed, cigar-smoking, vodka-swilling old woman skids across the room.)

The Squawkers (in unison and in horror): Kitty!

Kitty: Who gives a hoot what the other Squawkers are doing? Let's face it--without me, they're nothing!


Keira Soleore said...

Guten Morgen, Squawkers!, and a huge "Hi, I'm back!" to the Bellas. I'm so thrilled the Squawkers are here on RBTB for their final hurrah as a group for the near future. I was on vacation this past week when you were having your blog party and missed grieving properly and saying my farewells.

I know, fans have said this to you a million and fourteen times already, but I'm so incredibly sad that one of the greatest era in the romance industry has come to an end. SR was my first author blog, my first foray on the 'Net. You will always, always hold a warm tender spot in my heart.

You women made me believe deeply that I could become a romance writer. You offered encouragement, wisdom, laughs aplenty, shoulders to sob on, and friendship. This is despite your incredibly busy lives. Your generosity is astounding.


LizbethSelvig said...

Welcome Squawkers!
I'm here to add my bittersweet "good-bye" to everyone else's. I was very much a johnny-come-lately to Squawk Radio and spent most of my time lurking - but I second Keira's comment that you were all so inspirational to readers and writers alike. And you did all reach out in many ways --

Connie, for example, you went above and beyond just a few weeks ago - giving the RWA up here in Alaska a conference call treat. You made a great impression on some new writers - despite the fact that we kept you from your Subway sandwich and took up vegging drive time on your way home from the cabin! (Be sure and look us up if you get bored fishing on the Kenai in July - yeah right - or if you need some contacts for book research!

All of you made similar contributions and one of the nicest things SR did was make you, our fave writers, accessible and approachable to us. I really think you've helped make the world of romance writers and readers a much different, nicer place!

Now we'll just really look forward to all those new projects you've mentioned! Thanks so much.

Liz S.

MsTypo said...

I'll have to add my tears to everyone else's. I was frightfully sad to hear that the Squawkers were closing shop and wish i could have been around for the farewell blogs and chat.

Although mostly a lurker in Squawk-land i always looked forward each afternoon to seeing what you lot had to say about books, music and life in general.

I must say that i hope you Squawkers come back soon. If JayZ and his contemporaries in the music and film industry can "retire" and then have a "come back" every other month, then you guys can return and start Squawking again before this sea of tears has a chance to dry.

A girl can always hope....

Teresa Medeiros said...

See, we told you guys you couldn't get rid of us that easily! (Just like we can't seem to get rid of Kitty Kuttlestone!)

santasmbslt said...

Ciao amici e paesana!!
(hello friends and compatriot)

Great to see you here on Michelle's marvelous blogfest in towels no less. LOL, I thought I was coming in on a 'Sisters' reunion episode.

I miss the Squawk already but am happy to hear it's being used as a stomping point at least until April. I am ever grateful for small favors!

BTW, that was me running late to Eloisa's signing. But it all worked out, I mean you got the message, right?

Ciao for now!

pjpuppymom said...

Morning Squawkers! Did you enjoy your weekend or were you at loose ends with no blog to write or comments to respond to? Fess up, how many of you have been back to the hen house since the lights went out? I admit I have. Weaning myself away from Squawk promised to be a long process but now that I know you'll be posting the occasional update I'll be happily checking every morning.

Santa, as soon as I read "called her friend in Georgia" I knew it was you. So glad to hear you made it to the signing.

Anonymous said...

I knew you were all too kind and wonderful to leave us blogless. I can live with SR as a Squawker Hub.

Feeling better already!

Hmm...I erased my web history so I can't log on under my name.


Anonymous said...

Hi everyone!

We definitely want to see you all, so please turn all those tears into a determination to come to book signings!! It's more fun to meet in person--truly.

(Eloisa James)

ev said...

::another Squawk lurker uncloaking herself::

Have I mentioned how much I hate change? The older I get the less I like it.

But, knowing that the blog will not die is a nice surprise. Now daily check ins will bring surprises every now and then. Which is cool.

And can we expect more visits here and at Plot Monkeys????

I love all of you, even Kitty was interesting (for want of a better description). LOL

Anonymous said...

Wow, ladies, I'm tired just reading all that action going wonder a daily blog zapped you! One other thing I've noticed is how all the romance community has expanded into this web-world, all the info coming from authors and such is so great for we readers..Thanks again. Eloisa, I'm loving D.D.!! Just great.

ev said...

And Michelle- to answer your questions yesterday.

DH went to Siena here in the Albany area. (I have no idea if they are Franciscan or Jesuit)

And it's Connie's Hot Dish ARC that I have. There was supposed to be a dish to go with it, but due to a snafu (not her's, probably Kitty's) I got a B&N cert instead. Probably got more use. LOL (and Connie- I think we did that under my cwonyg sn, in case you think you are losing your memory.)

And I have the ARC of Sugar Daddy from Lisa, but not signed. I stole that from work. I seem to be the only one who reads, or admits to reading, romance, so when they are put on the shelf, I take em!!!

Kati said...

Mornin' Squawkers and Bellas! I've already offered many tear filled goodbyes and thank yous over at Squawk.

The thing I like best about Squawk is that I realized how much work goes into being an author. Squawk Radio and this site made me more aware of my reading tastes and also made me more analytical about why a book worked for me. Or not. I appreciate it so much.

Ladies, I hope that you'll be by often to visit with the Bellas! We really love you all.

Lisa, could you speak with Michelle (I realize she has a tiara too), about how unattractive it is to brag that she's read MINE UNTIL MIDNIGHT when none of the other Bellas have?? We tried to tell her, but maybe she'll listen to you since you've got a tiara too. ;D

pjpuppymom said...

One of my favorite things about Squawk, and this site too, is the number and variety of new authors I've been introduced to through y'all. You've expanded my literary horizons and reading pleasure.

Thank you!

ev said...

Connie- the stupid squawk blog won't let me register. I thought I had before, but then I also lost this one and had to redo it all here too.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Ev.

let me see what I can do this afternoon. This morning I'm working from the Starbucks across the street from the hospital where my daughter is having lasik surgery (and she is SO excited)

Liz, you are so welcome for the call. It was fun! I cannot wait to go to Alaska in a few months to fish. I need phone numbers!

Once agan, thanks for all your support of Squawk over the last two years. Now that it's no longer requiring daily work, I a free to fly arounf cyberspace visiting other blog sites (beware, Michelle, I'm looking for a palce to land) and have fun causing trouble.

Morning all!


Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Just a simple thank you again to you all for being such great fun! This whole Squawk good-bye scene is almost as good as being at your own funerals to hear the praise. Uh,wait. I guess it's better. :)

Elizabeth Bevarly said...

Hmpf. No one ever calls ME to talk about the other Squawkers. That must be because you're all talking to each other about ME. And THAT must be because it's true what my mother always told me: You're all just jealous.

Actually, Terri, there is a way to get rid of Kitty. But it involves a penicillin shot and quarantine time. (And also the help of the Witness Protection Program.)

Thanks, you guys, for all the nice words about Squawk. Yes, I have checked in. And yes, I miss it, too.

And thanks, Michelle for allowing us to have our Chicken Song...ah, I mean Swan Song, here at RBTB. :o)

Anonymous said...

I am suffering from Squawk withdrawal and wearing a black ribbon on my collar. I appreciate all your efforts at comforting those of us who have lost one of our cyber homes, but life just won't be the same without Squawk.:(

Of course, if more books arrive in bookstores more quichly, that will be some consolation. (Sob!)


Lil said...

I hadn't gotten to pop in of late, mostly because I am swamped with edits, but I am definitely sorry to see you go, you always all made us feel welcomed and loved, like our opinions were inportant to you.
I would love to come and see all of you at booksignings, but none of you ever come to my area.....I'll have to see what I can do about that...maybe a mass emailing to the big bookstores...

I'll miss you so much!!!!!!(except for Kitty)

I'm signing up now for all of your websites and newsletters, don't be surprised if I bug you once in a while!!

Much love to all,


Teresa Medeiros said...

Yes, PJ was kind enough to e-mail me on my first "Squawkless" day to see how I was faring.

And I got an e-mail from "Cathzoe" bemoaning that the fact that she was actually going to have to start working at working. I sympathized because I'm actually going to have to start working at work too!

And Liz, you know that we'd never dish about you behind your back. To your face, maybe, but never behind your back ;)

Oooh, Connie, I hope the Lasik surgery goes well. My husband had it and he's been pretty happy with it.

Terri Osburn said...

Ah, here they are all back together just like old times. You know, like last Friday. *sigh* Seems like just a few days ago...

Thanks again to all of you great ladies and thanks Michelle for getting even more scoop for us. It's good to know that I can still check in over at Squawk and now I have even more blogs to add to my cyber surfing list.

Here's to more best sellers and less cigar smoke!


Playground Monitor said...

I have to admit that I was only an occasional drive-by Squawk Radio fan but I've been reading Liz Bevarly's books for like ever. I've loved her sense of humor and loveable beta heroes since I read my first Desire by her. I've only read one of Eloisa's books (PFP, which took my Regency virginity) and one of Christina's (Trouble in High Heels -- LOVE Ballerina Brandy!).

The SR group was very generous for my RWA chapter's Romance Readers' Luncheon this year and sent a fabu basket to raffle off. It was one of the most popular baskets there. There were books by all and goodies and this cute little yellow chick. And not a hint of cigar smoke on a single item. :grin:

Enjoy your blog-less days!


Anonymous said...

Good morning dears! It's so nice to read all your comments while I'm drinking my big double espresso.

Thank you for all the kind words--I will miss you too, but I would LOVE to come visit you at Michelle's blog!

And MaryKate, bella, I'm afraid I can't say anything to Michelle, because Cam is quite enamored with her, and he thinks everything she does is perfect!

Hugs from me--

Lisa (Kleypas)

Anonymous said...

Good morning!

I haven't had much to time to be online lately, so I missed the whole closing of SquawkRadio! I will miss it.

I'm late for work, so I'll come back later.

Just wanted to say hello...

And Lisa Kleypas....I discovered Devil in Winter during the horrific wait for LR...

I loved it! I found other Wallflowers this spring and devoured them.

Very excited about Cam's book!

Have a great day, Bellas!
dd03...nope, no password yet.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon,
you have a great day too! And thank you so much--I'm delighted you enjoyed DIW, and I hope you'll have fun with Cam in October *g*

Lisa K

Christina Dodd said...

Good morning, all! Thank you so much to Michelle for interviewing us this morning. I think she only did it because she knew we'd be wandering around, wondering what to do w/o Squawk.


Oh, that's right. Two more book videos to get up before then. RWA conference in July. And more important -- work. Work. Work. Book due July 1.

Kati said...

And MaryKate, bella, I'm afraid I can't say anything to Michelle, because Cam is quite enamored with her, and he thinks everything she does is perfect!

Humph! Tiara-girls stick together. Who knew??

OK, Lisa, I forgive you. But you can make it up to me by teasing us with the gory details of Cam's story. Who's his heroine? Have we met her before? Will this be it for the Wallflowers? Do they cameo at all in MUM? It will break my heart if I don't get to see Marcus again.

pjpuppymom said...

Christina said "Book due July 1."

Oh, I do love the sound of that. Is said book part of the Darkness Chosen series? Can you tell us who the hero or heroine is? And, most important, when will it be published?

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hi Michelle! Hi Squawker hens 'n chicks!

I can't believe the mother of all author blogs is going into semi-retirement. You guys got the rest of us into this! After wandering into the fog of your influence I joined up with a group of writer conspirators to create Riding With the Top Down, unabashedly following your chicken tracks. What do they say about imitation? Oh, yeah, flattery. Well, all I've got to say is...

You chicks rock! Thanks for leading the way.

Cyber hugs and air kisses--
Kathleen Eagle

Christina Dodd said...

PJ, Thanks so much -- you're making me feel great about the debut of the series. Did I mention that Romantic Times Magazine called me a "Multigenre genius?"

I did?

How immodest of me. :) I'm just so happy!!!

The book I'm working on now is the third in the Fortune Hunter series, so it's the book after TONGUE IN CHIC and it's out in March. Then I write the last two books in the DARKNESS CHOSEN series, and they're out (almost positively, but this is publishing) in July and August 2008. I truly am writing as fast as I can, and luckily for me, I'm chomping at the bit to write all three of the books.

Elizabeth Bevarly said...

Aw, thanks, Marilyn! You are too kind. :o)

Ha ha, Kathleen! Psych! You fell for our elaborate scheme to make other authors so busy blogging that they didn't have time to write their own books, thereby deleting our competition in the industry! And it only took us two years to accomplish our nefarious plan!

Teresa Medeiros said...

And you may be having a double espresso this morning, Lisa, but I'll bet Kitty's just having a double!

Teresa Medeiros said...

Oh good heavens, who let that multigenre genius in the door? Sounds like the perfect opportunity to call 911 to me!

flip said...

But where will we find Kitty in the future?????? She is too, too funny.

Had a great weekend, I am busy packing for moving to my new home. Found a box of books, which were stored in the garage. Reread The Runaway Bride and now I am rereading My Dearest Enemy.

Anonymous said...

Hello, this is Rita from South Africa - I'm sorry to see this wonderful Squak blog at an end! It was a place I could quickly get onboard with a collection of wonderful writers in one place! I love the tips and extras that was shared and taking time out to answers my questions. I would really love to meet you all in person, and hope one day you decide to do a trip down south *grin* as I'm not sure when I'll get another opportunity to visit the US. I was just there recently at the RT in Houston. So its with a sad heart I say adieu and all the best ladies - will be watching for your new releases!!!

Anonymous said...

Flip, Kitty is threatening to hack my site at If she can see the keyboard through the tequila fog. And she has made rumblings about doing cyber airstrikes on the other Squawkers websites, too.

We're all looking into extra firewall protection....

ev said...

Connie- I think I can speak for all the Bellas (I hope, anyway) that any of you can drop in any time. I sure would be happy to see you all.

J Perry Stone said...

Ach, I feel like an alcoholic trying to get over an addition (Squawk), and walking past an open bar right now.

I AM, however, thrilled to hear you all won't be falling off the face of the earth (or in Kitty's case ... falling on her face).

I'll be writing you all with thoughts on your upcoming releases (you know how I like to do) wso I refuse to say goodbye to any one of yous.

And i would say something in Italian here (we're in the presense of bellas, after all), but the only words I know are bad.

J--the friend from Georgia

Teresa Medeiros said...

Okay, so tell the truth--how many of you have peeked at Squawk since our "wake" on Friday just out of habit? (Teresa frantically waves her hand in the air.) Actually, Connie posted our final FINAL Squawk farewell there this morning to answer any questions that might have come up after we flew the coop. (I know! I simply HAVE to stop making bad chicken puns!) Is there a 12-step program for that?

And Lil, if we made you feel as if your opinions were important to us, it's because they were. We loved the informal chatty atmosphere at Squawk just as much as you did and loved hearing your stories too :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Squawkers - It's nice of you to make our withdrawal from SR gradual. Kind of like AA instead of cold turkey (something Kitty would probably know more about than the rest of you!)

Irisheyes :)

Anonymous said...

It's great to see the Squawkers over here. It helps my Squawk Radio withdrawal a little bit.
Michelle, did Christina tell you how she's a "multigrain genuis"? ;-)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Yes, Karen. don't tell her I said so, but she's getting as bad as Kitty!

Hulloooo, Bellas and Squawkers, friends new and not so new (see, unlike Kitty, I know decorum and understand chicks don't like to be called old, even if they are our friends).

Isn't it lovely to have the Squawkers here in what seems akin to the Cher and Michael Jordan retirements? I guess they're really not going away for good. Oh, I just hope that Kitty doesn't hang on too long and become pathetic. Nobody likes a pathetic romance reporter, or so I've been told. As recently as this morning by my editor.

But I've got a chicken bone to pick with these Squawk chicks. I mean, I drag myself to Siberia, for cripes sake, thinkin, if I just let them invade RBtheBlog one more time, they'll simply hand over all thier delightful blog viewers to me in return for all the suffering they -- I mean Kitty's -- put me through since I started my career in romance.

But, no, they just wanna keep us poor romance lovers hangin on, teasing us with infrequent blogs and little bits of their brilliance over at Squawk. Fine. Be that way.

But the next time Lisa starts asking me to polish her tiara, or Eloisa asks me to write yet another dissertation for her, I'm gonna hafta think twice. A girl has her limits.

Oh, but I don't mean to sound bitter, it's just that I'm really disappointed the Squawkers are disbanding (sorta), cause, like the rest of you, I always got a good karma buzz on over there. I also avoided a good deal of writing by hanging there, and I don't know what I'm gonna do about that now.

BTW, Kitty. Stop calling my boss at and telling him about that little incident in the bar at RWA last year. I've got a contract, and you're not gonna push me out of my new gig that easily.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I meant the (sorta) as in "they're sorta disbanding" not as in "I'm only sorta disappointed they're disbanding."

mi scusi. Love, Pollyanna

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

LOL, Jperry!

Christina Dodd said...

Karen, I AM NOT!

Christina Dodd said...

OMG, I'm so glad I'm here today, because I just GOT THE FIRST COPY OF SCENT OF DARKNESS!!!

It's always a special day to get a real copy of the book, hold it in my hands, read the first page, gloat over the cover, sniff the pages, do the ritual NYT dance in the woods under the moon ... um, is this TMI?

Anyway, it's cool.

Anonymous said...

You know what? I think I'll miss all the back-and-forthing in comments more than the blog itself!

It was so fun to diss Christina...

Thanks for the kind words above about DD!!

(Eloisa James)

pjpuppymom said...

If that's the traditional naked under the moon NYT dance in the woods that the other Squawkers told us about, yeah, umm, well, yeah that's maybe tmi. Unless, of course, Rod is the one doing the dance in which case do you take Visa? I'm assuming you're selling tickets...

Teresa Medeiros said...

Hey, Xtina, a ritual naked dance under the moon kind of sounds like something the characters of SCENT OF DARKNESS would do!

Elizabeth Bevarly said...

Michelle, you really need to do something about that annoying buzz your blog has developed that sounds kindasorta like that multigrain genius whatshername. It's really getting on my nerves.

J Perry Stone said...

Yeah, I was just gonna say that, Teresa.

If ritual naked dancing is the case, send that shiny new book you're holding my way, X-tina.

Eloisa, as I'm awaiting my signed DD to arrive in the mail (thanks San), I'm reading another book I think you'd adore: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

The first third of the book takes place in Italy and I'm at turns crying and laughing my head off ... and smelling the glorious food.

Anyway, that's why I suddenly know all these glorious Italian curse words, but I don't think Michelle would be too happy if I shared.

Now that I think about it, Santa, I think it quite disloyal of you to have not been the first one to teach me those Italian curse words! Sheece. What are friends for?

Michelle, you go get that book too.

J Perry Stone said...

Teresa, I've been there 2 of the 3 days you've been off.

It was so depressing to drop by on Sat, I didn't go over on Sun, but then San called this morning and said Connie wrote something new there today, and I felt much better.

Connie, who didn't like your tone?

pjpuppymom said...

I've stopped by Squawk every day. You know...just in case.

pjpuppymom said...

RWA is just a month away so I'd like to turn the discussion to a serious topic for a moment, if I may. Have y'all bought your Saturday night dresses yet? Will you tell us about them? Are they sexy? Glamorous? Cinderella gowns?

Since I'm not attending I'll be in my pj's that night, eating popcorn and imagining the six of you gliding across the ballroom in your glorious gowns.

So dish.

Anonymous said...

J Perry, I read Eat,Pray,Love and I ADORED it! My only complaint--I gorged on Italian food for days afterward. And I think I drooled on some of the pages.

MaryKate, two of the wallflowers and their husbands definitely cameo in Mine Till Midnight, and one of them is indeed Westcliff! The basic idea is that a new family of misfits, four sister and a brother, move in next door to Stony Cross Manor. And Cam is fiercely attracted to the oldest sister Amelia.

I think Cam and Amelia have a lot of sparks because she is very practical and sensible, and he is a romantic and superstitious Gyspy. And I was able to include a lot more info about Cam's sexy Gypsy nature! *g*

--Lisa K

Cherie J said...

Good to see you ladies here. I am so missing your blog already. I think I am still in denial since I keep stopping by there. I stopped by all weekend. Oh well, I am sure I will get over it eventually. Thanks for being here.

Teresa Medeiros said...

PJ, I'm probably going to be on deadline right up until the last few days before I leave for RWA so I may show up garbed in a potato sack. (Or make a last desperate run for David's Bridal!")

And I'm writing such a fun scene today! I wish you all could be here.

And Lisa, you're killing me with all of the tantalizing tidbits about MINE TILL MIDNIGHT. I can't wait to read it! This is one case where I know the book is going to be even better than it's cover!

pjpuppymom said...

J, that book sounds wonderful. I'm going to have to pick up a copy.

J Perry Stone said...

Lisa, I'm in the India section (Liz, get this book) right now and she's just met Richard from TX, who tells her that mosquitos in India are so big they could, "rape a chicken."

PJ, you won't be sorry.

And Teresa, the cover blurb on the book is written by Anne Lamott

Lisa, is Hardy's book going to be in 1st person? I loved that about Sugar Daddy (my mom loved it too).

Teresa Medeiros said...

Oooh, I've read wonderful things about that book, J Perry! And you know Anne Lamott is one of my favorite authors so I'm doubly sure I'll love it. (I thought her TRAVELING MERCIES was brilliant.)

Elizabeth Bevarly said...

J, I actually DO have this book, but I just haven't had a chance to start it. (See Liz move EAT, PRAY, LOVE to the top of her TBR stack.)

And PJ, although I'm going to Dallas, I'm coming home Saturday morning, before the Ritas, because my husband and I have tickets to see the Police that night. I didn't realize when we got them how early RWA was this year. And although I'm going to miss seeing everyone in her finery, I'm jazzed to be able to see a fave band for decades in concert.

Anonymous said...

J Perry . . . I'd forgotten that mosquito joke (I'm dying laughing all over again)

And yes you darling, I am writing Hardy's book in first person, from the heroine's POV. It is slightly different from Sugar Daddy . . . the nature of the story line, about a feisty liberal woman and an alpha Texas guy, makes it a more sexual story than Sugar Daddy, and I think romantic, so I'm doing some verrry fun love scenes!

Tell your mom thank you from me!

--Lisa K

Christina Dodd said...

Interesting. Very interesting. Who said anything about dancing NAKED in the moonlight? Not me. Have I been missiing an important element of the NYT dance? Altho you are absolutely right, pj, if I could get Rod Steel up here disrobing would be manditory. To, um, make it official. Or something.

Anonymous said...

Oh... I almost wish that I could blog today becasue I would just post a giant three word comment.


I just emailed the digital final pass of SKINNY-DIPPING and now there are flowers in the yard waiting to be planted, and a house that is desperately in need of cleaning and a bottle of vino with my name scribbled across it. Make that two bottles.

there is no feeling in the world like sending in a edited book. There are better feelings...(don't ask) but nothing the same.


pjpuppymom said...


You know those flowers and dust bunnies will still be there tomorrow. I'd vote for hitting the vino. (grin)

When is Skinny-Dipping scheduled to publish?

Elizabeth Bevarly said...

Dang, Michelle. Now your blog has a buzz that sounds kindasorta like Connie Brockway saying her book is all done. That's even more annoying than the multigrain genius one. SOME people are still six weeks away from finishing THEIR books, and the last thing they want to hear is static like that. (Liz goes grumbling back to work on her six-weeks-away-from-being-finished novel.)

Anonymous said...

J Perry,

No one didn't *like* the tone. they all thought the Q&A was great fun (but they have to, that's their job as Squawkers) It was more of a "Connie, do you think some of the authors you *don't* know might misunderstand your tone?"

I don't mind being snarky, I don't want to be mean-spirited.

Anonymous said...

Gosh! I feel soooo much better! The thought of never "listening" to you Squawkers squawk again was pretty dare depressing. I was so bummed out I actually spent the morning avoiding my computer. But now that i know that SR is gonna be a hub... I guess that the paper work that's piling up for a year or two in my office can wait to be filed... I don't want to miss Anything!

Julie, who always has her priorities straight

Anonymous said...

Thanks, PJ. It feels like I can suddenly breathe again!

SKINNY-DIPPING will be out January '08.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mickey,
(That's right, girls--- Michelle is known as "Mickey B on the strip)

You dance on tables, it's gonna get talked about. Live with it.

And whatd'ya mean "PATHETIC?" You reach a point in life where you take that last step beyond pathetic and become an "inspiration." Which means that you and the dirt on th ebottom of god's feet are the same age.

That's right, Mickey Babe, you gotta look at me with awe. Not only have I been there and done that, I been there, done that, and taught them there how to do it! (figure that one out, my lil gelato)

Ciao babes,

Kitty "The Cat" Kuttlestone

Elyssa Papa said...

Hi Squawkers and Michelle,

Just wanted to pop by and say hi. Thanks for all the great blogs and memories!

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome back, Squawkers!!!
Hey, Bellas!!!

Sorry I'm late to the party. Who knew that the internet and thunderstorms didn't mix?

I'm sorry to see SR come to a close but am so glad to hear that you all have alot of irons still in the fire. Thanks for the last two years.

Kati said...

**MK swooning with delight**

"Mickey B. on the strip??!!" Oh yeah, she's never, ever, ever living that one down.

Yup, that's gonna stick.

Teresa Medeiros said...

I gotta sign off now, gals! We're off to cheer on the church softball team (okay, I'm just going for the snow cones they sell at the baseball park but don't tell the team...)

Thank you so much, Michelle and the Bellas, for inviting us over for one final bash! It was a blast!!! :)

Julie in Ohio said...

"Mickey B. on the strip??!!" Oh yeah, she's never, ever, ever living that one down."

I missed that the first read through the comments. ROTFLMAO! MK is sooo right. This one's gonna come back to haunt you. Not by me, of course. I would never dream of bringing it up at a future time of my choosing. *wicked grin*

ev said...

And just in case she gets to big for her britches, one of us can remind her about the strip. In code once we move, of course.

On the other hand, I have danced on tables too (we won't discuss the wet t-shirt contest)(or the divorce party),but I don't have a public image to worry about.

And who let Kitty in??? Is nothing sacred??

Rhonda in KY said...

Finally! I get to read the blog today.

Okay, I admit it. I've looked at Squawk Radio for the past couple of days too. Those old habits die hard.

I'm looking sooo forward to all the new books ladies. They all sound great.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for having us today, Michelle. We really enjoyed it. And don't take anything Kitty says too seriously, you guys. She's been known to mistake cactus for men so if she says she saw Michelle dancing on a table there's a good chance it was only in her sodden imagination.

Now, off to my ...gee! I don't know what but it'll be blissful!

Pam P said...

I had to stop by the final bash to say thanks for the best blog one more time.

It was such fun. Since you are keeping it up for news updates, maybe Kitty can blackmail you all to do a special blog day once or twice in the future.

Anonymous said...

*Shaking miraculously stopped after seeing the numberous comments from the AFKAS* The fix has been satisfied, now all I have to do, is wait just a tad longer for all my favorite author's new books to come (expect for Eloisa, thank goodness I don't have to wait for her) I wish you guys luck in all of your new endeavors and books. Thank you for all the laughs, contemplation and for the chance to expand our minds with different opinions and pov's. Your community gave me a place to be able to express my love of romance novels and the confidence to say it loud and proud (boy did that sound corny) thank you again!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thanks, Connie. I feel much better now. You know, our fellow MN author, Helen Brenna was in the bar at RWA, and she can attest to the fact that I never once danced drunkenly on that table; I'm quite graceful, I'll have you know.

Who knows, Squawk fans? Perhaps, since we've had so much fun today, we may have to have the "Squawk Radio: You didn't really think they'd disbanded, didja Reunion" at my blog at sometime in the future. Since it'll be so Cher-like, I'll say it now: Tiarass for Eeeeeverybody! And there'll be buff male dancers for Kitty, too.

Here;s my question (and you Bellas just don't give me too much crap about the Mickey B thing, OK?): If authors get to do the naked NYT dance, what should I, a romance columnist do for good luck?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Judy wrote: Thank you for all the laughs, contemplation and for the chance to expand our minds with different opinions and pov's. Your community gave me a place to be able to express my love of romance novels and the confidence to say it loud and proud (boy did that sound corny) thank you again!

No, Judy, it doesn't sound korny, it sounds right on. That's what Squawk Radio and Romance: By the Book, and so many great places in Romance cyberspace are all about.

If you visit time and again, feel free to share your opinions w/out fear of being put down (which should never be the case among romance readers, really), and come away feeling you've been supported in your love of reading the greatest genre in the history of letters (my point of view anywayz) then we've done our jobs.

I think the Squawkers would agree, that it's pretty humbling to have someone say that by stumbling across one's place in cyberspace, that viewer came away feeling better about herself. It feels great to know, and getting to be on the receiving end of that kind of compliment is an honor, and I even think a blessing.

Kati said...

Here;s my question (and you Bellas just don't give me too much crap about the Mickey B thing, OK?): If authors get to do the naked NYT dance, what should I, a romance columnist do for good luck?

Umm, first don't hold your breath on the Mickey B thing, but we'll only use it when you least expect it. ;0P

WRT the good luck thing: champagne and Krispy Kremes.

amy kennedy said...

Oh, I'm usin' the Mickey B thing. Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

Give yourself a big ol kiss in the mirror and tell youself how fabulous you are.

I'm sooo late to the party--I love the squawkers--and I like the idea of a reunion show at since I didn't get to play today.

catslady said...

I am sooooooooooo going to miss your humor. Maybe you'll miss it so much you'll come back some day :)

Christina Dodd said...

About the NYT dance -- I never said naked. Not once. There is no reason to think it's naked.

And stop peeking.

Michelle, I think your dance should involve a strong red wine, an Aretha Franklin CD, a pink fuzzy cape, a pink fuzzy crown with Big Fake Jewels, some pink fuzzy shoes decorated with Big Fake Flowers, and pictures. Many, many pictures.

Julie in Ohio said...

My suggestion for ya, Michelle, is a trip to Victoria's Secret and a new pair of shoes.

Nothing says "WOO HOO, I'M SO COOL" like sexy underwear and new shoes.

Kati said...

Michelle, I think your dance should involve a strong red wine, an Aretha Franklin CD, a pink fuzzy cape, a pink fuzzy crown with Big Fake Jewels, some pink fuzzy shoes decorated with Big Fake Flowers, and pictures.

Xtina - Clearly you've been to Michelle's house before. I hear she does all of this now, but I think it's a Dean Martin CD...


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

LOL, MK and Xtina! Um, JulieO, have you been going through my mail? Cause one of the first things I did to celebrate was get me a Vicki's Secret Angels card. And a darling - -ok, 2 darling little pairs of sandals.

I was just telling Dave last night that I've become obsessed with gorgeous, sexy high heels. I can't buy enough of them. And, who was it that asked about the RITA gowns? I'm on a mission to get one I liked even better than last year's which is hard, cause I adored last year's.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Xtina wrote: About the NYT dance -- I never said naked. Not once. There is no reason to think it's naked.

Oh, nonja worry, X. We round here don't go for the naked thing. WE GO FOR BIG, SWEATY NEKKID AND DIRTY.

ahem. Did anyone just see me channel Kitty there for a sec?

Julie in Ohio said...

"ahem. Did anyone just see me channel Kitty there for a sec?"

It's alright, Mickey, we'll get you a Dunkies coffee and a pic of Canna and you'll return to normal...

Kati said...


Huh, I thought it was hot and wet. And then "dirty" like Becks. You know...needs to be hosed down dirty...

Yeah, Michelle, you've been slack lately in the posting up the hotness for us to ogle. You need to get on it, woman!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

My God, you're right, MK. I've been so distracted. [hangs head, shaking back and forth as she desperately googles "hot, wet, sweaty, nekkid, dirty boys who are hopefully Italian"]

I'll take the Dunkies and Canna to go, please.

Christina Dodd said...

All right, you all. I just wrote a kiss. A KISS. You cannot distract me by talking about big, sweaty nekkid, dirty ... I am not turning a mere kiss into a HUGE sex scene. That would take too LONG. And it's HARD to get started so late ...

Oh, dear. I've been corrupted! I ... I'd better leave now. But I'll be back!

Thank you so much, Michelle and Bellas, for welcoming me so kindly and for being there so I could share the First Book experience.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, Christina! Hot hot!

Michelle...can't wait to see your dress! Another thing to shop for! (you guys know that joke: "I'm such a failure! I've been shopping for twenty years and I still have nothing to wear!")

That's me.

Anonymous said...

oh shoot. I left off my signature.

That's Eloisa James, above, the feckless shopper!

kisses to all,

ev said...

Carly Phillips is over at Plot Monkeys bragging about Eloise interviewing her this past weekend at the conference and meeting Christina.

Is this a great world or what???

Keira Soleore said...

Michelle, thanks so much for leaving this blog up for two days. I've having a ton of fun, popping here now and then to watch which Squawker is going to say what rude thing next to which Squawker. Those gals are a riot!!

Thank you, you special writers, for giving us diehard fans another chance to experience your funny exchanges. You can be sure that I'll be haunting the blogs and your Websites, always hoping there's going to another post on SR soon.

Caffey said...

Oh this was so great to read!!! I smiled throughout!! Yep I'll be seeing you here and there and too having your voice there with me when I read your books! I'll make sure I check on the Squawk blog for any news there so I then go visit the sites!! This was a blast again today. thanks for making my day!

Jude said...

Michelle: Where exactly on the Lifetime site will your blog be found? I couldn't pull it up on a search just now. I'd like to link to it from Blogging National or to this blog if you think you will post conference highlights here.