Monday, December 21, 2009

Book Tuesday: Vision in White

In honor of my visit with my mom, I let her pick this week's book to recommend and she chose Nora Roberts's Vision in White( my mom's the one who hooked me to romances when I was in fifth grade, btw). She really liked this book, and so do I. I also liked her newest addition to the Quartet, Bed of Roses.

This quartet marks a deviation from Nora's normal trilogies-- and not just by number. It's a reach back into her pure, contemporary romance roots and I think she's done a phenomenal job with it. Though I snap her novels up as soon as they come out (and I mean on the day they come out-- including the hardcover ones) and truly love both her In Death series and her romantic suspense novels, I do miss her romances. No one does character like Nora Roberts and I think this book, and this Quartet, is a perfect example of how she really does do relationships and characterization just beautifully.

So, what do you think? If you read Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, which are your favorite books/types of books by her?

Winner of the Contest!

Sorry, guys, to be so late posting. I've been having fun shopping and hanging with my mom :) The winner of the contest from last Fun Friday is Book Junkie, so e-mail me your snail mail at and I will get your prize in the mail to you. Thanks to everyone who participated-- don't forget to check back for my next contest, the week after Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fun Friday: Let's Have a Contest!

In honor of my fabulous news this week, plus the fact that Christmas is just around the corner and we leave for San Diego TODAY, I thought we'd have a contest. How about a pretty, little bottle of Victoria's Secret perfume and a copy of my first erotic suspense, Full Exposure???? Leave a comment to be entered to win.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Excerpt from Rip Tide

As you know, I posted yesterday that I sold my Young Adult novel, Rip Tide, to Walker Books! It's the story of Tempest, a sixteen-year-old girl who is the daughter of a world class surfer-- and a mermaid. Now that her seventeenth birthday is approaching, she must make a choice-- to stay human (and surfer) like her father or become mermaid like the mother who abandoned her years before. Determined to stay human, she is more than a little freaked out when odd things start to happen (she grows gills, for example). Add in a love triangle between her human boyfriend, Mark, and the mysterious, powerful Kai, and the fact that the fate of her mother's clan-- and the entire Pacific, for that matter-- rests in her hands, and her junior year is shaping up to be more than she bargained for.

Hope you like the excerpt!

I still don’t know what possessed me to do what I did next. Ignoring the rain, ignoring the cold, ignoring my chattering teeth and half-frozen appendages, I climbed out of the car and let the rain and the wind wash over me.
It tore through my hair, whipped against my tender skin until tears rolled down my face. Lightning rent the sky, flashed above the ocean like a bomb exploding mere moments before thunder shook the ground. And still I stood there, refusing to get back in the car where it was safe.
My name wasn’t Tempest for nothing.
Unwilling to give in to the wind or the rain or the voice in my head that warned me away, I staggered towards the water. It seemed a better idea than throwing the mother of all temper tantrums and screaming “it’s not fair!” at the top of my lungs.
Life’s not fair, little girl. For the first time in years, I heard my mother’s voice in my head. Sometimes you’ve got to make the best of what you’ve got. The advice might have meant more if it hadn’t come from a woman who had run away from every responsibility she’d ever had.
There was a rocky slope between me and the beach, and I stumbled down it—slipping and sliding with single-minded intent. I wanted only to get to the water. To feel the ocean lapping at my feet, before it surrounded my frail, human body. To be free in a way I couldn’t be when I was on land.
I spilled down the last few feet, tumbling onto the beach—and my butt-- as my legs went out from under me. I hit the ground hard, so hard that I didn’t immediately climb back to my feet. I just sat there in the middle of the storm, the sand cold and squicky beneath me, and let the rain have me.
I was colder than I’d ever been—nearly frozen—my body struggling to regulate itself in the downpour. Another gift from dear old mom, this inability to control my own body temperature except in the water. Not for the first time, I wondered if I really was as cold-blooded as I felt.
A flash of color in the middle of the blue-gray waves caught my eye, had me convinced I was imagining things. Except when I looked again, it was still there—a flash of red in the middle of the bobbing, seething waves.
The rain was still coming down hard, so hard that for a minute I was sure I was only seeing the reflections of light through water, like a rainbow. But there was no sun and little light out here in the middle of the storm.
I jumped to my feet, wiped the streaming rain out of my eyes before cupping my hands around my eyes in an effort to keep the water out as I tried to find that little dot of red again.
There it was—my heart beat double time as I realized what I was seeing. Someone was out there. Someone was swimming in the seething, storm-tossed waters.
What a moron, was my first thought.
My second thought was that there was no way he was going to make it back to shore. Not in the middle of all this. He was going to drown trying.
I fumbled for my cell phone, started to dial 911—in the winter there were no lifeguards on these beaches—even as I kicked off my shoes, some unconscious part of me already preparing to plunge into the water to try and save the idiot.
Only, as precious seconds passed, I realized he didn’t need saving. Before my pissed-off, terrified eyes, he stood straight up in the middle of the thrashing waves.
For one brief, bizarre moment the water was so high that it looked like he was hovering on the surface of the waves—literally walking on water.
But then the wave crested and I realized he was actually surfing the monster waves, his board cutting through the disturbed water like a knife through soft-serve ice cream. His red swimsuit was a beacon of insanity.
My God, was all I could think as I watched him maneuver through the waves like a maestro.
My God, he was good.
And my God, what I wouldn’t do to be out there with him—suicide or not.
The waves bucked and roiled around him, but you would have thought he was having a picnic out there amidst all that crashing. He never faltered, his body staying in perfect form as he rode the wave in much further than even I would have been able to on my best days.
When he finally dropped back down to the board, I was as disappointed as I was relieved. Watching him had been like watching art come to life.
I started across the squishy, water-logged sand, unsure what I was going to say to the guy. But approaching him was almost a compulsion, one I had no desire to resist.
We made it to the water’s edge at the same time. I stopped uncertainly as I got my first real look at him rising out of the ocean like Poseidon himself, all muscles and wet, sleek, tanned skin.
He towered over me despite the fact that I stand close to six feet, without shoes. And he was gorgeous—so gorgeous that I couldn’t help staring at him. Thank God he didn’t seem to mind, was in fact studying me right back.
He had a fallen-angel face that was as compelling as anything I had ever seen. Perfectly chiseled, amazingly crafted, he was so beautiful I almost wanted to reach out and touch him, just to ensure that I hadn’t made him up in all my topsy-turvy angst. His too-long black hair hung in watery clumps around his face and his dark eyes watched me with a sexy intensity that belied his easy grace on the surfboard. Around his arms were black tattoo bands in an intricate pattern of symbols I had never seen before, a design that was echoed beneath his pecs and—I saw when he dropped his board—across his shoulders as well. My fingers itched with the need to paint him.
Who was he and why had I never seen him out here before? A guy that surfed as well as he did would have to ride the waves a few hours every day to stay at the top of his game. This wasn’t my normal beach, but I surfed here enough to recognize most of the hard-core wave riders.
“Hey,” he said with a grin. “What are you doing out here? It’s pretty crazy today.”
My heart stuttered. “I was going to ask you that. Who tries to surf in this?”
He shrugged good-naturedly. “Someone who knows what he’s doing?”
“Or someone with a death wish. You could have died out there!” I couldn’t believe the words coming out of my mouth, or the shrewish tone they were delivered in. What was wrong with me?
“I started out before it got this bad. I wasn’t expecting it.” He shivered and I realized, for the first time, that he wasn’t wearing a wetsuit.
“I’m sorry. You must be freezing.” I stepped back to let him pass, but he didn’t move, just stared at me with those intense eyes that made me both fluttery and strangely relaxed at the same time.
“I’m cool.”
“Don’t you want to get out of the rain?”
“I like water. Don’t you?”
My stomach somersaulted, though I didn’t know if it was because of the knowing way he’d asked the question or because part of me wanted to know how his lips would feel against mine. I think it was probably a combination of both.
Mark, I reminded myself, as I took one giant mental step back. Despite our earlier fight, I was pretty sure he wouldn’t appreciate me ogling some other surfer on the beach. Especially one who looked like this.
The relaxed feeling left as easily as it had come.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yay! Yay! Yay!

I just got a call from my agent with the good news that I have been waiting for for what seems like forever! I sold my paranormal mermaid/surfer YA, Riptide, to Walker Books!!!!!!!!!!!!

More info to follow when I can stop spinning around in circles :)

Wolff Wednesday: Are We There Yet?

Not much going on over here at the Wolff household. I'm cleaning, doing laundry, etc. in preparation for our trip to San Diego. My mom always comes to our house for Christmas, so this year we thought we'd go there. We leave on Friday and I'm so excited I could burst (I only get to see my mom twice a year, which isn't enough for either of us). I'm not so thrilled at the idea of being cooped up in my car with my three boys, but c'est la vie. Plane tickets weren't in the budget this year-- not after we had to put new tires on both cars, plus new brakes for the SUV. But I figure Nintendo DS and portable DVD players were invented for a reason, right?

So how about you? What are your holiday plans this year? Am I the only one travelling far from home (or going home again, depending on how you look at it)?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Come Visit Me!

I'm blogging over at Pink Heart Society today about my favorite temptation: lipstick (okay, my second favorite temptation ;) Stop by and say hello!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Movie Monday: The Princess and the Frog

I so wasn't planning on seeing this movie. Despite the fact that it takes place in New Orleans, my old and perhaps favorite stomping ground, I just wasn't that interested in the movie. Maybe it's because I've been seeing boy movies for the last twelve years or maybe it's because I never bought the old kiss a frog and turn him into a prince line (I've kissed a lot of frogs in my days and all I did was get slimed). Either way, I went in with pretty low expectations, but as my oldest was at the Cowboys/Chargers Game (Go Chargers!) my youngest two wanted to feel special too. So off to the movies we went.

And you know what? I freaking loved it! It was fabulous!!!!! The music was wonderful, the heroine, Tiana, really down to earth and flawed and the hero, Naveen, was even more flawed. Now, for those of you who read my books, you know that's a dynamic I can get into. Anyway, one of my favorite characters was the fairy godmother/voodoo healer who helped Tiana and Naveen figure out that what they wanted wasn't necessarily what they needed. Add in Tiana's dim-witted but very sweet best friend and the movie was a roaring success. I highly recommend it :)
So, has anyone seen this movie yet besides me? Did you like it? And if you haven't seen it, how do you feel about Disney movies in general? What's your favorite? For me, it's still The Little Mermaid ... and probably always will be. Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Release Day!!!

Sorry, I'm late today, but I've got two sick kiddoes at home, not to mention a major headache. Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know it's release day for my Harlequin Superromance, The Christmas Present. Though some of you have said you found it in stores before today, it officially hit the shelves this morning :) Here's an excerpt to whet your appetite :

Rafael ran down Ellis as fast as he could, trying to get close enough to read the license plate on the car weaving through the late-night streets. Even after it careened around the corner of Main, he kept running, hoping that something, anything, would happen to slow them down. He just needed a minute to catch up, just needed—
He turned the corner and then stopped abruptly, completely disgusted. The street was deserted, the car—and the kids who had thrown the brick—gone as if it had never been.
Swearing viciously, he jogged back to the center. It was just registering that he’d left Vivian alone back there, with a hole the size of a small person in the front window. Though logic told him she was fine, he ran faster, determined to make sure that she was all right.
He focused on that as he ran the half-mile back to the center—and on trying to figure out who would send a brick soaring through his window. Anything to keep his mind off the spectacular kiss he and Vivian had shared. He hadn’t planned on kissing her, had told himself to stay as far from her as he could get. But she’d smelled so good and had sounded so sweet when she’d asked him if he was all right, that he hadn’t been able to resist.
And once his lips had touched hers, his objections hadn’t seemed to matter and he’d nearly eaten her alive. Talk about smooth—not. Add the brick through the window to the less than suave way he’d jumped her bones, and he half-figured it’s be a miracle if she hadn’t run screaming back to her car.
Back to her midnight blue BMW. He hadn’t noticed it when they’d run out to the hospital, but he’d sure as hell noticed it when they’d come back. Thousand dollar suits, hundred thousand dollar cars—she was so far out of his league it was amazing they were on the same playing field—even if it was only for this one, short game.
He’d had no business kissing her, no business touching her when she was Diego’s lawyer. Their lives were too different, and the damn brick thrown through the center’s window just underscored that point. He was pretty sure nothing like this would have happened to her in that upscale apartment building she lived in.
When he got back to Helping Hands, Vivian was still there, standing over the brick and broken glass, with the phone in her hand. “The police are on their way,” she said softly to him, before going back to her conversation with what he assumed was the 911 operator.
He started to tell her to never mind, that such things had happened before—when he’d first opened the teen center—and the cops had never done anything about it at the time. But then he saw the writing on the large blick and the resignation that had been running through his veins exploded into anger.
Tell the bitch to back off. Or else we will. The words were scrawled in bright red paint across the widest surface of the brick.
“What the hell?” He stooped to pick up the filthy, offensive thing, but Vivian stopped him with a hand on his shoulder.
“Don’t do that. You’ll compromise any evidence there might be.”
Evidence? Someone had just threatened her and she was worried about evidence? He knew it was the lawyer talking, but still. All he could think of was burning the whole damn world until he found whoever had threatened his woman.
And in honor of the title, The Christmas Present, what do you want under the tree this year?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Movie Monday: Blind Side

I've heard that the role of Mrs. Tuohy (the mom) in this movie was the role of Sandra Bullock's career, but it wasn't until I saw Blind Side yesterday that I really understood what people were talking about. All I can say is, if you see one movie this holiday season, make it this one. Really, it was that good.

Now, I'm all about the feel-good sports movies (I live with four men, so believe me when I say I've seen my share-- meaning ALL of them) so I thought I knew what to expect when I agreed to take my twelve-year-old to see this yesterday. I was wrong. This is more than just a feel-good movie-- it's a story of beating the odds, what it means to truly embrace the ideals of the holiday season, a social commentary, a fabulous Southern regional piece and a look at one of the strongest female characters I've seen in a film in a long, long time.

One of my favorite lines is when the tutor (Kathy Bates, who I have adored since Misery all those years ago) is about to be hired by Mrs. Tuohy and she says she has to tell her something that she doesn't tell anyone. You get the feeling that whatever it is, it's really bad. And then she pops off with "I'm a Democrat." Which was funny enough, after the build-up, but when Mr. Tuohy says later, "Who knew we'd have a black son before we ever met a Democrat," I couldn't help LMAO.

The whole movie is filled with poignant, sweet, funny little gems like that as you explore how one family changed the life of an inner-city boy born to a crack addict-- and how he really, truly changed their lives as well.

So, has anyone seen Blind Side yet-- or any other movie this season that they would like to recommend? With the holidays coming, I'm all about finding some great movies to take the kids-- or the hubby-- to.

Winner of Fun Friday!!!!

The Winner of my Fun Friday contest is Cecile! Cecile, drop me your snail mail at and I'll get those books in the mail to you :) Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite part of the holidays with me!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fun Friday: A Christmas Giveaway

Since my new Christmas novel, The Christmas Present, hits stores on Tuesday, I thought I'd take this chance to run a quick Christmas contest. Leave me a comment on your favorite part of the holiday season and you'll be entered to win a copy of my very first book, A Christmas Wedding, as well as a five dollar giftcard to Starbucks for the Holiday drink of your choice. My favorite Starbucks Holiday drink: the Pumpkin Latte. Yum!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Out There

You'll have to forgive me. I live in Austin, Texas, where it's a billion degrees outside six months of the year, so when temperatures start to drop none of us quite know what to do. No matter how hard we plan, we're always caught unaware (kids without pants, long sleeve shirts, jackets, because they outgrew the ones they wore for one month the year before) or at least, I am. So when it turned cold this week-- and I'm talking cold as it may actually snow tomorrow-- I was surprised.

The kids, of course, are thrilled. In the five years we've lived here, it's actually snowed only once. We've iced a few times, but real, honest to got snow? Only once. And to tell you how unprepared we were for that, the kids went sledding down the driveway on the tops of those huge Rubbermaid storage containers-- swear to God.

So anyway, as I was scrambling to find jackets that fit (beyond the regular hoodies) and hats that actually lived up to my oldest's cool factor, I couldn't help reflecting that it actually feels like Christmas. Last year, it was 85 degrees at Christmas time, so to say I'm excited about the weather-- now that my children are properly protected from winter-- is a tad of an understatement. I just hope it lasts.

So, what's the weather like where you live right now? A friend of mine from New York was moaning about the fact that she was ready for Spring and I had to laugh. Here in Austin, Spring is right around the corner. I have a feeling New York, however, might have to wait a while ;)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blogging at Sizzling Pens today

Hi, everyone! I turned my book in today (July 2010 Superromance, so I am back, after a week of frantic writing/revisions). I'm blogging over at today on some of my favorite new authors this year. Stop by and give me a list of some of your new fave authors ;)