2 Blondes, 1 Redhead & a Reviewer

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Happy Halloween!!!

So much news, so many prizes!First of all, Happy Halloween. We celebrated by watching scary movies – the classics, like Freddy vs Jason. and Evil Dead, Army of Darkness. I totally believe in ghosts and things that go bump in the night. That does not mean I’ve ever seen or heard a ghost – I am not sure I would want to, lol
What has me believing is the medium I spoke with after my father, sister and uncle passed away. She shared things with me that nobody knew but me. However, that same woman wasn’t so great at predicting the future. I think different psychics have different strengths, just like we all have things we are good at or not so good.
Cheesy horror movies and Stephen King are my faves. I like the possiblilty of what if…
On to the prizes!
Head over to and play a simple game with the Florida Romance Writers for a huge grand prize and individual author prizes.
Next, if you are in the Delray Beach area tonight at seven, well, I along with fellow authors Kathleen Pickering and Carol Stephenson, Marcia King Gamble to name a very few will be at Murder on the Beach bookstore, signing books and drinking wine. Come play with us!!

True Believers

In this season of all things that go bump in the night, I’m just not a believer.  Well, unless I’m reading a Stephen King novel and then I know the true meaning of being scared snotless.  But I don’t thinks that’s the same thing as feeling the ghouls and goblins, witches and warlocks of the day.

I’m not big on superstitions.  Bring on the black cat.  Let me break a mirror.  I’ll gladly step on any cracks in the sidewalk.  Sorry, but I’m not phased.

Just for fun, about 10 years ago a friend dragged me to her psychic.  According to her, it would be the best thing for me.  My son had just died and she felt certain this psychic could ease my pain.  As much as the psychic tried with the “I’m seeing the letter L,” or “I’m sensing chaos in your aura,” I thought it was a load of bullshit.  My sister’s name starts with an L (as does my grandmother’s name and the name of our first pet) and of course she’d sense the chaos – why else would anyone stoop so low as to consult a psychic?  She saw my wedding ring and said something about discord with my spouse.  Well, my spouse and I have never so much as had a fight in 31 years – opps, wrong again.

On an unrelated note . . .  BARGAIN HUNTING will be released tomorrow!  Don’t forget to buy it, download it or however you like your books delivered.  You can read an excerpt on my website

Happy trick or treating!

Happy Wednesday fellow bloggers – maybe this time the post will stay put!

Shopping. Hmm. I don’t like shopping, actually, unless I am specifically looking for something. I rarely like window shopping, unless it is at Anthropology. Destini and I joke all the time that we will know I’ve made it as a successful author when I can walk in there and buy whatever I want, whether it’s on sale or not, lol

Red Envelope is a terrific website, and the gifts arrive beautifully wrapped in red boxes so the recipient is pleased no matter what is inside! Affordable gifts, and a wide variety, make it a plus too.

Amazon. Free shipping, lots of choices, and I can be done shopping in under ten minutes.

Shoes. So this is something I do like…I love boots, sandals, heels – buckles and bling – bring it on!

Bookstores are relaxing places to browse, and I never leave empty handed.

So heres my question – are you pro early Christmas shopping, or are you one of the brave few to take on the Christmas crowds?


The S Word

Nope, not that one, but I am quite fond of it.  We’re delving into the idea of shopping.  Now I come from a long line of shoppers.  We’re talking a trip to some mall every weekend.  End result – I learned to loathe shopping.  Then something magical happened.  The Internet.  Not having to go into a store is very inviting to me.

So where do I spend my net dollars?  I’m a HUGE Groupon junkie.  I’ve literally saved hundreds of dollars by using that site on everything from Botox to car washes.  (For the car, not my botoxed forehead).  It’s really very simple, you just register and you get daily emails various deals, goods and services.  There’s no minimum, no requirements, no strings at all.  In two years I’ve only been screwed once and Groupon’s customer service made good on the voucher so I didn’t lose a dime.

I eBay.  Not a lot but since I learned how to play the game, I’m actually pretty good at finding values and bargains.  I kinda got hooked when I started writing Finley Tanner novels, since a running joke in the series is that she’s building her dream Rolex from parts she buys on eBay.  I actually had my jeweler tell me the parts and I went hunting and sure enough, they were all on eBay.  I buy a lot of Coach on eBay.  I’m very careful and check the advertised merchandise against the Coach website.  YSL – forget it, too many fakes.  D&B – good deals to be found.  Betsey Johnson – more goodies just hanging around.  My tip?  Try misspelling the name.  For example type Betsy Johnson and you’ll find some merchandise that doesn’t show up on the search under the correct spelling.  My other tip?  Plan to man your computer during the last seconds of an auction.  I got my daughter a brand new Nook, in the sealed box for $47.50.  It had been steady at $25.00 for 3 days but I swooped in at the end and outbid the other person with a mere 2 seconds to go.  Make sure that final bid doesn’t go in until your opponent can’t re-raise you before the end of the auction.

My new philosophy – if you can’t get it online, you don’t need it!

Blatant self-promotion . . . 8 days until BARGAIN HUNTING is released.

I hope you’ll dash out and get your copy and/or download it from any of the major retailers . . .  From Fresh Fiction:

Bargain Hunting
Rhonda Pollero

Reviewed by Tanzey Cutter
Posted October 12, 2012

Mystery Amateur Sleuth | Mystery Woman Sleuth

Finley Anderson Tanner, fashionista/paralegal extraordinaire, is torn between the two gorgeous men in her life — her boss, lawyer Tony Caprelli, and the law firms’ private investigator, Liam McGarrity.  But Liam is the hunk who really makes her tingle in all the right places.  In the past, they’ve come close to consummating their relationship several times, but something always happens to hinder the final act.  Just how much sexual teasing is a hot-blooded woman expected to take?

Then Liam shows up at Finley’s house late one night with a gunshot wound needing a place to hide and get patched up, and she knows she’ll do whatever it takes to protect him.  With much probing and prodding, Finley finally gets Liam to confess that five years ago he left the police force after he was falsely accused of shooting a teen during a drug bust.  Even though he was never found guilty, he was forced to resign.  Now, Liam’s gun from five years ago has been used to kill his ex-partner — and he’s again a murder suspect.

It doesn’t take long for death threats against Finley to start and with an excess of possible suspects, Liam, Finley and Tony are kept busy sorting out details and following leads.  But will they live long enough to bring the bad guys to justice?

The really good thing about this fifth outing for Finley is the progression of her relationship with Liam, and we finally learn more about his background.  It adds a special dimension to the sleuthing and the final outcome of the mystery plot.  Don’t miss BARGAIN HUNTING, a fantastic entry in this exceedingly enjoyable mystery series.



Electronic books, my opinion.

This opinion comes from  20 years of being published and staying published in print.

An electronic book delivered to your computer or E-reader is a FORMAT.  It’s no different in its content than a book delivered in print.  Note my word use.  E book is a format. NOT a new type of book.  Some of my books are available for E format, some not.  Print publishers think the same way.  Check out anything on the subject by Jen Enderlin, publisher of St Martin’s Press.   Anyone can upload a file.  It does NOT make you an instant writer.

The Author’s Guild & Mystery Writers of America don’t allow self published to be members and in both instances, you have to prove it by submitting two books for a membership.  (Or a copy of the contract pages, I can’t recall)

You are not published unless you have sold the work to a publisher who pays you an advance and then edits and prints it.  (or E formats it)  I wonder how so many miss this detail. It is the definition of a published writer.  I have never laid out one penny to see my books in print.  Not one.

A financial investment of any kind from you makes it Vanity press. I didn’t make the definition, or the standard.  Previously in RWA, that was a huge no-no.  Now, anyone can publish what resembles a book and call themselves a writer.  To me, after the hard work it took to get published, is insulting.  It’s also the reason I did not renew my RWA membership after 22 years.

Electronic books are a format.  Imo, there is no real question. You were either paid for your words or not.


The plight of covers…

Now let me say first that if you are not a USA today or an NYT bestseller, you get what you get. I have had very little say-so in covers over the years. For Harlequin, none. No input yet all authors have to give scene descriptions so they can make a cover.  You see how that works, ey?

I recall, when my editor Kate Duffy asked about covers, I mentioned I hated Teal and pink. I’m writing action adventure, it needs dark and mysterious.  Other than Naked truth, a cover I loved, I had three more with pink, teal and blue.  I was not happy.  A high action thriller with a pink cover??  If I were writing Palm Beach fiction (hi Rhon) that would be great.  I disliked a couple covers because I recognized the H&H pose from old historical novels.

Now, a cover I loved was Naked Truth.  It did the job without leading the reader down a different path.  The color wash over them was the first, and as Kate predicted, many publishers copied it.  She knew it would happen and asked that I not put the cover on my web site until the release date.  I obeyed, yet within months. There were thousands with the same look.  So if you see a cover with a color wash over it, mine was number one.

When it came to my historicals, the only one I truly loathed was The Irish Enchantress and that’s because the colors were completely off. It looked like a bad bruise, imo.  But the Irish Princess cover was as if someone jumped in my brain and repeated it in ink. So when you get a cover, ask yourself if you can live with it.  As a writer published in print, and low on the totem pole, I had very little input and often, just lived with it.

So….any other cover nightmares out there?


so far, so good

The cover gods have been good to me.  I’ve chosen/paid for four of them, so I guess I’d better like them, huh? lol. One of the benefits of being with a small press is cover input. I filled out a fact sheet, and they sent me their concept of my idea. For the most part, I didn’t have any problems.

I hope my luck continues, lol

Happy Wednesday, everyone


ps no word yet from Sailor Hall 😦

When things get ugly

Myth – authors always have input on their covers.  When I sold my first book in 1993 (yes, I am that old), I had no idea what the process was when it came to covers.  Harlequin sent me something called an Art Fact Sheet and it was about ten pages long.  It asked questions like the color and style of hair for the hero and heroine; the location backdrop; 3 suggested scenes for the cover (turns out that was a waste of time – they never once used the scenes I painstakingly wrote out on the sheet); a synopsis; clothing and a bunch of other details, large and small.  And FYI, I did them on a typewriter, and since I can’t type, I dreaded the Art Fact Sheet.  Now this process is done online.

Then about 30 days (if I was lucky) before the book was released I could suggest something called an Iris and that is a color image of the cover flat.  Or in some cases, I’d get the cover flat directly from my editor.  That was the first time I saw the cover.  On more than once occasion I loathed the cover.  But with Harlequin there are no changes.  They publish something like 177 titles a month worldwide so they aren’t going to stop the presses because Rhonda (or Kelsey Roberts as the case may be) wasn’t happy with her cover.

So what did I do?  Lie.  I’d always tell my editor the cover was fine or sometimes I’d lie and say I loved it.  I did have one editor who would call me and say, “I’ve seen the cover and you’re going to hate it.”  Which brings me to another myth at Harlequin – editors have almost no clue or say regarding the covers.  They are created in a different country and usually the editor is seeing the cover at the last moment as well.  There have been times when I didn’t see the cover until I walked into the store and the book was on the shelf.  I think it served me well to keep my mouth shut.  Of my dozens of Harlequin covers, the one I hate the most is from a book titled Handsome as Sin.  Only problem?  The guy is ugly as sh-t.  I actually had people attend a book signing and refuse to buy it based on the hero’s appearance on the cover.  Here’s a peek:
Then I did an anthology for Random House and that wasn’t much better.  They did send us the cover, ask for our input, and then ignored all of us.  Red Hot Santa looks like his back is covered in tumors.

Then I found Mecca.  When I moved to Simon & Schuster I had a completely different experience.  We actually had cover consultations and I was encouraged to share my thoughts.  And if I didn’t like the cover, they made changes.  They also did branding – utilizing an element, in my case a skull, in all the covers.   What a joy it was to know I was part of the process.

So my advice?  When you have to – lie.  Better not to be labeled a problem author than gripe about a cover that’s already set in stone.  And if you’re lucky enough to have a say in the matter, be conciliatory.

A ‘must have’ besides my computer?

I have a few…

Internet access.  How else can I communicate to my friends? I’ve lived all over the world and that’s where my friends are. None here since…well… Marines deploy and change duty station. Besides, I’m old, most people I know are retired. (Generals included!)

My tweezers.  Stupid, I know, but I use them more than I ever thought. It’s a distraction but at least a productive one.  I never have to have eye brow wax.  Again. (as a kid, I had a unibrow, it’s the Sicilian in me)

My books.  Not the ones I’ve written, but my research books.  Writers get ideas in the strangest places. I used to have more ideas the moments to write.  Maturity, tons more skill and yes, age has mellowed that to not every idea should be a story.  Even now I’ll look back through my idea file and what I thought was a book idea was really just an opening, or interesting twist.  Like my colleagues, we know what will work with just a few mental questions so when someone says, “I’ve got an idea for a book,” (ahh, hello?  We don’t need them) what you have is a piece of a story.

Another Must Have…

COFFEE!  Do I need to say it again?  I used to drink it black, with the Marines.  That stopped when flavored creamers came out.  But it was the moment I tasted the best cup of coffee in my life to date that I understood how should taste.  (Jamaican coffee in Japan) Nothing like the Hard Corps Tar of USMC.  I learned how to make a good pot and I like mine just so, but in a pinch, any cup will do.  I don’t drink Starbucks unless I’m in a store, but Seattle’s Best and my favorite since 1988, Gevalia.  Guatemalan Antigua to be precise.  When I can find it.  Gevalia buys small crops that have been rotated with sugar cane fields and other sweet or fruity crops. It changes the flavor of the coffee.  I didn’t believe it either and I’ve tried a lot.  I had it shipped to me when we lived in Okinawa.

While I love different roasts and blends, I stay away from French Roast, tastes burnt.  I don’t care for flavored coffees and or creamers.  Except on occasion chocolate.

It’s like my cappuccino. I want the real thing, not a frapped up, caramelized foo foo with whipped cream.  Just an espresso or and cappuccino. Not a latte.  If I wanted milk, I’d drink it. Decaf does not do it for me, at all. Even in coffee, so if someone knows a good tasting decaf. I’m game, send me the name.

So what can you NOT live without?

Have a great day.


Anchors Away!

So. My daughter is in boot camp. 21, with her Associates degree, she made a decision that controls the next four years of her life. Des is not a commitment kind of girl, really, so her dad and I were surprised at her choice. When she explained she was also looking into the peace corp, I cheered extra loud at her commitment to the Navy instead. I am all for volunteering and doing Good Works – but those countries are dangerous, and I would prefer Des find danger with the military at her back. Medical, dental, and if all goes well, she’ll learn to pick up her shoes.

She’s something of a fashionista, our daughter. Studies the latest trends, dresses with flair and confidence. I admit to a tiny concern when it comes to the plain white skivvies, or the unadorned blue camo. Is it defendable to tell your commanding officer that she just wants to spruce things up a little? Glitter, crystals, mustard yellow tights? And lets explore the topic of shoes.Her closet is an ode to shoe lovers everywhere – low heels, high heels, boots, ballet flats, blinged out, plaid – she loves them all, and now they wait, dejected, while she does push ups, arm curls and swims laps.

I mentioned she doesn’t put them away, right? It became one of those tug of wars between practically adult children and their parents. Yelling and shouting over where shoes, no matter how darling, belong. Dad threatening to throw them away, Daughter shrugging a shoulder as she dances out the door.

Just so we wouldn’t miss her too much, she’s hidden pairs of her shoes all over our house. Orange converse behind the couch, yellow flats beneath the mirror. Vans on top of the movies, and running shoes by the front door. White slip ons outside by the table. Cute plaid tie ups in our bathroom. I can’t bring myself to put them all away. Not just yet.

Greg and I looked at each other yesterday after watching her salute the flag as Sailor Hall. I blinked away lots of tears as we left, crying through the parking lot. Then we high-fived in the car. We have raised two babies through adulthood, and we could not be more proud. Now we just need to learn the anthem so when we see her at graduation, we don’t slip into the Air Force song – which is what her Air Force father’s family all thought a better choice. As usual, she made the one that was right for her.

Anchors Away, Des –


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