Posts tagged with: dancing

Charming the Professor Launch Party!!!!!

Light the chandeliers!  Bring out the eats!  Roll out the Jazz Band!  It’s time to celebrate, New Orleans style!

Kate and LeopoldToday I’m launching a new time-travel set in modern day New Orleans.  Do you recall as a child pretending you had a friend –another child–only the friend was from a century earlier?  You had to explain all the wonders of the modern age to them…or was that just my childhood fantasy :-0 .  That is basically the premise of CHARMING THE PROFESSOR.  A French woman from 1853 suddenly finds herself in modern day New Orleans and her best chance to get back home is with a Physics professor.  This is a fun book that involves the assistance of a six-year-old with an open mind (unlike her professor dad).  Think of the movie KATE & LEOPOLD and add some New Orleans spice.

The Charm Gates have stood at The Court of Two Sisters for more than a century with no one guessing the secret they hold. A jealousCharmingtheProfessorfinal vindictive queen and a blackmailed alchemist have encased French “charm teacher” Madeline Charlebois’s essence inside the gates, at least until a grieving professor touches them during a storm and Madeline tumbles out, not in her own 19th century Spain, but in 21st century New Orleans.

Quantum physics Professor Grant Stewart has mourned his wife’s death for the last three years.  But he must move on for his young daughter’s sake, the child who delights in terrorizing babysitters.  Grant needs adequate childcare to pursue tenure at Tulane.  What he doesn’t need is a French beauty believing nonsense like time-travel and voodoo, and whose very being is melting his heart.

Maddie may be without resources but she’s good at making new friends, even if they are on the quirky side. She believes Professor Stewart can return her home, but first she must earn his trust to win his cooperation.  Babysitting his daughter gives her both proximity, and love for the child. Will Grant be the key to returning to her time? Or will she, in turn, unlock his frozen heart? All they need is time and maybe a little voodoo…

So let’s celebrate!

CHARMING THE PROFESSOR contains a dance sequence at the Tulane faculty dinner-dance.  Madeline and Professor Stewart are there – although not with each other. dancers-clip-art-Kcnkpzncq Grant’s bestfriend, Professor Richard Gaston invited Madeline to the dance.  Grant is there with his career-focused girlfriend, Jennifer.  peacock-feathers-8176918A jazz band is playing and the tables are decorated with lots of peacock feathers (naturally).  We have gumbo and alligator tails with bananas foster and pralines for dessert.  Hurricanes are served in a tall glass.  Either you can come as someone from the past and have someone from this time as a date…or your date must be from the past and you–will be you!  🙂

So tell me the identities of your party and – well, whatever else you want to tell me 🙂  Let’s have some fun!

I’ve got a Mardi Gras mask ornament (because – hey – it’s Christmas season!) and a voodoo keychain along with a digital copy of CHARMING THE PROFESSOR, and some digital copies of THE MOOR’S TEAR for someone leaving a comment.

Oh – I forgot to mention the voodoo element.  My voodoo practioners do no harm, but they have been known to slip a love portion into the punch.  Did you get a cup?

You can find CHARMING THE PROFESSOR at  (just click on Amazon or the appropriate link and you’ll be taken to the site)


Barnes & Noble



Songs That Make You Move

Last summer I was at my favorite local park. I love this park, but the gravel walking trail that runs around the outside edge of it…well…it’s hilly. I was slogging through the exercise routine on my iPhone… jog …walk… *sweat*…jog…*sweat, sweat*…walk…jog…you get the sense of it.

I have no idea how I did it, but I accidentally hit “play music” in the program I guess. I don’t have music on my phone. But some miracle occurred, because it started playing a song.

And I ran.

And I ran.  And….I ran.  And ran some more.

I skipped the next three walks.  I ran up hills. Down hills. I just kept running.

I got back to my car thinking I was Queen of the Universe. I’d run farther, faster, than I’d ever run before.

Okay, let’s be for real here. My “run” is a slow jog by most people’s standards. But a few months before, I hadn’t been able to run to the end of my driveway, so this..this was progress.

Why was I able to do that?

It was the music.

What music?

This. Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson.

Did you listen to it? If you did, just try and tell me you weren’t moving at least a little, even if it was only your head, bobbing back and forth.  The man had serious genius. Even the video is a work of art.

The driving beat of it is perfect for running–at least it’s perfect for my slow pace.  Anyway, this—and Jeanne’s blog yesterday about exercise—got me thinking about the music that makes me move.

Moving because I’m “supposed to” is drudgery.  Moving to music is…natural.  When an awesome song comes on, it’s impossible to NOT move. It’s fun.

Here’s another one.  I Can Dream About You from the Streets of Fire original motion picture soundtrack.

Okay seriously.  Were you not at least swaying in your chair?

Today I’m playing DJ, but there’s a reason.  The truth is, I need your help with something.

I’m going to put some songs here that, even if I’m cooking dinner when they play, have me bopping around the kitchen, playing drums with the spoons and spatulas, while I cook.

Turn the sound up, cuz here they are, in no particular order…

First is The Pointer Sisters

Here’s Kenny Loggins..

And a really old one…even though the video producer could not always spell correctly…

Going even older, here’s Michael Jackson again…back when he was a little boy.

I’m bopping around so much I can barely type. *grin*

I love this one–partly because of the awesome flashmob at Ohio State University. No telling how many times I’ve watched this, but it still leaves me with a big grin on my face every time.

And the final one–also from Michael Jackson. It’s a little slower, but I still dance to it, and I love the message.

So Bandits and Buddies…
It’s that time of year–time to get in the gym or out on the running trail, so I’m building a playlist to put on my iPod–feel good music that will make me want to keep running–make me want to
move–the kind of music that won’t let you sit still when you hear it.
Give me your best list…
What are the songs that make you get your groove on–the ones that make you dance around the kitchen?
The ones you can’t ignore?
Will you share your feel-good playlist with me?

A New Day, A New Launch Party!

by Beth

It’s launch party time again in the lair! THE PRODIGAL SON is out now and I’m thrilled to celebrate its release with my fellow Bandits, our Bandit Buddies and, of course, Sven, the Gladiators and the Hockey Hunks 😉
THE PRODIGAL SON is the second book in my Diamond Dust trilogy for Harlequin Superromance and tells the story of Matt Sheppard, the youngest of three brothers, and Connie Henkel, who works as the vineyard manager for the Sheppard’s winery. Here’s what the back cover says:
He always gets what he wants–and that’s made Matt Sheppard an international success as a vintner. So he never saw his mother’s blackmail coming. She says she’ll sell the family’s vineyard if he doesn’t stay put for exactly one year. But running the Diamond Dust with his brothers was his father’s dream, not his. Now he’s shackled to the place by familial ties as strong as vines and tight enough to strangle him.

Worse, he’s forced to work with a resentful manager, Connie Henkel. Her mile-long legs can’t distract him from his goal: to improve the business and get out as soon as he can. Because if the single mom entwines herself around Matt’s heart, he’ll never be able to leave.

Here’s a quick excerpt from when Connie approaches Matt after his brother’s bachelor party:

“So,” Connie said, turning slightly in her seat to face him. “How’d the party go? Anything wild happen? Any Hangover moments?”

He grinned, appreciating her reference to the movie. “No tigers or babies have been spotted and as far as I know, everyone still has all of their teeth.”

“As long as the groom does, that’s all that matters.” The bartender set a glass of ice water in front of her and Connie smiled her thanks to him. Took a sip before clearing her throat. “Look, about last night–”

“Are you going to apologize?”

Her pretty mouth thinned. “For putting an arrogant man in his place? Can’t say I’ve ever regretted that,” she told him, reminding him of his words when he’d asked if he should apologize for kissing her.

“So you’re obviously not here to beg my forgiveness. Did you come over expecting me to apologize?”

Brushing her short bangs to the side, she stared down at her water. His own fingers twitched with the need to touch her hair. To see if it was a soft as he imagined.

“I came over because…” She stirred the ice in her glass with her straw then abruptly let go and met his eyes. “I came over because you looked…alone.”

“Hard to be alone when I’m surrounded by people.”

“Okay,” she said slowly. “Maybe alone wasn’t the right word. More like…lonely.”

The muscles in his shoulders tensed but he didn’t move. Couldn’t. Not when his breath was locked in his chest. Not when he was afraid she was right.

Still, he forced a grin. “Not lonely,” he assured her as he deliberately slid his gaze down her figure lazily before holding her gaze. “But glad for the company anyway.”

Enough chit chat…let’s get this party started!! Crank up the margarita machine! Dim the lights! Buff the Cabana Boys! And, most importantly, turn up the music! This is a party after all, and what better way to celebrate then by hitting the dance floor?
What song gets you out on the dance floor? What song gets your groove thang shaking when you hear it, no matter if you’re at home, in your car or at the store? I’ll give away copies of THE PRODIGAL SON to two commenters today!

Heading back to High School

by Donna MacMeans

If there’s any question that school will be starting soon, just try dropping into your local office supply store for a quick purchase. More reliable than geese heading south, bright yellow school buses practicing their routes, and long lines at Office Max signal school is about to begin. (And I haven’t even addressed the resounding cheer of mothers across America).

Sooner or later all those precious darlings will graduate high school and eagerly race for independence and a bright future. Then, years pass. Couples marry, couples divorce. Those precious darlings have precious darlings of their own and then…sometime after the lapse of many decades. Those same high school graduates race back to home for their high school reunion.

I attended my very first high school reunion earlier this month. Not the first year after high school, mind you. (Grin) When I told a writing friend that I was going to my (cough, cough) reunion, she looked me straight in the eye and said, “I wasn’t even born then.”

It’s a miracle that she walked out of that coffee shop.

My high school, Greenhills High School, no longer exists. The building is there, but it’s used for other purposes. The high school has been reduced to a memorabilia room in the town community center. (sigh)

But we still have memories…and friendships that quickly rekindle even after so many years.

Here’s a photo of me and my best friend from high school. We went away to college together and lived in the same dorm. I hadn’t seen her for about 35 years until this reunion.

Many of those present said this was the best of the reunions they had attended. Apparently, one has to wait a certain number of years for old wounds and memories to dim. I’m glad I joined the group when everyone was there just to celebrate good times.

We ate. We drank. We reminisced. And we danced as a couple of glum DJs played songs from our youth.

Now here’s the problem with dancing. I LOVE to dance. I met my husband on the dance floor of a Cleveland bar and I fell in love when I learned he had no objections (then) to being the first out on the dance floor. I dance with enthusiasm – the music just moves me. I’ve had complete strangers come up and compliment me on my dancing (I think it was a compliment…does “you sure know how to dance” qualify?) It’s happened several times but I have this fear that I look like Elaine on that Seinfeld episode. Here’s a YouTube clip in case you need a reminder (Sorry, couldn’t embed.)

The other thing about reunions…there’s lots of photos and light bulbs flashing, and if I’m dancing – that provides lots of opportunities for blackmail worthy photos. The disc jockeys – the only two men in suits in the place – keyed up KC and the Sunshine Band. I believe I was doing an imitation of my Zumba class instructor who leans back during class and yells: SHAKE SOMETHING! Thank Heavens this is a photo and not video (grin).

And so my question to all of you who have picked yourself off the floor from laughing so hard after viewing my photo…Have you ever attended a high school reunion? Good memories to share? Bad? Blackmail-worthy moments? If you haven’t attended one, why not? Let’s all go back to High School. I’ll send a book from my backlist (your choice) to someone posting a comment.

You Make Me Feel Like Dancin’

by Beth

My younger daughter is going to see Step Up 3 tonight and can’t wait to see if this third movie lives up to the first one of the franchise. We both loved the original Step Up – her because of Channing Tatum and me because of the dancing *g* (Okay, Channing’s cute, too!) I’ve been a fan of musicals and dancing movies (movies with dancing IN them, not movies that can dance *g*) ever since I was little and saw Grease. I sang along with the album daily and even had a Grease book I read so many times, the binding came apart!

Some of my favorite movies with dancing in them include:

Footloose. Oh, how I loved Kevin Bacon as Ren, a city boy forced to live in a small, country town where one of the rules was No Dancing. And how about that soundtrack? Hearing any of those songs takes me back in time!

Dirty Dancing. This one came out during my teen years and all of my friends and I LOVED it! How awesome was Patrick Swayze as the boy from the other side of the tracks? *sigh* Nobody puts Baby in a corner! And the dancing? Soooo sexy!

Flashdance. I’m not sure which I loved more—the movie, the soundtrack or the off-the-shoulder-sweatshirt trend *g* It was a bit risque but the dancing was fun and fabulous!

Singing in the Rain. A wonderful classic with Gene Kelly that had it all: superb dancing, great songs, romance and humor! Still an all-time fave *g*

Do you like dancing movies? Which ones are your favorites? And a very important question: Are you a good dancer?