30 Day Challenge – Day One

Recently several things crashed together in my head: conversations with friends about good fortune and living without fear, Cindy Ratzlaff‘s comment at RWA that you don’t have to be twenty-one to have your whole life ahead of you, my son turning ten a few days ago. We spent the boy’s birthday in Denver, where the cycling culture is very alive and well. While I was at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science I picked up The Girls’ Bicycle Handbook by Caz Nicklin. Like most kids, I spent quite a bit of time as a child on a bike, but in the last thirty years, riding a bike had become a “sport”, not a basic mode of transportation, or something I did for fun. I had a mountain bike hybrid I rode only when pressed, because the forward lean put too much pressure on my wrists and elbows, aggravating joints I wanted to keep healthy for writing. But something about the book (probably the cool fashion and the retro cruiser bikes) got me thinking. If I have the rest of my life ahead of me, I want to spend more of it on a bike.

Meet Persie.

Classically stylish...

Classically stylish…

 

She’s an Electra Townie 21d (because despite Nebraska’s reputation as a pancake-flat-flyover-state, Omaha is really rather hilly so I need all twenty-one gears). I named her for her color – persimmon – and for my son’s favorite character, Percy Jackson from Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series. She was a big splurge, even before I added fenders, rear rack, basket, and saddlebag – but I absolutely adore riding her. I’ve been reading blogs written by women cyclists around the world. They cycle to work, to the grocery store, everywhere, and while most of them live in larger cities where driving a car is a bigger pain in the fanny than riding a bike, they make it look cool. Like, really cool. Like, bike in skirts and tweed and funky helmets and boots, and add saddlebags and baskets for loaves of French bread.

Biking. Come for the exercise, stay for the accessories. I can get behind this sport.

This morning, as I hauled myself to yoga to work out the kinks from twenty hours of driving on vacation, and a desk job that’s given me rather severe tendinitis, the yoga studio owner suggested a hot yoga challenge. In the past that’s meant taking a hot yoga (it’s Bikram-ish) class every day for a set period of time. Thirty days…sixty days…ninety days. As I sweated through the class – which I’d ridden to on Persie – both ideas came together in my mind.

For the next 32 days (because my birthday is in 32 days) I’m going to take a yoga class every day, and bike everywhere I can. I live in what I lovingly call suburban strip mall hell, but the good news about that is that the things I do most frequently: take my son to school, go to the grocery store, go to a coffee shop, go to yoga, are all within an easy ten minute bike ride. Today I put my mat, towel, and water bottle in Persie’s saddlebag and biked to the yoga class. And home again. Let me tell you, I’m quite a sight after ninety minutes of yoga done in a room heated to 105 degrees and 50% humidity, but I pedaled home feeling extra virtuous and the shower felt extra good.

That’s the challenge. Thirty-two days of yoga, and thirty-two days of riding my bike where I can. I’ve decided to blog about it because I need the accountability. Hold me to this, dear readers. Expect a post a day, pictures, observations, things I see that are cool, car/driver behavior that is cool…or decidedly not cool (I’m looking at you, whoever was driving the Lexus hybrid SUV that wouldn’t wait literally three seconds for me to turn left into a parking lot and therefore honked at a middle-aged woman on a bike).

What about you? Have you been mulling over a challenge, to read more, get more sleep, eat fewer carbs? I’d love some company, so if you want to jump in and set an arbitrary timeframe for a particular task or goal, please do! As Cindy said, we’ve all got the rest of our lives ahead of us…time to start living!

Cover Reveals – AFTERNOON DELIGHT and THE LIST

I’ve been on vacation this week, and while I was gone, gorgeous covers for my next two releases – AFTERNOON DELIGHT (9/14) and THE LIST (3/15) showed up in my inbox! Both books are part of my new series with Berkley’s Heat and Intermix imprints, called the Irresistible series. I’m so excited about these books. They’re set in New York City, one of my favorite settings, and hearken back to previous works, including BREATH ON EMBERS (remember Tim, the FDNY EMS lieutenant? He’s getting his book!),  and the novellas in the Agony/Ecstasy anthology (THE LIST’s heroine is “Lady Matilda”, who is not a Lady, or a lady, but is a whole handful of trouble for FBI agent Daniel Logan). Here’s the cover and blurb for Afternoon Delight:


AfternoonDelight final

 

Sarah McCall, food truck co-owner and recentManhattan transplant, savors each moment of her new job—whether it’s refining the truck’s menu, learning the city, or spending afternoons in bed with the hot paramedic who’s fast becoming her favorite customer.

Tim Cannon spends his days sprinting from one emergency to the next. He eats like he works—at top speed—somewhere along the line he lost his ability to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Hooking up with Sarah is just another way to cope with the stress of his job, until their afternoon trysts coax Tim into enjoying everything he’s avoided. Can Tim learn to balance his job saving lives with the everyday delights that make life worth living? If anyone can teach him, it’s Sarah…

And here’s the cover and blurb for THE LIST:

TheList final

 

Matchmaker and stationery shop owner Matilda Davies brings people together. For those on her list, Tilda will find the man or woman of their dreams—whether it’s for an hour or a lifetime. But due to a painful past, the British expat has never put her own name on the list. Instead, she limits herself to emotionless and commitment-free hookups. Then she meets Daniel, who wants not just her body, but also her heart…

Daniel Logan hides the soul of a poet under the suit and tie of an FBI agent. Specializing in financial crimes, he pieces together stories of greed and ensures justice is done. He plays by the rules—until he meets Tilda. He’s drawn in by her passion as well as her mysteriousness. Daniel knows that no matter her secrets, he’s the perfect match for Tilda. But even pleasure doesn’t come with a guarantee…

September isn’t very far away. 😉 Until then, happy reading!

New Release Details!

Summer has just begun, but fall is coming, along with new releases!

AFTERNOON DELIGHT (September 2014) –

Sarah McCall, food truck co-owner and recent Manhattan transplant, savors each moment of her new job—whether it’s refining the truck’s menu, learning the city, or spending afternoons in bed with the hot paramedic who’s fast becoming her favorite customer.

Tim Cannon spends his days sprinting from one emergency to the next. He eats like he works—at top speed — somewhere along the line he lost his ability to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Hooking up with Sarah is just another way to cope with the stress of his job, until their afternoon trysts coax Tim into enjoying everything he’s avoided. Can Tim learn to balance his job saving lives with the everyday delights that make life worth living? If anyone can teach him, it’s Sarah….

THE LIST (February 2015) – 

Matchmaker and stationer Matilda Davies is in the business of connecting people. For those on her list, Tilda will find the man or woman of their dreams—whether it’s for an hour or a lifetime. Haunted by a traumatic past, the British ex-pat is driven to create lasting connections, but she’s never put her name on her list. Instead, she limits herself to emotionless hookups. Then she meets Daniel, who wants not just her body, but also her heart…

Daniel Logan hides the soul of a poet under the suit and tie of an FBI Agent. He specializes in financial crimes, piecing together stories of greed and devastation, then ensures justice is done. He plays by the rules—until he meets Tilda. The combination of passion and mystery draws Daniel deep into the dark, desperate past of the woman he fiercely loves.  Daniel knows that no matter her secrets, he’s the perfect match for Tilda, but even pleasure doesn’t come with a guarantee…

Details coming soon for EVENING STORM (8/15) and THE MUSE (12/15). We’re finalizing the covers and will reveal those as soon as they’re ready! Stay tuned for giveaways, and enjoy your summer reading!

Interview/Upcoming Release

The wonderful writers who blog at Wonkomance decided to start a video podcast, and I was their first guest. You can see the replay here. It’s about an hour long, and includes a really well-thought out Q&A, some talk about hair, and me reading from a very safe-for-work portion of Uncommon Passion.

In other news, Afternoon Delight, my first Intermix release with Berkley will be out in September, 2014, just four short months away! This story revisits Lt. Tim Cannon of the FDNY EMS division (first featured in Breath on Embers). One gorgeous spring afternoon he meets Sarah, a new transplant to NYC, who’s opening a food truck with a friend. What starts off as a sexy competition turns complicated and emotional…you know, as these things do. 🙂 I had a great time writing this story, and I’m so excited it will be available so quickly The book is connected to three more upcoming releases I’m feverishly writing. I hope to be able to show off the covers for this book and the others in the series very soon!

In the meantime, happy reading and a very happy spring to all of you in the Northern Hemisphere!

Uncommon Passion FTW!

Wonderful news! UNCOMMON PASSION won the All About Romance 2014 Annual Reader poll for best erotic romance! I’m totally shocked, and very happy. Huge, heartfelt congratulations to all the other winners. I’m in amazing company with Laura Florand, Sherry Thomas, Julie James, Nalini Singh, Courtney Milan, and Sarah MacLean, just to name a few. Thanks so much to all the readers who voted, not just for my book but for any book you loved. We writers wouldn’t be able to do the work we love if readers didn’t love and buy books. Thank you!!!

JADED Releases Tomorrow (Feb 4)

Wheee! JADED, the second book in the Walkers Ford series releases tomorrow, Feb 4. I couldn’t be more excited! The fabulous Kat Latham included JADED in her February Contemporaries to Covet list, and she’s giving away a $10 gift card to one person who comments on the post. So if you’ve got a Feb contemp release you can’t wait to read, stop by her blog and add your recommendation to the list. International entries welcome! While you’re there, take a peek at Kat’s London Legends rugby-themed series from Carina Press. Knowing the Score is hot and sweet and funny…the perfect read to warm up those cold February days.

More Books from Anne!

I’m thrilled to announce I’ve sold more books to Berkley Romance! We’re still working out the release dates, but for now you can plan on two more erotic novels published through Berkley Heat and two erotic long novellas coming from Intermix. The books will revisit the New York City world first created in theAgony/Ecstasy anthology, and I couldn’t be more excited.

I’ll announce release dates, covers, and excerpts when I can. In the meantime, I wish you a very happy holiday, and lots of great reading in the new year!

Blog and Two Giveaways!

The holidays are here! I’m hanging out at two different places today, and giving away books, chocolate, and gift cards!

I’m at Jeffe Kennedy’s blog, talking about Christmas windows. I’m also over at the Smutkateers blog, again with the giveaways.

I hope the holidays are being merry and bright for you…

Anne