Commenting Policy for This Journal

Diamond Brides
Alas, alack, and woe is me... 

The spam monsters have won.  Over the past several months, I have tried to limit spam in the comments to this journal.  Despite my best attempts, though, the spam continues to be posted -- often more spam comments than legitimate ones.

Therefore, I am forced to bar comments from people who are not my LJ friends. 

But all is not lost!  If you would like to comment on a post here, and you are not an LJ friend, and you don't care to create an LJ account to become my friend, you can comment on my main website, the one that mirrors to this journal.  That website is

Mindy, regretting that it's come to this, but pleased to finally get rid of the obnoxious spam

Sad, Sad Truths

Diamond Brides

The Hobbit might be the most important book in my life.  It’s the book that introduced me to adult (more or less) fantasy fiction.  It opened the door to The Lord of the Rings.  It made me start my first novel (a horrible fanfic-y tangle of a book, started with my best friend in eighth grade, and the less said about that, the better.)

I recently re-read The Hobbit, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it held up.  I laughed at bits of humor (the dwarves’ staged approach to Beorn’s house, for example), and I enjoyed Bilbo’s clever solutions (shutting the dwarves up in the barrels that were destined for Laketown).  The book was a picaresque (well, except for the last few chapters), and those types of episodic adventure stories can be pure candy.

Alas, I wasn’t a fan of the first Hobbit movie.  I thought it was over-long and under-storied, even though it brought in vast swaths of story that had nothing to do with The Hobbit.  At the time that I watched it, I hadn’t read the book in over 20 years, so I assumed that I’d forgotten some of the diversions (but I was wrong — they just weren’t there in Tolkien’s book.)


When The Desolation of Smaug came out, I decided to save my pennies and rent the movie when it was available.  When it became available through Netflix, I wanted to watch other things first, so I waited a few months before getting to Smaug.

And that brings us to last night.

Last night was a perfect night for Hobbit-watching.  We had an open swath of time, with no other commitments.  We had popcorn popped.  We were looking forward to the film.

And that enthusiasm lasted for about 10 minutes.  Where was the funny staged approach of the dwarves to Beorn’s house?  Where were the magical animals who waited on the weary travelers?  Where was the eccentric host who taught vegetarian dining to his guests well before vegetarian was a trend?

Okay, so the movie decided to elide Beorn.  There was a lot of story to be told.  Including a half-hour (I think — maybe it only felt that long) river escape from orcs.  And a dwarf-elf maybe-love story, featuring Kate from Lost (who’d clearly wandered in from another movie, because she sure as hell wasn’t in the book.)  And, and, and…

We turned off the movie when we got to the Master.  I didn’t care about dwarves getting hit with fish.  I really didn’t care about Laketown politics, involving characters I’d never really met.  (It was like George Lucas’s interminable Senate scenes, all over again.)

We actually fast-forwarded to two scenes with Smaug.  Great CGI.  Great voicing, by Mr. Cumberbatch.  Of course, those furnaces and that molten gold and all, those belonged to a different movie.

So, yeah.  With regret, we won’t be watching the last of the Hobbit movies.  I once joked that I wanted to see the Director’s Cut of this one — all nine hours cut down to a two-hour film based on the book.  But I don’t know if I’d even watch that.

Sigh.  I know that movies are different from books.  I understand that changes need to be made, to make things film-able, to capture a traditional screenplay structure, to feed the movie-making beast.  But those challenges are different from writing an entirely different film, from creating a fanfic movie that happens to take place somewhere that resembles Tolkien’s Middle Earth.  And that’s the sad, sad truth.

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.


Take Me Out to the … Theater

Diamond Brides

Well, no one can accuse us of being one-track, here in Klaskyville!  Our weekend spliced together a bunch of our favorite things, including:


  • On Friday, dinner at Rustico, a restaurant that is just a few blocks from the house.  We split appetizers (including the killer “Risotto Tots”, which are pretty much the perfect adult answer to Ore-Ida), I enjoyed the trout on a bed of farro, and then we split the S’more Cheesecake.  Splitting the dessert was probably a good idea, because I could have eaten about half a dozen of them.  I might never have walked again, but I would have rolled out of there a very happy woman.
  • On Saturday, a ball game at Nationals Park.  After a 1.25-hour rain delay, they finally took to the field.  Jordan Zimmermann gave up two runs in the top of first, and we settled in for a loooooong afternoon/evening, but the team came right back in the bottom of the first, and handily won the game.  My baseball cap’s record goes unsullied.
  • On Sunday, an incredible production of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE at Studio Theater.  The tickets were expensive and parking was a pain when we got to the theater.  The ushers were oddly off-kilter (sending us to our seats by way of some unmarked back stairs, then nearly losing us in the pitch black of the theater as they didn’t quite lead us to our seats.)  Some of the audience members were … not used to theater (talking out loud for large parts of the show), and one guy in the back had a constant cough.  In other words, it should have been a disastrous day at the theater.  But it wasn’t.  It was magical.  The production was incredible, the performers were superb, and I found myself getting really emotional at the end of the second act (which is all about the cost of being an artist, of creating a foundation to support an artistic career, and of having the courage to change artistic directions.)  So, it was worth it — all the hassles.  And then some.

In between, there was reading, and knitting and televisioning and scritching kitties.  So, really a lovely weekend.  Which makes it just that much harder to settle down and write today.

But write, I must.  I’m drafting the penultimate chapter of ALWAYS RIGHT!  Onwards!

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.

Cat Trap Blanket — Activate!

Diamond Brides

The life of an author… serving her cat…


Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.

Business As Usual (Baseball Edition)

Diamond Brides

So, we went to see the Nats play last night.  And it was yet another boring, hum-drum baseball game.  (Insert boring, humdrum details about weird 5:00 start, wait to get Racing President Taft bobblehead, etc.)


When we got to our seats, I became a subversive agent for good.  When one climbs the stairs in our section, rows A-D can *only* be reached by turning to the right.  Rows E-N can *only* be reached to the left.  There are no signs and no ushers, and we (in row G), spend a substantial part of each game redirecting people who climb up to row D and then look puzzled (while blocking our view of the game.)  Yesterday, I brought a small paper sign with directional arrows and taped it to the glass wall.  And not *one* person got confused for the entire course of the game.  (At least that I saw.  I was mostly watching the game, and not the crowd.)  I intend to bring signs to future games!

The game itself was a back and forth struggle, with the lead changing dramatically four times.  (Insert long discussion for baseball lovers.)  In the end, we won in extra innings.  Of course there were extra innings, because *I* was at the game.  The Nats play extra innings in the majority of games I attend, or so it seems.  (Sometimes, it’s just that Strasburg pitched, so it seems like extra innings with the slooooow play.)

The key feature of the game, though, was this:  I wore my  baseball cap, and they won.  Every time I wear my baseball cap and attend a game, they win.  If I attend a game and forget my cap, they lose.  (My cap is their old DC design, in traveling blue, with a blue bill — I never see anyone else with it.  That must be why it’s lucky!)  When Soriano blew the save, I thought the luck of my cap had been depleted, but no!  It held true!

(And yes, baseball fans are superstitious.  So are baseball players.  Those superstitions figure heavily into ALWAYS RIGHT, the Diamond Brides book I’m writing now.)

So, we ended up winning, and we were home 4.75 hours after the game started.  So maybe that 5:00 start wasn’t such a bad idea after all…

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.


The Deeply Personal

Diamond Brides

Yesterday was Errand Day here in Klaskyville. As I was walking back from the post office, I was held at a crosswalk, so that traffic could turn.  Given the caravan of 18-wheelers completing the turn and not yielding to oncoming traffic when they had the plain green light (no, I don’t know why they were there; they had *no* markings on any of the five trucks), the wait was a bit longer than expected, which gave me a chance to study the personalized license plates of the cars to my left and on the cross-street to my right.

imagesI mostly think that personalized plates are silly.  I don’t understand paying extra for them, and most of the time they seem to reflect inside jokes that just seem a bit absurd when shared with the outside world.  I’ve never owned a personalized plate (although I came close when my parents bought a silver Datsun station wagon and considered the plate “HI HO AG”.)  Mark once applied for a personalized plate with the names of his two cats, but the application was rejected as “vulgar” (the plate would have read “TED YAZ”, and no, we’ve never figured out what’s vulgar about that.)

So…  Yesterday’s plates.  (I didn’t get pictures of either.)

The first was on a white Toyota Corolla.  The driver was a crew-cut white guy, with a squint that rivaled Clint Eastwood’s best.  The plate was a specialty one, yellow with black letters, the “Don’t Tread on Me” plate, and the text was “NVA TP”.  For those who, like me, thought this was some sort of ad for toilet paper, the bottom half of the back window of the car was covered with helpful bumper stickers, all proclaiming Northern Virginia Tea Party.  (I seriously questioned whether he could see out the window, with all the paper glued to the glass.)

The second plate was on a gold Cadillac, one of the huge ones, maybe from the 1970s?  The woman driving was probably in her sixties.  She had a huge dyed-black bouffant hairdo.  In her bright-red talons, she held a cell phone with one hand, and a pink donut with sprinkles in the other.  She looked as if she’d enjoyed many donuts in the past — about 400 pounds worth.  And her license plate said “KUTYPY”.

I sort of wanted the cars to collide, just so I could see what happened when NVA TP and KUTYPY were mixed together.  KUTYPY could have sat on NVA TP, winning the battle before it began.

The caravan of trailers finally passed, and I went on my way.  But I’m pretty sure I won’t be buying a personalized license plate any time soon.

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.

Re-Arranging Deck Chairs

Diamond Brides

I’ve lived in the same house for twenty-two years.  That notion astonishes me — especially because, on some days, I think I’m only about 25 years old.  (I’m not trying to lie about my age.  I just forget the real answer and have to stop and think about it!)


Over the years, I’ve done some redecorating.  I used to have wallpaper in both bedrooms and in the entry hall — that’s been taken down and painted over for more than a decade.  The living room walls used to be the lightest shade of blue that the human eye could register as blue, but they’ve been yellow for ages.  My office used to have a deep lavender wall, covered over with white lattice, like you’d see in a garden, but it’s now a uniform green-blue shade that I call “chameleon” for the way it changes in the light.

I’m starting to feel an itch to move.  My dream house, just around the corner, went on the market last month, but it was priced at $1.8 million.  (Yeah, I dream big.  No, the price wasn’t typical of the neighborhood, not by a long shot.)

It doesn’t make any *sense* for me to move.  I’m a few blocks from a subway station, and I’m surrounded by almost every store I need.  I can walk to a grocery store, a drug store, and the post office, and there’s a shopping mall a block away.  There’s a farmer’s market that sets up once a week across from the subway station.  I (mostly) have good neighbors, including one who is a close enough friend that she looks in on the cats when I travel.

But I want to change things.  I want another room in the house, so I can set up a treadmill.  I want a cozy reading nook.  I want room to maintain a yarn stash, and a fabric stash, too.  I want the peace and quiet of a suburban street, and I wouldn’t mind a garden plot for fresh tomatoes.

Mind you, I don’t use the exercise equipment I own now.  And I can read in two chairs, a couch, and my bed.  I have a coffee table with drawers for yarn, and an under-bed box for fabric.  Suburban streets require a distance from all the things I access on a daily basis now, and I can get those tomatoes (and thieving birds, rodents, and deer) without all the work, from the farmer’s market.

So it’s time to change things up in Klaskyville.  First up, this past weekend, was rearranging the guest bedroom — same furniture in a different configuration, making the whole space look fresh.

Next up will be a new reading chair, to be delivered this weekend.

After that, we’ll go big — probably paint the entire interior of the house.  I’ve been thinking various neutrals, variations on taupe, but now I’m considering greys (and I’m not the only one who gets a vote!)  And there’s a shadow of a hint of a possibility of a chance that we’ll redo one of the bathrooms — because in the current market that could be a huge “plus” in the sale-ability column, and we might as well enjoy it before we sell.

Because it’s likely to be another ten years before I move out of this place.  So I better make it what I want it to be.  Do you have any favorite “refresher” tips for spaces that feel a bit *too* familiar?

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.

Do You Re-read Books?

Diamond Brides

This past weekend, I curled up in my comfy red-and-gold chair (after removing the gold cat, who makes the chair more gold than red), and I re-read THE HOBBIT.  I haven’t read THE HOBBIT since …  maybe college?  High school?  Maybe even junior high?


(I know that I first read the book as required reading in fifth grade, and I re-read it numerous times in middle school.  The copy I read this past weekend was highly annotated — I planned on turning the novel into a play, and I struck through vast quantities of narration so that all of the dialog was ripe for the plucking.  The strike-throughs didn’t keep me from reading this time around, but I can’t *imagine* what I was thinking about my future as an adaptor.  Although, I did adapt THE LITTLE PRINCE and ILLUSIONS for successful school plays in ninth grade, so maybe I *was* onto something!)

In any case, it was a fun book to re-read.  I remembered huge swaths of the story (although, oddly, I’d almost completely forgotten about Beorn.)  I justified my wrath with the bloated movie version.  I laughed at some of the quaint language.

I actually intend to re-read LotR in the near future.  But generally, I don’t re-read books very often.  I don’t have a lot of time to read, because I work from home, so I no longer have a subway commute to fill with great books.  I’m a slow reader, so any book I choose to read represents a fairly substantial investment of my time.  A lot of my reading choices are occupied by books that I *must* read — either for editing clients, or for the Book View Cafe co-op, or to stay abreast of developments in the genres where I write.  All of those factors combine to make re-reads “cost” a lot.

But there are long lists of books I want to re-read — Patricia McKillip’s THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD.  R.A. MacAvoy’s TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON.  The early Pern books.  Etc., etc., etc.  Obviously, I need to manage my time a lot better than I’m currently doing.

So.  How about you?  Do you re-read books?  If you do, how do you choose which ones to re-read?  How often do you set aside books, realizing that they aren’t as good as you remember them to be?  How often do you discover greater depths that you missed on earlier rounds?

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.


STOPPING SHORT — In Stores Today!

Diamond Brides

What a coincidence!  We’re just about two thirds of the way through the summer, and today we’re two thirds of the way through the Diamond Brides Series with the official release of STOPPING SHORT!  (Amazon Kindle | Apple | B&N Nook | Book View Cafe | Createspace Print | Kobo) (More links coming soon!)  If you like tortured heroes with buried secrets, this book is for you!  Or maybe you enjoy a widow’s story, a heroine who thinks she’ll never love again…


STOPPING SHORT is the first Diamond Brides book that takes place outside of Raleigh, North Carolina.  It’s spring training, and the Rockets are down in Coral Crest, Florida, where all sorts of rules are relaxed.  Here’s the “back of the book” copy:

Drew Marshall, the Raleigh Rockets’ bad-boy shortstop, is about to be cut from the team.  In the midst of spring training his baseball skills are slipping, and his recent scrapes with the law have put him in hot water.

Drew’s agent hires spin doctor Jessica Barnes to save the shortstop’s career.  Although she knows nothing about baseball, she is determined to work day and night to save Drew – and to prove she’s over the death of her risk-taking husband.

Jessica’s campaign spirals out of control when a well-intentioned teammate announces she is Drew’s secret fiancée.  Now trapped in the same hotel room, the couple crafts a fake relationship to satisfy ravenous reporters, all the while doing their best to resist a mutual attraction that’s hotter than the Florida weather.

But how can a relationship survive when it’s built on secrets and lies?

There’s an excerpt available online:

So?  What are you waiting for?  STOPPING SHORT is a fun, sexy summer read.  Get your copy today!

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.

Reclaiming the Trope

Diamond Brides

Look up the word trope in your dictionary.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

The first definition is probably something along the lines of “a metaphor”.  The second definition is probably something along the lines of “a cliche”.  The second definition likely isn’t tagged “pejorative”, but it should be.  People sneer at tropes, whether they’re talking about movies, books, or any other form of art.

And yet.

And yet romance novels, especially category romance novels, are built on tropes.  The entire idea of the genre is that we take a relatively few elements — a lover, another lover, (maybe more lovers), a trope or two or ten, emotion, conflict, and a satisfying ending — and we tell a story that is different, interesting, engaging, unique.

That’s the challenge of the genre.  That’s the joy — both in writing and in reading.

Tropes fade in and out of popularity.  It’s a pretty hard sell to set a romance in contemporary times and have a credible ward/guardian love story without setting off every possible creepster alarm — but it *can* be done.  It’s easier to use the trope of the secret baby now that lots of women are enjoying lots of sex.  Royalty — especially sheikhs — are a bit sparse on the ground, but there are an awful lot of athletes and military men.   Some tropes have become inflated — millionaires have become billionaires (I guess that’s the value of shrewd investing, early in one’s financial career.)

So?  What’s your favorite trope?  You know you have one.  Or maybe more than one.

I’ve put together a list of romance tropes:

Check it out, and let me know if I’ve missed your favorite!

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.


9 Uses For a Flip and Tumble

Diamond Brides

Flip and Tumble — brand name for a light cloth bag that folds into its own pouch and can easily be tucked into a purse or, in a pinch, a pocket.  (First pointed out to me by Justine Larbalestier!)


  1. Hold snacks purchased for early morning flight from Washington DC to Albuquerque (by way of Minneapolis, because why shouldn’t one fly north to end up south?)
  2. Hold rental agreement on “compact” car, which turns out to be a Chevy Malibu the size of the Queen Mary’s younger sister, because no “Corolla equivalents” were available in the parking lot.
  3. Hold funky keys for room at the Hotel St. Francis in Santa Fe, which looks like it could be the movie set for a film about convent life in the old Southwest (if, you know, the nuns had king size beds in their bedrooms and massive multi-jet showerheads in their bathrooms and drank lemon ice water every time they passed through the hotel lobby on their way to some fun exploration).
  4. Hold refillable (and many, many times refilled) water bottle for use at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Festival, where over 200 artisans from dozens of countries display and sell handmade art and crafts (along with a fun international “food court”, and a surprisingly cool breezeway at the top of the hill, just perfect for taking a break in the hot-but-not-blazing (it’s a dry heat!) afternoon.
  5. Hold raincoat for afternoon gulley washer that created a 15 minute deluge followed by 15 minutes of light rain.  Oh.  Wait.  I left my raincoat back in my room, so the Flip and Tumble wasn’t any good for this.  But I was under shelter for almost all of the rain, so no big deal.
  6. Hold guidebook with information on Tia Sophia’s, a hole-in-the-wall breakfast restaurant with a yummy, yummy, yummy breakfast burrito featuring sausage, potatoes, cheese, and lots of red chili sauce.
  7. Hold cell phone used for navigating from Santa Fe to Los Alamos, where one can watch a fun short documentary about the “town with no name” where the atom bomb was developed.  One can also peruse the science museum on site, but one might want to have higher degrees in science to understand some of the exhibits.  Or, one can play with the brain-teaser games on spacial relationships that become addictive the closer one gets to (not) finding a solution.  (Don’t rely too much on the cell phone, though, because coverage will cut out about 5 minutes away from the museum.)
  8. Hold laptop and Kindle while attending the Annual Feast Day dance at the Cochiti Pueblo, because even though it’s warm in the shade and hot in the sun, it’s much, much cooler than the trunk of the car, where the suitcases are waiting for their return journey home.
  9. Hold snacks purchased for on-flight dinner, after a cross-airport sprint when Leg One of the return flight lands 35 minutes late, due to weather in Minneapolis.

All in all, my mother and I had a wonderful trip.  We found amazing treasures at the Folk Art Festival, spoke with dozens of friendly, kind people, and truly enjoyed our mother/daughter break!

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.


A Writer of Independent Means

Diamond Brides

So, we celebrated Independence Day.  Which doesn’t mean much — we didn’t head out for fireworks (too crowded on the Mall, and I didn’t even realize we *had* a closer-to-us local display until I heard the pounding in the distance…)


But we enjoyed the long weekend nevertheless, folding in:

  • Fourth of July dinner of hamburgers, Tater Tots (what?!?  Our forefathers would have fought a revolution for them!), watermelon, and homemade apple hand pies (verdict — *perfectly* tart for me, needed some sweetener for normal eaters),
  • Knitting and frogging the first eight rows of a new pattern (Teardrop — first the triangular shawl, then the rectangular one) at least forty times before I decided it just wasn’t meant to be my pattern (at least not with the yarn I have, and at least not while I try to watch TV or do anything else),
  • Orphan Black, at least the first season on binge, and a few episodes of the second season, but we aren’t through watching yet, so no spoilers please,
  •  Private Lives, at the Shakespeare Theater, which was thoroughly amusing in a very arched-eyebrow way,
  • a pedicure (notable for the *bright* pink polish on my toes, but most enjoyable for the chance to catch up with a friend I hadn’t seen in far too long.)

And there was the usual not-enough-reading, and the eating of the season’s first corn, and the watching of baseball, and the gorging on the season’s first cherries, and, and, and…

And now, it’s the workweek again, and I have a chapter of CENTER STAGE staring me in the face.  So, what am I waiting for!  I hope you had a good weekend, and a good long weekend if you were in the States!

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.

Define: Irony

Diamond Brides

Yesterday, in celebration of the launch of THIRD DEGREE, we went to a Washington Nationals baseball game.  (Okay, it wasn’t really “in celebration of” — it was one of the 20 games we attend on our partial season ticket.  But I was carrying over my celebration to the ballpark.)

The stadium was much more crowded than it has been for earlier games.  That’s not because the Rockies were such a great draw; it was because summer is officially here.

The row of seats behind us is typically sold to Groupon people — they buy their tickets at half price.  Usually, these people are young (in their twenties), and they have zero interest in the game — they’re using the stadium as a convenient place to have an extended happy hour get-together (although with domestic beer going for $9 you have to wonder at that logic…)  Last night was no exception — we sat in front of a group of about ten who asked such baseball related questions as “Where are the Rockies from?” as they cheered “home runs” that were obvious foul balls, etc.

Around the seventh inning (just before last call) the loudest and ditziest of the group came back to her seat after a foraging expedition, bearing a “daquiri” — a $14 slush drink served in a yard-of-beer plastic glass.  At some point, some amount of that drink ended up in my hair.  I only discovered it when I ran my hand through my hair and my fingers came back wet, sticky, and smelling like cheap lip gloss.

Grr.  Sigh.  Argh.   But no real damage done.  The Groupon folks left at 10:00; we stayed to the end to cheer the Nats to their victory, and we headed home.

Whereupon, I decided to take a shower, to wash my hair so that my pillow and pillowcase didn’t end up wet, sticky, and smelling like cheap lip gloss.  Shower taken, I wrapped my long, wet-with-clean-water hair in a scrunchie and went to bed.

And this morning, I woke up to discover that the scrunchie had stained the pillowcase, the pillow cover, and the pillow.

Irony, much?

(Linens are now soaking in Oxyclean.  Pillow will survive :-) )

Um, yay Nats?

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.

Diamond Brides

It’s fitting that we’re at the beginning of a massive heat-wave here in DC, because today is the launch day for one of my hottest books yet!  THIRD DEGREE is live and in stores — Amazon Kindle | Amazon Print | Apple | B&N Nook | Createspace Print | Kobo (More links coming soon!)


There are a few things that make a book a Mindy Klasky book — most notably, fun descriptions of food.  And THIRD DEGREE gave me a chance to incorporate my love of cooking (and baking, and eating, etc.) into a hot baseball romance.  Here’s the “back of the book” copy:

If you can’t take the heat…

Chef Ashley Harris wants to own a restaurant – that’s why she attended culinary school, and that’s why she’s working for the world’s most lecherous restaurateur.

Raleigh Rockets third baseman Josh Cantor wants to launch his investment restaurant with the family recipes he loved growing up. Josh has been promised that treasure trove – but only if he can convince his grandmother that he’s dating again, after a traumatic divorce.

When a cooking reality show comes to Raleigh, Ashley and Josh must compete against each other to achieve their dreams – even when the flames in the bedroom roar higher than the ones in their kitchens.  In the end, only one of them can win Who Wears the Apron.  Will their relationship survive this trial by fire?

There’s an excerpt available online:

So?  What are you waiting for?  THIRD DEGREE is a perfect summer read — fun and sexy!  We’ll be celebrating the launch tonight in Klaskyville by heading out to a Nationals game.  What better way to share in the baseball fun?!?

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.

If It Were UP TO ME…

Diamond Brides

One of the great things about writing romance is that you get to hang out with a lot of amazing women (and the very, very, very rare men) who write romance.  The Romance Writers of America is an active writers organization, and a *lot* of its business is done through local chapters.  I’m a member of two of those chapters — the Washington Romance Writers and the Maryland Romance Writers.  Even though the Maryland group meets 1.25 hours from my home, I regularly attend the meetings because I get so much out of them (guidance, support, and great insight into the crazy business we’ve all chosen to work in!)

The best benefit of Maryland Romance Writers, though, hands down is getting to know the members.  Christi Barth is one of those members — in fact, she’s the chapter’s president.  She is one of the most organized, energetic, enthusiastic, positive, upbeat, encouraging…  okay, you get the idea.  (She’s also an incredible companion for afternoon tea!)

And Christi is celebrating the release week of a new contemporary romance, the first in a series.  Here’s the fun cover:

CARINA_0614_-9781426898518_UpToMe (1)

And here’s what the book’s all about:

Ella Mayhew’s always appreciated the beautiful view of Seneca Lake from the spa window of her family’s hotel. But the view improves dramatically when a hot stranger runs across the grounds—shirtless. He’s the first man to kickstart her hormones in the three years since she lost her parents, and she doesn’t even know his name.

Graydon Locke’s on his umpteenth undercover assignment. The routine’s always the same: assess a business, recommend it for closure, then roll out before anyone discovers his decisions impact hundreds of lives. He’s always believed nothing good comes out of small towns. Why would this one be different? Then he makes two classic rookie mistakes—falling for the sweet, sexy girl who owns the very business he’s on the verge of axing. And letting the town’s residents get involved in both his life, and his relationship with Ella.

Ella’s the best thing to ever happen to Gray, but he’s lied to her from the start. If he pulls the plug on Mayhew Manor, the entire town may crumble. Ella couldn’t save her parents, but it’s up to her to save their hotel. Even if that means turning her back on true love.

And you can buy your copy here:

Amazon | Apple iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Carina Press | Google Play

Wait?!?  You still haven’t made up your mind?  You’re not certain that UP TO ME is the perfect summer read?  Well, then, you should check out this excerpt:

“Come do yoga with me tomorrow.”

“I’m a guy. We’re all about being hard and stiff, not soft and bendy.”

Ella blinked rapidly to clear the images of a naked, hard-muscled Gray that popped into her mind. And hardness…other places. “Don’t be so close-minded. Didn’t you end up enjoying the massage I gave you?”

“Yes.” He sounded adorably sulky at being forced to acknowledge it. Why was it that men found it so hard to admit when they were wrong? Definitely a topic of discussion for her next margarita night with the girls.

“See? You can’t dismiss something out of hand without at least trying it.”

Gray wrinkled his nose. “Do I have a choice?”

“No.” Ella brought up her other hand to cup his face. “You deserve to be looked after. It’s not much, I know, but let me help you in the only way I can.”

“I’ll do it—”

Ella bounced a little. “Terrific.”

“—on one condition. I’ve just come up with a good plan for stress release. Let’s try my way first.” Gray wove his fingers through the loose knit of her turquoise sweater. In one swift move, he pulled it off over her head and tossed it into the corner. “Come swimming with me. Right now.”

Was he serious? To stall for time while she processed the preposterous suggestion, Ella stammered, “We…we don’t have suits.”

“You said the pool’s still officially closed. No one will interrupt us.” He toyed with the strap of her matching tank. “You’ve got this thing. I’m wearing boxer briefs. We’ll be more covered up than in suits. Unless you don’t think you can control yourself around me?”

That was it in a nutshell. Not that she’d admit it to Gray. Not when he had that sharp eyebrow arched and a smug quirk to his lips. If he was trying to shock her…well, he had, no denying that. But what better way was there to embrace life fully than to embrace a dripping wet, mostly naked Gray? While she’d never work up the courage to tell him, this was the kind of activity Dr. T. would probably applaud. Or at least give her a gold star. He had asked her to email him with progress reports if anything big happened. Unable to resist, she glanced down at Gray’s crotch. Ella expected something very big, indeed, was about to happen.

“Water’s extremely therapeutic,” she said in her most serious, I’m massaging you but not judging your naked body in any way professional voice. “Swimming is a good counterpart to yoga. They use the same long muscles.”

Yup. Her matter-of-fact delivery dropped his eyebrow back to its usual straight line and wiped the smug from his lips. Ella kept the surprises rolling. She stood, unbuttoned her skirt and let it slide the floor into a big blue puddle. Then she reached out, grabbed his wrist, and yanked him sideways into the pool with her.

The simultaneous body flops slapped noise and water all around the room. Ella recovered first, treading water while waiting for Gray to get his bearings and surface. Keeping her head above water was easy. Breathing, however, was not, as she was laughing her head off at catching him off guard. Finally, with much thrashing and churning of the water, Gray popped up near the middle of the pool.

“What the hell?” he yelled, his voice bouncing off the rocks with a hollow echo. “I’m wearing clothes!”

“So take them off,” she yelled back. Geez, it was his idea. Ella had just implemented it without talking it to death first. She’d thought he’d appreciate her spontaneity.

Gray stared at her for a minute, totally unreadable. Then his head disappeared beneath the water again. In fact, he sank straight to the bottom. It worried her. But just until a heavy, sodden pair of jeans landed like a giant blue spitwad in front of her. Laughing, she tossed them over her shoulder in the general direction of their shoes. Then Gray’s shirt appeared, floating near the filter. Something she’d have to remember to retrieve before morning when maintenance would make their final sweep before reopening the pool.

She felt Gray first. His head brushed against her stomach. Using her body like a swim ladder, he climbed it with his hands until just those brilliant blue eyes broke the surface. Blinked at her once. Then he tilted his head back and arced a stream of water from his lips to the dead center of her forehead. Laughing even harder, Ella reached under his shoulders to pull him the rest of the way up.

That’s when the laughter stopped. When buoyancy slammed his oh my God so hard cock right against her. When it was the most natural thing in the world to wrap her legs tight around him to keep him nestled against all her heat and what felt like every freaking nerve ending in her body. And when she twined her arms around his neck just for the thrill of rubbing her breasts across his chest.

With two powerful kicks, Gray propelled them to the wall. He sandwiched Ella against it and hung on to the rocks to keep them both afloat. “I’m on board with your idea. As you can tell.” He ground against her in a way that absolutely proved not only that he was enthusiastic about stripping, but that there was definitely nothing between them other than two thin, skintight layers of cotton. Gray’s impressive length was no longer just an impression or wishful thinking. It was hard and long and she couldn’t wait to impale herself on him. For now, she locked her ankles together and let the water do most of the work of bobbing her up and down in a rhythmic, full-body caress.

Water glistened at the tips of his lashes. Ella kissed it away, then just kept heading south. Over his early-evening stubble. Down past the Adam’s apple that jerked reflexively. She’d always thought them sexy. So uniquely masculine.

A nibble in the hollow of his collarbone. Down till her lips were just underwater, closed around his nipple. Ella flicked it against her teeth. Gray…growled? Whatever the noise was, it came from deep inside him and turned her core body temperature up by about twenty percent.

* * *

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.  A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning.  Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance.  Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.

You can read more about Christi and her fun, sexy contemporary romances here:

Website | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page |Facebook

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.


Pssst! Wanna a Free Book?

Diamond Brides

Great news!  PERFECT PITCH (the first volume in the Diamond Brides series) is ***free*** in all e-formats!  For ZERO dollars and ZERO cents, you can read this hot baseball romance on your Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or iThing!


Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

Reigning beauty queen Samantha Winger is launching her pet project, a music program for kids. All she has to do is follow the pageant’s rules—no smoking, drinking, or “cavorting” in public. That’s fine, until D.J. Thomas—God’s gift to baseball—throws her a wild pitch.  He slams her in an interview, and the video goes viral. Sam’s no shrinking violet. She parlays D.J.’s apology into a national T.V. appearance—and a very unexpected, very public kiss.

Soon, paparazzi catch the couple in a steamy make-out session, and Sam’s music program is on the block. The blazing hot relationship is threatened even more when D.J.’s son begs to trade in Little League for music class. Can Sam and D.J. sizzle past the sour notes and find their perfect pitch?

And here’s what USA Today had to say about it:

This introduction to Mindy Klasky’s Diamond Brides series is a heartfelt, conflict-ridden story as irresistible as its characters. It’s also a whole lot of sexy, savvy fun.

So?  What’s keeping you from reading PERFECT PITCH?  Here are the links to get your FREE copy today!

Amazon Kindle | Apple | B&N Nook | Kobo

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.


Diamond Brides

In *one* week, on July 1, the fifth Diamond Brides novel will be available in stores, as an ebook and in print.  But why wait for a week?  You can take a sneak peek at chapter 1 now!


Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.

Here a Doc, There a Doc…

Diamond Brides

Here’s a paradox:  When I’m at my busiest, having the most fun, doing the most things it would be exciting to write about, I don’ t have time to write.  Yeah, life is tough sometimes.  A lot of the time.


In any case – we spent a long weekend at AFIDocs, a documentary film festival here in town.  We first “discovered” AFIDocs two years ago, when it was called Silverdocs, and it had been going on for many years before that.  The festival has undergone many changes in the last two years, and we sort of miss the halcyon days of the first time we attended, but it’s still a pretty amazing way to spend time.  This year, we saw ten movies in three days.  Some were “small” films that aren’t likely to see wide distribution; others have already been picked up for national distribution.

The overarching theme for us this year turned out to be Personal Responsibility — responsibility to recognize injustice and to act upon it.  (We didn’t plan our movie choices that way; it just happened.)  Movies that fit into that theme included:

  • 1971 — about a group of protesters who broke into the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, intending to steal draft records but ultimately stealing documents that disclosed the existence of the FBI’s domestic counterintelligence program
  • Freedom Summer — about the summer of 1964 and the volunteers who went to Mississippi to register voters, teach students in summer “Freedom Schools”, and create the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that tried to be seated as the legitimate Miss. delegation at the national Democratic convention
  • The Hand That Feeds — about a group of low-wage workers who organized a union at a New York fast food restaurant
  • The Internet’s Own Boy — about Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist who committed suicide rather than face trial for downloading unlawful copies of journal articles through MIT’s computers

We also saw several movies that were portraits of people:

  • Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me — about the musician and his family and their decision to organize a final musical tour as he became increasingly incapacitated with Alzheimer’s
  • Life Itself — about Roger Ebert and his life as a journalist and film critic
  • Slingshot — about Dean Kamen and his quest to build and distribute a machine that will bring clean water to under-resourced regions of the world

And then there were a few “random” movies:

  • Misconception — about population control efforts, including mandatory family size limitation, lobbying efforts at the UN to fight all efforts to distribute health care to women, and Ghanaian orphans and abandoned children
  • The Search for General Tso — ostensibly about the origin of the dish General Tso’s Chicken, but mostly about Chinese immigration into the United States and the nature of cultural assimilation
  • When the Garden was Eden — about the championship New York Knicks teams of the late 60′s and early 70′s

My favorites ended up being Slingshot — Dean Kamen seems like a child-loving Willie Wonka, who creates gadgets instead of candy — and The Search for General Tso.  None of the movies was terrible (although the horribly uncomfortable seats in one of the auditoriums made some of the movies seem too long…)

All in all, a great way to spend a weekend.  And if you can see Slingshot, do.

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.


New! and Improved! Bookshelf!

Diamond Brides

Once upon a time, I kept track of the books that I read during each year, using the blog Category “Bookshelf”.  Those posts were always a bit annoying for me to write, due to the quirks of WordPress software (which insisted on eating my Bookshelf posts far more often than it did any other post I made.)

This year, I’ve been doing something a bit different — I’ve been keeping my Books Read record in Pinterest.  That gives me a chance to track the information *and* to share  cool book covers with anyone who’s interested.  So, if you want to see what I’ve been up to on the book front, here’s the board:

(As usual, I don’t list books that I didn’t finish — most of those are discarded by the first 10% (although I just ditched one read at 50%, because I could tell absolutely everything that was going to happen in it!)  For the Pinterest board, I’ve started listing books that I’ve read in draft form, if I’ve read them in their entirety, but I’ve only listed them as “Super Secret Advance Reader Copy”, so that the author can change the name of his/her book at the same time that she changes everything else about the book.  Finally, if I read an Advance Reader Copy to blurb it, I’ve given the name, because I’m pretty sure it won’t be changing at this relatively late date :-) )

So?  Have you read any of the books I did?  What great books have you read in the first half of 2014?

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.


Don’t Miss It Till It’s Gone…

Diamond Brides

Last Thursday, I went in for my annual eye exam.  (I’m blind as the proverbial bat, but I’ve always been correctable to 20/20, so it’s no big deal.)

The optometrist went through the usual regimen — I read from the eye chart, told him when horizontal and vertical lines met, caught fingers waggling at me in my peripheral vision, etc.  I even had fancy-dancy pictures taken with some new scanning system that apparently indicated that I’m not currently experiencing even the beginning push of macular degeneration (yay!)


At the end of all that, the doc told me he wanted to put me into new contacts — greater comfort, less accumulation of deposits, etc.  After confirming that the new lenses only cost a few bucks more than my old ones, I readily agreed.  (I know how these things work — I understand that the doctor may well earn a higher percentage on the new lenses than he did on the old, and I get that detail-men push the new.  But I figured, improvement is good.)

The new lenses are more comfortable — I don’t need to rinse them in the evening, as I often needed to do with my old ones.  I’ll accept that they’re accumulating fewer deposits; they’ve only been in for four days.

But they are the wrong prescription.

Oh – my far-distance vision is sharper than it’s ever been before.  This past weekend, when the sun was out nearly all day both days, I was astonished by the beauty of light passing through leaves on distant trees, a level of detail I haven’t made out in quite some time.

But my near-distance vision has become completely blurred.  (I’ve gradually been moving into the realm of needing reading glasses; I have a couple of 1.0 pairs around the house, and one pair of 1.25.)  I can no longer read the newspaper, no matter how far away I hold it.  My laptop screen is blurred if my laptop is, um, on my lap.  My desktop monitor is slightly blurred, when I sit at my standard distance.  My knitting is completely out of focus.


I spent the weekend wearing readers, and I got by okay, with only a hint of a headache by the end of each day (which may or may not be from the lenses — I get a lot of headaches.)  I called the doctor’s office this morning, and the receptionist says the doctor will call me back.  In the meantime, I’m trying to convince myself that I am *rocking* these readers, and the librarian eyeglass thing is the look for me!

(And I hear about the Roman army checking soldiers’ vision by asking them to count the Pleiades, and I laugh.  I could not make out the *moon* without corrective lenses!)

Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.

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