It’s already going full steam. For the next several weeks, I’ll be appearing on some of the web’s top blogs.

So grab a seat, travel along with me, and read what others have to say about my latest novel, Money Can’t Buy Love. Many of the stops have book giveaways!

TLC Book Tours blog stops:

  • Monday, July 18th: Life in Review
  • Wednesday, July 20th: Buckeye Girl Reads
  • Thursday & Friday, July 21st & 22nd: Colloquium
  • Monday, July 25th: Arms of a Sister
  • Wednesday, July 27th: A Chick Who Reads
  • Thursday, July 28th: Mocha Momma
  • Friday, July 29th: Fiction State of Mind
  • Monday, August 1st: Black Diamond Book Reviews
  • Wednesday, August 3rd: Reflections of a Bookaholic
  • Thursday, August 4th: How to Create a Blog
  • Tuesday, August 9th: I'm Booking It
  • Thursday, August 11th: Drey's Library
  • Tuesday, August 16th: Joyfully Retired

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Facebook Chat

July 15, 2011

Money Can't Buy Love book jacket

Join me for a Facebook chat about my latest novel Money Can’t Buy Love, on Monday, July 18 at 8:00 pm EST.

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I’ve never met Jennifer Hudson or Kirstie Alley or Marie Osmond and doubt I ever will. None of them are fans of mine as far as I know. And none of them will likely ever read this blog, although I’d be thrilled if any of them did.

That’s OK though. I can admire them from afar. I only mention them here because I’m writing about weight—a topic that has been on my mind lately—and I really admire what these women have accomplished when it comes to this touchy subject.

But more about them later. First, I want to tell you a true story about myself. Many years ago, I was considered skinny even though I loved to eat. No matter what I ate or how much, I stayed thin, really thin. I tried everything I could think of to gain weight and simply didn’t. When I was in my twenties, I can remember filling a salad bowl full of chocolate ice cream nightly and eating it all just before bedtime. I would make and drink big, thick, rich milkshakes. And I never gained an ounce.

People used to tell me all the time: “Just wait until you’re in your thirties. Then you’ll start to pile it on.” My thirties came and went, and my weight jumped from 100 pounds to about 110. Then they said: “Just wait until you reach your forties. It will really catch up with you then.” I would smile nonchalantly, confident that they were absolutely wrong.

The forties hit and my weight topped out at around a svelte 125. I was actually glad to finally gain some real weight. I had hated being skinny for so long. Now I was a healthy size four yet I could still eat anything I wanted. I was convinced this would forever be the case. My mom was always a nice size, and although the women on my father’s side of the family can put on some serious poundage, I figured that I was blessed with my mother’s good genes when it came to weight.

Yeah. Right. Enter the mid-forties. I’ll never forget the summer I went to put on my cute, size four, white jeans from the previous summer. Girl, let me tell you. I couldn’t get those suckers past my thighs. My mouth dropped down past the jeans to the floor. I was stunned. I knew I had put on some pounds that year but I was sure I could still squeeze into last year’s summer things. I took the jeans off, held them up, and eyed them carefully. I wanted to make sure they weren’t actually from my childhood and had somehow slipped in there with my adult things. Nope. They were a size four. Trouble was, I was no longer a size four. Not even close.

What the heck?

I jumped on the scale and could not believe the number staring back at me. We don’t need to go into the details, but I had gained LOTS of weight. And I continued to gain over the years. Since that summer day several years back, I’ve had to redo my wardrobe—twice. I’ve been spoiled. For so long, I could eat anything and now I have a hard time cutting the bedtime snacks.

Now I know how it feels to cringe inside every time you step on a scale. I know how it feels to go shopping and realize you’ve moved up yet another size. I know how the 25 percent of women who are currently on a diet feel about themselves, whether they’re trying to shed 10 pounds or 50 or 100. Although I’m only trying to lose 15 or 20 pounds, even that’s hard as heck. Maybe that’s why I made Lenora Stone, the main character in my latest novel Money Can’t Buy Love, struggle with her weight. These days, I can definitely identify.

And that’s why I’ve come to admire celeb women like Jennifer Hudson, Kirstie Alley, Marie Osmond, Sherri Shepherd, and Valerie Bertinelli. And ordinary women like my Aunt Elaine and cousins Carolyn and Brenda. I realize how hard they have worked to get and stay in shape using various methods of dieting and dancing and exercise. Jennifer Hudson did it despite going through some really rough times and she is now all over the place representing Weight Watchers. Kirstie Alley is rocking it at nearly 60 years old, and we all know that it’s harder to lose as you age. And Marie Osmond has had her share of downs, including the recent death of her son. Still, she now looks good enough to join the cast of The Bold and Beautiful.

Every one of these women is a source of inspiration to me and I’m sure to many others. They did it when they needed to, and hopefully, so can the rest of us.


Money Can't Buy Love Book JacketI love this review of my upcoming novel, up on It’s really a pre-review since the novel doesn’t officially publish until June 27. Enjoy!

Ooooh – I couldn’t put it down. There’s drama – Lenora’s been dating her boyfriend for 3 years and he still won’t commit. Her 2 best friends don’t help – or maybe they do – since they keep telling her to find someone else who will. Lenora has a hard time making it to work on time and she’s in trouble with her boss. So when she goes from living paycheck to paycheck to being a multi-millionaire, she expects for all of her troubles to disappear – but they only seem to magnify. With her help.

We’re watching Lenora navigate the turbulent waters of post-millionaire status relationships, careers, and sense of self. She doesn’t always react the way we’d like to, and at times it’s like watching a train wreck – both the devastation and the voyeurism, but boy is this a compelling read.

I truly enjoyed the way Connie Briscoe puts the story together – the first chapter starts after Lenora has won the lottery, and in the second chapter the reader is taken back to her life before the winnings. I think all the elements came together in this one, although I wasn’t sure how neatly it would be wrapped up in the end. But the characters were well-developed, the plot kept me guessing, although there were a few cliche scenes, and the dialogue was action-packed.

I haven’t read Connie Briscoe in several years and I’m glad I chose to pick up another of her books. I can see the maturity of the author in this one. I liked it a lot.

Reviewed for Arms of a Sister



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Summer happened, that’s what. Sunny days, hot and humid weather, swimming pools, graduations, planning vacations to come. There is also the not-so-small matter of my new novel, Money Can’t Buy Love, coming out at the end of this month. Lots is going on behind the scenes for that. BUT I haven’t abandoned these pages. Although [...]

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USA Today lists Money Can’t Buy Love in its annual “Summer Reads: A Look at the Season’s Hottest New Books” column. It’s listed under Hot Summer Romance. This one is a sizzler!

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How Faith Paved My Road From Traditional to Self-Publishing

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Link Love For Writers, Friday May 20

Great tips and tools for writers–especially for those who self-publish or those of you who are doing it on your own for whatever reason.

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When You Need a Writing Coach

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Award-winning author Patrice Gaines has appeared on Oprah and was profiled on Dateline following publication of her memoir Laughing in the Dark. In this guest post, she offers a fascinating, inner look at a writing coach at work with her client.

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