One Night to Remember–release day tomorrow!

I’ve been in a fog the last couple weeks, battling flus and bugs and deadlines. BUT, I have great news to share!

If you haven’t noticed the beautiful addition to the sidebar, I have a new release coming soon! ONE NIGHT TO REMEMBER, a historical erotic romance that takes place aboard the Titanic releases TOMORROW!

Here’s the blurb:

First class clothing designer Elizabeth Scott isn’t all that she appears. She may be elegant and poised on the outside, dining with the richest on the ship, but she’s hiding a dark secret within.

Thieves boarded the Titanic, too…

Officer Thomas McGuire is as honest as they come. Working to make a decent living on the ship of dreams, he can’t believe his eyes when the most striking lady he’s ever seen steals from another first class passenger. As the night goes on, Thomas must decide whether he plans to arrest or seduce Elizabeth and she’s not making it easy on him—the heat sparking between them is unlike anything they’ve ever known.

Time is running out…

The Titanic is sinking fast. Elizabeth has finally met a true gentleman—one who gazes upon her with total adoration yet fulfills her deepest fantasies. But being a gentleman means more than playing the stuffy part. Thomas insists on helping other passengers until the very end, even if that means going down with the ship.

In the fight for their lives, they just might find a love worth dying for.

I can honestly say I put everything I had behind this story. I’ve researched all things Titanic since I was eight years old. I have more books than I know what to do with. Well, I found a way to combine my love of romance and my love of the Titanic. I hope my passion for the ship came alive on the page…why don’t you check it out tomorrow on Amazon or B&N (for 0.99 cents) and let me know! 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll post an excerpt! Stay tuned!

More RWA Orlando Stuff

I’m going to warn you–this will be a longer post. There’s just so much to tell. If you don’t want to hear ramblings about RWA National or see the weird pictures just scroll down below where I make a very cool announcement regarding the 100 Follower Contest!

First things first, I came upon these ladies in the “Hemisphere” portion of the Dolphin hotel:


The picture is proof how absolutely crazy writers are about books. (I am undoubtedly a part of that “crazy” label.) There were so many autographed books given during the signings that many needed boxes to mail home their things. Checked luggage wouldn’t cover it by a long shot. I just couldn’t believe their stash! They told me they’d fill all the boxes and then some. Insane. They were from North Carolina (or was it the South–forgive me ladies) and were very nice to let me take their picture to show you all the level of commitment to our favorite books and authors. I think it sums up the dedication well.

While walking through the hotel from one workshop to another, I couldn’t help but feel the hand of fate guiding me. I always seemed to find myself at the right place at the right time. I met some amazing people and learned great things from them. BUT I have to say I freaked out just as much when I talked to Allison Brennan as I did when I saw this in the lobby of the neighboring hotel.


There it was–staring me in the face. For those of you new to my blog, I’ve been an avid collector of anything Titanic since around 1992. It was beyond cool to see that even across the country, so far from things comfortable and familiar, something simple like a Titanic crate can make me feel like I’m home.

Then of course there was this kick-ass waterslide outside The Yacht Club.


I didn’t bring my bathing suit otherwise I might’ve given it a whirl.

I did, however, remember to bring my formal dress for the Golden Heart and Rita award ceremony. People were dressed to the hilt–I even saw a hoop skirt! You wouldn’t believe the extravagance of the night or the thrill of seeing the winners take their awards, hearing them make their tearful, joyous speeches unless you were there–and you really should be there next time. I didn’t make it to the award ceremony last year and now I really regret it. I didn’t realize how inspiring it would be…I want one of those Rita’s. Just one. I won’t be greedy. And I’ll get one if I wear my fingers down to nubs typing away all hours of the night…better get started, shouldn’t I?

Here’s a picture of our wonderful table who had to put up with my giddy-sleep-deprived-antics during each song. Sorry, gals, but I had too much fun with our finger kick-line, jazz hands, and awful karaoke style singing. (The awful was on my part, of course. You guys were great).

And now, for the announcement! Pararomance has reached 100 followers! Woohoo! We did it! Now I can start giving away some wicked cool stuff. I’m going to use a random number generator to pick the winner of Lisa Sanchez’s Eve of Samhain or a $15 Starbucks giftcard on Friday. You have until the end of the week to comment and enter the contest or tweet and blog about the contest to get your entries up. You can read all the rules on the “100 Follower Contest” tab above.

Good luck!

In Memoriam

This is a poem from the book called “The Last Days of Titanic” published in 1912 by Roberts Rinehart. The poem was written by Father Browne (who left Titanic when she docked in Ireland ). It’s been my favorite poem for about as long as I can remember.

“IN MEMORIAM”
April 15th,1912

A ship rode forth on the Noonday tide
Rode forth to the open sea
and high sun shone on the good ship’s side,
And all seemed gladness, and hope,and pride
For the gallant sight was she.

For the crew was strong,and the captain brave
And never a fear had they,
Never a thought for the turbulent wave,
Never a dread of a watery grave,
Nor dreams of a fateful day.

So the ship sailed on, and the voices strong
Sang sweet on the morning air,
And the glad notes billowed the shore along,
they drifted and died, till the Sailors’ song
Was soft as a whispered prayer

And all seemed gladness,and hope ,and pride
As far as the eye could see,
For where was the foe that could pierce her side,
Or where in the Ocean depths could hide,
A mightier power then she?

But far to the North, in the frozen zone
Where the Ice King holds his sway,
Full many a berg, like the monarch’s throne
Or castle that fabled princes own
Gleamed white neath the Sun’s bright ray

When the challenge came on the whisp’ring air
It passed like a fleeting breath,
But it roused a king in his Arctic lair,
And waked what vengeance was sleeping there,
The vengeance of Doom and Death

But heedless and gay o’er the sunlit waves
The vessel all lightly bore,
Till the distant coast with its rocks and caves,
And the land that the Western Ocean laves,
Were seen from her decks no more

When Evening came with the waning light,
And shrouded the rolling deep,
For never a moment she stayed her flight,
Adown the path of the moonbeams bright,
Though Heaven was wrapped in sleep.

Another dawn with its liquid gold
Gilded the Eastern sky
Lighting the ship so fair, so bold
that sped its way o’er the Ocean old,
Nor recked of danger nigh….

And noonday came, when the burning sun
Rifted the realms of snow
And burst the fetters the Ice had spun
And shattered the towers that Cold had won,
Breaking the great Ice-flow

Till over the ocean’s heaving swells,
Like ghosts in the twilight gloom,
The great bergs glided with purpose fell
Minding the quest of their Monarch well,
The quest of Revenge and Doom

The deeper night with it slow advance
Bids even the winds to cease,
No moonbeams bright on the waters dance
But all lie still in a starry trance
And the Ocean sleeps in peace

A shuddering gasp o’er the resting deep!
A wail from the silent sea!
Tis heard where the stars their lone watch keep
Tis heard in the grave where the dead men sleep,
mindful of human glee…

The Springtime dawn with its rosy light
See naught but the waves’ wild flow
For under the veil of the moonless night
When the sea was still and the stars were bright
The Ice King had slain his foe.

The Ship that rode on noonday tide
Rode forth to open sea,
But gone are the gladness, and hope, and pride
For the Northern Ocean’s depths could hide
A mightier power than she

*I’ll get back to posts on general writing goodness tomorrow, I promise. And, hey, maybe I’ll share some big big news over coffee.*

Death of a Titan by Fire, Fate and Ice

Tonight marks the 98 year anniversary of the Titanic’s demise. Here’s the list I promised. So many things contributed to the sinking of the ship. If any one of these things would have been eliminated, checked off the list, the Titanic might’ve docked safely in NY Harbor. Combined, they were a recipe for one of the greatest maritime disasters. If these things can’t convince you the ship was doomed, I don’t know what will.

1. In 1898, long before the Titanic was dreamed, there was a story written for a journal called “The Wreck of the Titan; or Futility” by Morgan Robertson. It told of a triple-screw steamer, 64,000 tons, carrying 2200 passengers, striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean, not having enough lifeboats, and having 1500 people perish. Every detail in the design and demise of the Titanic was identical. It was republished in 1912 after the sinking. You can read my blog post about it under “Titanic” labels on the side.

2. When the Titanic was first heading out to sea she had a near collision in port. Many say a collision like this would curse a ship. Suction created from the Titanic snapped the moor lines of a nearby tug boat and pulled the tug within 3 ft. of the Titanic’s hull. That ship was named after the port she would never reach-NEW YORK.

3. There was suppose to be a lifeboat drill on the morning of the sinking, but was cancelled due to the belief that many people would not attend a drill on an “unsinkable ship”.

4. The lookout lost their binoculars somewhere after Southampton and were searching for icebergs with the naked eye.

5. The type of iceberg they struck, called a “blue berg”, is nearly undetectable with the naked eye. A blue berg is one that has just shifted or turned in the water, so that the top now has a luminescent glow which blends with the water.

6. Captain Smith took the more Southern shipping route to avoid bergs that might have broken off earlier than anticipated, but still managed to run into the iceberg that sank the ship. Many say that there are only icebergs in that region once in a hundred years…

7. There was no moon on the night of the sinking, which meant no moonshine off the berg’s surface. (The iceberg the Titanic hit broke off of the “Humboldt Glacier”.)

8. After 29 years of sailing, Captain Smith logged that he had never seen an ocean as calm as the one they were sailing. “Smooth like a mill-pond.” This means no breaking water at the base of the bergs.

9. The Titanic was actually coming upon an ice-pack that they would not have been able to pass through even if they’d missed the giant they struck. Two other ships in the vicinity were stopped by the ice-pack and sent the Titanic warnings to tell them that they couldn’t move any further.

10. One of those ships, the Californian, was attempting to tell the wireless operator of the Titanic about the field ice when he was told to “butt-out” and that “important 1st class messages were going to Cape Race” (wireless transmission post in Newfoundland). The Californian operator turned off their wireless and went to bed. They were so close they could see the Titanic’s lights…

11. The other of the two ships in the vicinity was noted to be traveling between the Titanic and the Californian during the sinking. The ship was close enough to be of assistance, but turned around and left. Turns out the ship was illegally poaching seals and was afraid of lawful reprimand.

Is that enough to convince you, yet? Fated. To. Sink. Just in case you want to know more…

12. When men on board the Californian saw Titanic’s white distress flares, they weren’t worried—they knew the Titanic was on her maiden voyage. Ships during that time sent rockets the color of their sailing company flying through the air to celebrate. The Titanic was sailing under the WHITE STAR LINE…meaning her celebration rockets, as well as her distress rockets, were BOTH white.

13. The Titanic was on fire. She was smoldering in Coal Bunker No. 6. The fire was so intense they actually took on more firemen in Queenstown. It’s reported that the Captain was told they would not have the fire out by the time the reached NYC.

14. If the Titanic had hit the iceberg dead-on, she would have stayed afloat because only two of the watertight compartments would have been flooded. By scrapping along the side of the ship, the iceberg cut a 300ft gash in the ship and flooded 5 of the 16 compartments, making sinking a certainty. (The ship could only stay afloat with the first 4 compartments flooded.)

What do you think? Fate? Coincidence? You have to admit that’s a lot to pile on the hull of a ship…

Basic Titanic Facts

I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m a little of a Titanic fanatic. I’ve been researching all things relating to the building and sinking since I was in 4th grade (that’s a good 8 years before the movie came out). I always like to re-read books relating to the great ship in the month of April (around the anniversary of the sinking), and thought I’d share some info with you! I’ll post the basic rundown (from memory and I won’t cheat by looking anything up!) and also debunk some movie myths tonight…and if you’re interested I’ll post some facts tomorrow that will convince you the ship was fated to sink.

And away we go!

The R.M.S. (Royal Mail Steamer) Titanic was built by Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast, Ireland. She set sail April 10th, 1912 from Southampton, and made two additional stops (Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, Ireland) before heading to open sea. She struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean at 11:40pm, April 14th, and sank at 2:20am on April 15th, 1912. There were 2,228 people on board (passengers and crew). 705 people were saved and picked up on board the Carpathia, while 1523 perished.

The Titanic had two sister ships, identical in size. One named the Olympic, and the other Brittanic (Called Gigantic prior to the Titanic tragedy). All three were named for Greek Mythological races: The Titans, The Olympians, and The Giants. In 1934, after a long WWI career, the Olympic struck another ship and sank, and The Brittanic (acting as a Hospital ship) struck a mine during WWI (1916) and sank.

Debunking movie myths:

Information that some people may believe to be true, but has been proven otherwise…

1-JACK AND ROSE WERE REAL—They were not on board the ship. It was not a true story, nor loosely based on one.

2-“THE HEART OF THE OCEAN” DIAMOND REALLY EXISTED–Though it may have existed at some point in history (I can’t prove or disprove), it WAS NOT on board the Titanic (or at least not mentioned in the manifest which I DO have a copy of).

3-THE SHIP WAS CARRYING TOO FEW LIFEBOATS–This one is a little sticky…they didn’t have enough room in the lifeboats to accommodate all passengers, true. However, during this time, lifeboat requirements were based on gross tonnage of the steamer, not occupants on board. The Titanic actually added more lifeboats, and more collapsible lifeboats to accommodate additional passengers. (Although now we can look back and see the fallacy of their logic, at the time they were abiding by the laws and going above and beyond what was required of them.)

So now that you have the basic facts of the ship, its heritage and voyage, and know the obvious things that are not true, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow (the 98 year anniversary of the sinking) to discover why that enormous ship was never going to make it to NYC–iceberg or not.

EDIT: Forgot to mention last night…while I’m on the shipping kick, if you aren’t watching Deadliest Catch this season, hurry up and get on board. There are boatfulls of hunky alpha males with ego to share and quotas to reach. Go Northwestern! (Especially now that Jake from the Cornelia Marie is on board!)

Oldies but goodies

Alright, so I told you I’d post some pictures of my Titanic oldies but goodies. I’ll post my absoulte favorite today and maybe some more a little later.

Oh, and I should preface this post by saying my books are rare, but not that rare. They’re not worth much, if anything at all. They’re simply valuable to me. I’ve researched all things Titanic since I was 10 years old. (My obsession has absolutely nothing to do with the movie fyi, although it was great.) I’m intrigued by all the tiny details that went into the building of the ship and the subsequent failure of its structure. That’s it.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce my baby. The book I searched out for YEARS. I mean YEARS, people. I scanned antique shops, old bookstores up and down California looking for this one. It’s a 1912 edition called “The Wreck of the Titan or Futility.” You may be thinking to yourself, “But it’s not about the Titanic, so why would she care so much about this one in particular?”

Wait for it…

In 1898, Morgan Robertson published a little novella about a triple screw steamer, 800 ft. long, rumored to be “unsinkable”, traveling at 25 knots, that struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank losing nearly all passengers due to low numbers of life boats.

Wait a minute. Did you hear what I said? This was a novella. Fiction, people, fiction. And it was published in 1898, a full fourteen years before the Titanic sank.

Let me give you some details again. Robertson’s ship the Titan was rumored to be “unsinkable” just like the Titanic. Both ships were triple screw. Both ships were 800 ft long (although the Titanic was actually larger at 882 1/2 feet–and yes I know all this stuff off the top of my head). Both ships were travelling the same speed on impact at the same time of year. Both ships struck an iceberg (although the Titan hit head-on and the Titanic glanced the side). And both ships had tremendous amount of life lost due to lack of adequate lifeboats.

Pretty prophetic, don’t you think? A little eerie to boot? Absolutely.

I’d L-O-V-E to get my hands on that 1898 novella. But I can’t find one for the life of me. So I settled for second best. After the Titanic’s sinking, certain publishers realized the comparisions between the novella and the grim reality, and republished it the year of the tragedy: 1912. That’s the copy I have. They also republished it in 1991…and I have that copy too although it’s not nearly as special to me.

That’s why I love old books so much. That little red book slumped in the corner of a glass case may not look like much perched on a shelf with other, newer, more sparkly books. But inside, deep within its pages, lies a mystery. And to me, it’s one of the greatest mysteries of life.

How could a man predict what would happen that fateful night of April 14th, 1912 with such haunting accuracy? How was it revealed to him? And how did we let such a horrible tragedy occur knowing all we did? Alright, I could go on and on…perhaps I will in April when the 98 year anniversary of the sinking rolls around. For now, I have to get back to editing my work-in-progress.

Hope you have a great week! Oh! And if you happen to come across that 1898 version, feel free to mail it to me! LOL