Wednesday, June 28, 2006




SHE'S GOT LEGS AVAILABLE THIS WEEKEND!

That's right folks, my first ebook is being released this weekend from Freya's Bower (www.freyasbower.com). Just in time for your 4th of July poolside reading pleasure!

Here's the blurb:

WHEN THE CLOCK STRIKES
Daria Wyatt didn’t want to go to her fifteen-year high school reunion. Although she has blossomed from a wallflower into a powerful Capitol Hill attorney, she knew seeing those girls in person wouldn’t exactly do wonders for her self-esteem. If only her younger sister Kara hadn’t insisted she go. Giving in to shut her sister up, Daria borrows Kara’s high heels in an effort to jumpstart her confidence. But in her rush to get out the door, she picks up the wrong pair, a butt-ugly purple platform creation with bright green sequins…

AFTER MIDNIGHT
Greg McCauley can’t believe his bad luck. He finally meets a beautiful, intelligent, intriguing, confident woman, but she rushes off before he can get her number. He knows he should put her out of his mind, but there’s just something about her. Those lips, those eyes, those legs, those crazy shoes…

To celebrate my first release, I'm giving away a free copy of SHE'S GOT LEGS. To enter, just send an email to amandabrice@myway.com by 11:59 EST, Friday, June 30. Put "contest entry" in the subject line.

*squee*

OK, shameless plug over. Let's talk rain. How has the weather been where you are? I'm thinking of building an ark, I don't know about you. It's finally not raining right now, but they're still expecting perhaps another 5 inches today. As a result, my hubby and I decided to delay our drive down to Hilton Head. We were supposed to leave right after work today but we decided that the combination of standing water on the road and darkness might not add up to too much safety. So we're leaving tomorrow morning instead.

I just hope the rain will be over so we can enjoy our beach trip!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 8:03 AM :: 9 comments

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006



I totally suck. I can't believe my last post was almost 2 weeks ago. Yikes!

But I've been uber-busy lately, between work, edits, writing, and well, life! LOL!

Anyway, I wanted to give a shout out to my friend Shelli Stevens. I finished up her very quick read TOURIST ATTRACTION and it was fan-freakin-tastic! Good thing I didn't keep it to read on the beach next week or I would probably have been way too hot to stay in the sun! :) Want a good steamy romance? Pick it up form Cobblestone Press.

I also wanted to announce that my Bites ebook from Freya's Bower (www.freyasbower.com) is coming soon. It's officially on the FB website as "Late June" but my guess is it will be "Early July" but either way, that's coming up! Make sure to check it out and also check back here for contests and other fun stuff. :)

I've started a new project...well, just sort of started brainstorming for now, because I'm still working on something, but it should be fun once I finally get to write it. It should also be a real challenge, because I'm working with two other writers on it. Right now we're brainstorming our characters. Mine is Claire and she's an attorney but doesn't really want to be. But she also doesn't know what else she would do.

Which begs the question. If you could reinvent yourself, what would you do?

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 6:31 AM :: 3 comments

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006



If you, like me, are a fan of train wreck TV, you might want to watch Jay Leno tonight. Ann Coulter and George Carlin are the guests. That ought to be interesting.

Speaking of Coulter, I was at a party Friday night and I noticed that my friend (who has a very eclectic and impressive bookshelf) had a copy of Al Franken's "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" so I picked it up and skimmed through. I read the chapter on Ann Coulter. Good stuff. You gotta love a book with a title like that. Of course, I'm sure that anyone who's read my blog or knows me in real life would know that I'm not exactly a Republican.

Speaking of me not being a Republican, anyone else think it was funny to see Karl Rove smiling and waving when it was announced that he won't be indicted? He looked like he was about to throw himself a party. "Hey, look at me! I'm not getting indicted! Whoopee!" Even his aides looked super smug in the pictures. I hate that Machiavellian SOB and I'm sorry that he won't be going down but I'm hoping that Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerlad has bigger fish to fry. At a minimum, he'll be trotting out a laundry list of current and former top officials from the Bush admin to testify in the Libby trial. I'd personally love to see Cheney go down. Is it bad to admit that on here? Should I expect an FBI file now?

Anyway, instead of writing like a good little girl, I plopped my butt down on the couch last night after work and read. I finished up THE DEVIL IN THE JUNIOR LEAGUE. Seriously good stuff. Kinda like a cross between "Desperate Housewives," "A Southern Belle Primer (or why Princess Margaret will never be a Kappa Kappa Gamma)," Jane Austen's "Emma," and "My Fair Lady." Freaking hilarious. You should buy it when it's released.

So now that I'm done with that one I can start reading my friend Shelli Stevens' book TOURIST ATTRACTION. I've been waiting to read that one for months. Can't wait!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 8:22 AM :: 7 comments

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006



I got my cover, with the title of the book on it today (I'd received the cover previously before I'd titled it). I totally want to post it in here, or use it as my Blogger avatar, but I'm so technologically illiterate that I can't figure out how to do so. Blech. Anyone care to help out a damsel in distress?

Anyway, SHE'S GOT LEGS will be out in late June or early July from www.freyasbower.com and I'm pretty darn psyched about it. :) OK, I'm more than psyched, I'm thrilled!

Here's a blurb-in-progress:

Daria Wyatt didn't want to go to her high school reunion. Although she'd had a more fabulous life in the past fifteen years than, oh, ninety percent of her class, she knew seeing those girls in person wouldn't exactly do wonders for her self-esteem. If only her younger sister Kara hadn't insisted that she go. Forced into a corner, Daria borrows Kara's high heels in an effort to give her more spunk. But in her rush to get out the door, she picks up the wrong pair, a hideous purple platform creation with green sequins...

Like I said, the blurb is a work-in-progress. My Bites (two short stories linked by a common theme) are a modern retelling of the Cinderella story.

Anyway, on to other things. I'm hitting a brick wall with respect to completing my chick lit wip and it's driving me CRAZY! I really need to get cracking on this thing so I can finish in time to pitch at RWA. Someone crack the whip, please!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 9:35 AM :: 3 comments

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Monday, June 12, 2006



I'm in the middle of reading one of the sharpest and funniest books I've read in a long time. It's called THE DEVIL IN THE JUNIOR LEAGUE by Linda Francis Lee and it's an advance reader's copy. When I finish I'll be reviewing it for Romance Divas. I'm about a quarter of the way through it and it is hilarious. Freaking brilliant. I think my husband thought I was nuts when I was sitting by the pool yesterday laughing out loud, but I read him the following passage and he agreed:

"Texas men came in many forms. One of the most successful types was the man who sounded like an illiterate lunatic. Think George W. Bush or H. Ross Perot spouting things like, "Ya can't put a boot in the oven and expect to get brisket." However, as long as they had money and a socially prominent name, the crazier the better...with the tiny little caveat that they come from fine old families or, at the very least, have created fine "old" families. My daddy was one of the finest, spewing out lunacy with the best of them..."

Anyway, it's a really funny look at the ultra-rich old-money families of Texas high society. I highly recommend it...and I'm only a quarter of the way through it! I normally reserve judgement until I've finished reading. It will be released in September from St. Martin's Press.

OK, back to my cruise review.

I've already talked about Juneau. We also went to Ketchikan, Skagway, and Prince Rupert.

Ketchikan is the totem pole capital of the world and the salmon capital of the world. It is also the rainiest community in North America. It's a quaint little fishing village on stilts in the southernmost tip of Alaska. If you go, expect rain at some point during the day. It was raining when we first got there but it cleared up later in the morning and was actually quite nice by the time we left. Of course, the later in the day it got, the more and more crowded the town got with tourists. We actually preferred it at 7 am when we were the only ones around! We took a bus tour to Saxman Native Village to see totem poles and carvers. We also hiked around on the trails surrounding the town and explored the town a bit, including the salmon hatchery and the Southeastern Alaska Discovery Center.

Skagway is a stop on pretty much every cruise to Alaska. It was the gateway to the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush from 1897-1899. Stampeders arrived by steamboat in Skagway from Seattle and then made the trek over the mountain through the White Pass with the ton of equipment and food that the Canadian government required for entry into the Yukon Territory. It took most would-be prospectors 20-30 trips through the 40-mile White Pass to haul all their gear and by the time they finished bringing all their gear to the border it was too cold to continue until the next spring.

The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad opened in 1899. It was designed to run along the route of the White Pass Trail to make the trek easier but by the time it was completed the gold rush was over. Today the railroad is a popular shore excursion for cruise ship passengers. Eric and I took the railroad only to the first whistle stop at the Denver trailhead. We got off to hike the Denver trail. We decided to make it a half day event, but that meant we couldn't get out to the glacier. We were told we'd get to the boulder field and from there we'd be able to see the glacier but we didn't make it that far before we decided to turn around. I don't think we were hiking slow or anything but we did stop to take pictures. For all I know, the boulder field might have been only a few minutes away from where we turned around but we got nervous because we never saw or heard the big tour group that was behind us (a group from our ship who paid $119/person for what we did for just a $30 train ticket) and I thought perhaps we had gotten onto the wrong trail somehow. Well, it turned out that they were just super slow. We turned around and after we'd been hiking back for about half an hour we saw them--still continuing forward. So we weren't on the wrong trail afterward--we were just half an hour ahead of them. So I freaked out for nothing and as a result possibly missed out on seeing the glacier (it would have been from a far distance, of course, though). Oh well.

After our hike, the train picked us back up at the Denver trailhead and we rode back into town. The tour guides for that other group gave us some of the beer they had to give their group. We thought that was really nice. It was good beer, too. I'm not a beer drinker but I enjoyed it. After we arrived back in town we went for lunch at a really good seafood restaurant (delicious salmon and halibut sandwiches) and then explored the town a little bit. Later that afternoon we went to the Days of '98 show, the longest continuously running theatrical event in the U.S. (since 1925). It was a musical retelling of the early days of Skagway. Kinda cheesy but fun.

Our final port was Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The founders of Prince Rupert had grand plans for it to be a port to rival Vancouver. This dream died when the president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad (and founder of the town) died on the Titanic. We went on a bike tour of Prince Rupert, which was really fun. The town is quite hilly, so it was some good exercise and there was good wildlife viewing. We saw a ton of eagles, some deer, and a bear (not very close, though). We were only in Prince Rupert for 5 hours, but that was plenty, I think. It's quite small and not as well-developed for tourism as the other places. I kind of wish we'd gone kayaking, like I wanted, but Eric doesn't like kayaking, so biking won out. Still, it was fun.

Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its Chocoholics Midnight Buffet and this one didn't disappoint. We made sure not to eat too much that night for dinner so we'd have room for every imaginable chocolate dessert and even some you'd never imagine. It was incredible. Yum.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 9:02 AM :: 4 comments

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Friday, June 09, 2006



I haven't been able to get on here (the site was down for maintenance) all week, so I'll do my recap of the cruise today. I still haven't had time to put my pictures onto Shutterfly, so without hosting of some sort, I'm not able to add them in here. Blech. Oh well. I'll do that sometime soon hopefully and then I'll share them.

OK, cruise recap. *drum roll, please*

When we boarded the ship, Seattle was misty and chilly. Yeah, big surprise, I know. Fortunately, because we'd cruised with Norwegian before, we were able to get into the "Latitudes" check-in line. So our check-in process took a total of 4 minutes. We got to jump in front of easily 300 people, probably more. I'm not good at estimating how many people are in a crowd. I know that the wait was estimated at about an hour when we got there. So yay for that! :)

The ship was the Norwegian Sun, which launched in 2001. It was a really gorgeous ship--much nicer than the one we'd cruised on last time, and we thought that one was really nice!

When we got onboard I discovered that Dima and Olga Sukachov, two of my favorite former latin dance champions from back when I used to be really into ballroom and latin, (back in college, and then before I went to law school, I used to compete on the intercollegiate level and went to ballroom camp and all kinds of stuff like that--every year I would go to the Ohio Star Ball, which is televised on PBS, and Dima & Olga won it in 1998--which was one of the years I went) were the featured performers on the cruise! So that was exciting for me. I'm sure everyone else on the cruise thought they were really good and everything but I'm pretty sure I was the only one who knew who they were...kinda like the weird groupie or something, but I digress.

Anyway, it was super cool, especially since they taught a few workshops. Unfortunately, because I was likely the only ballroom nut on the cruise, the workshops were (of necessity) taught at a super basic level. But considering as cruise lines are notorious for trying to sell you stuff, I'm surprised they didn't offer private lessons that you could pay for. You better believe that, even with my tendonitis in my knee, I'd take a private lesson with Dima Sukachov (it's a nickname for Dimitri. Hell yeah. I took a group workshop of theirs once at a dance camp in Florida and it was fantastic. So anyway, the workshops they taught on the ship sort of bored me but I did them because I was hoping that somehow Dima's super sexy magic latin hip action would rub off on my two-left-feet hubby. It didn't. :(

Anyway, the cruise was great. As always, the food was incredible. Yum yum yum. Apparently the average cruise ship passenger gains 9 pounds on a 7-day cruise. Yikes! Fortuantely Eric and I tend to go to the sit-down restaurants on the ship rather than the buffets, but either way, it's all-you-can-eat, so I can definitely see how people could gain that much weight. But I doubt we did. We were quite active for the average cruise ship passenger, depsite my injured knee. We went on four hikes of varying length and went bike riding. Made sure to do something active in each port, and also used the gym whenever we didn't have a port day. Actually, sometimes Eric went running on deck after we got back on the ship before dinner after being in port. (I walked...even with a good knee I don't run. EVER.)

OK, as for the ports, our favorite was Juneau. In fact, of all the shore excursion/sightseeing/etc that we did, our favorite was the one that was free! (Go figure...) In Juneau, one of the more popular sights right inside town (the most popular is Mendenhall Glacier, which I'm getting to in a second) is Mt. Roberts. Most people take the tram up the mountain, at a cost of $22/person for the 3-minute ride. At the top, there's an amazing view of the harbor below, some neat exhibits, a really good film on Tlinigt culture, and some hiking trails. But what most people don't realize is that you can actually hike up the mountain. It's a 2 1/2 mile hike and takes about 90 minutes to reach the top (2000 feet). And then you can take the tram down for a $5 purchase either in the gift store or in the restaurant. So that's what we did. The trail was COMPLETELY DEVOID OF TOURISTS!!!!!!!!! It was lovely, both figuratively and literally. The scenery was gorgeous and it was also nice to be entirely away from people.

Also in Juneau is the famous Mendenhall Glacier, one of the few drive-up glaciers in the world (bus tours and shuttles will take you to the visitor's center parking lot, which is about 3/4 of a mile, maybe a mile, from the glacier). Most other glaicers are only accesible by boat or plane/helicopter. Anyway, being the resourceful gal that I am, I didn't want to spend the $45/person that the cruise line was charging for the city tour that included a stop at Mendenhall Glacier, so I researched other options. The AAA guide suggested a tour company that sold a similar tour for $20/person so I booked that. Well, it turns out that had I waited until we got to port, we could have simply purchased tickets for the express shuttle for $10/person that would just take us straight to the glacier and then we could take a shuttle back whenever we were ready (when one arrived, of course). But we didn't know that. Even if we had, we might have thought that the city tour would be the best bet anyway. Well, hindsight is 20/20 and now we know that we wished we had skipped the tour and just went straight to the glacier. We would have LOVED to have more time there. We only had 40 minutes, which wasn't nearly enough time to hike out to the glacier and back, so we just got as close as we could, took some pictures, and then turned around in time to meet our tour before they left and stranded us there. Oh well. Next time.

OK, I'll continue the recap on Monday. Time to head home and start the weekend!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 1:53 PM :: 4 comments

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006



I hate United Airlines.

I mean it. I really do. I freaking detest United Airlines. They screwed up our flights on our trip out to Seattle for the cruise. Now in retrospect, after the flight from hell yesterday, the flights going out there don't seem so bad.

We arrived at the Seattle airport yesterday at about 12:30. The flight left at 1:45. No problem. Everything was going nicely until we got to Denver. We arrived at about 5:05, a little early even. Wonderful. Our flight was supposed to leave Denver at 6:44 MST and would arrive in Baltimore just before midnight EST. OK, shouldn't be a problem.

We arrive and discover that the flight is delayed to 7:15. No problem. At around 7:15, not only have we not taken off but they haven't boarded us yet. At 7:30 we learn that they'll have an 8pm decision. Decision? Decision on what?

At 8:00 we learn that there is a maintenance problem of some sort and that they are fixing it and as soon as the part is in place then they just need to do a test that will take 10 minutes, so they expect to have us in the air by 8:30. At 8:25 they tell us that they're still working and should have an 8:30 "decision." There's that word again. At 8:30 they tell us they'll update us at 9. At 9 we're told they'll update us at 9:30. At 9:30 they tell us we'll be getting a 10:00 "decision."

Just before 10 we're told that they're working on getting new O rings on and that they need to do a cabin pressure check that should only last 10 minutes and they expect a 10:30 "decision." Meanwhile, 200 passengers are getting incredibly pissy at this point, considering as we should have taken off over 3 hours ago and really couldn't leave because supposedly we could take off at any given moment. So a few of us decide to go in search of food since we have 30 minutes before our next "decision."

We get to the food court at 10:02. Guess what? It closed at 10. And so did all the stores that sell any kind of food. Even the snack machines shut down at 8. At this point there is officially NO FOOD TO BE HAD!

And this is a United hub, for crying out loud! You're seriously going to tell me that there wasn't some other plane we could have taken once they realized that was a mechanical problem?

At this point it is now past the time that we should have already landed in Baltimore and they still can't tell us how long it will be and can't make a decision as to whether they'll just put us up in hotels and let us try it the next morning.

OK, 10:30 comes and goes. At 11 they finally announce that they will be giving out vouchers for $75 off a future flight on United. Yeah, 'cuz I *so* want to fly on this airline ever again. But we pick up our voucher anyway, only to discover that not only does it not work with one of the discounters but it also doesn't work with www.united.com. Only with their 1-800 number. So it's probably completely worthless.

They finally started boarding at 11:30 and we took off at midnight. A couple of minutes after take-off we heard "Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to serve to you beverages on this flights and an assortment of snacks." OK, fine. But the announcement wasn't finished: "Snack boxes can be purchased for $5. Please have correct change."

It is now 5 hours and 15 minutes after we should have taken off. We were the only flight left in the airport. All the food vendors had closed 2 hours earlier with no warning and we had no idea how long it would be before we got out of the damn place. You stranded us in a nearly deserted terminal for hours with no clear idea of what to expect, with NO FOOD and with only a damn $75 voucher for your crappy airline, and now you have the audacity to ask for money for your crappy snacks?

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

We finally landed in Baltimore around 5 am. Fortunatley our bags were the first ones off the conveyor belt. We got back to our apartment a little after 6:30 am, after driving through the beginning of morning Baltimore-to-Washington rush hour.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 1:49 PM :: 10 comments

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