Thursday, April 30, 2009

Brenda Novak's in the Lair

We're thrilled to welcome back NY Times Best-selling Romantic Suspense author Brenda Novak! Drumroll please!!

Brenda's my long-time friend, mother of five, and wife to hottie Ted. And she's flat-out the nicest person I know. Oh, yeah, and the author of 32 books. She also sponsors a hugely successful Online Auction for Diabetes Research.

Brenda, I know the auction is a project near to your heart. Can you tell us a little about it?
Third Auction Coupon winner is our very own Bandita CAREN CRANE -- yay, Caren!!


Brenda: When my son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at five years old, I knew enough about the disease to realize he would require constant care,
but the long list of side effects really threw me. I thought if we gave him insulin, and he suffered through the many fingertip pricks and shots, he'd be fine. Unfortunately, that isn't necessarily the case. Diabetes affects every major organ--your heart, your kidneys, your liver, your nerves, etc.

THE FIRST WINNER OF THE $25 COUPON FOR BRENDA'S ONLINE AUCTION IS . . . JANE!!! Congratulations.

Then I thought about the number of people facing the same risks and knew I had to fight back. I decided it might be smart to do an event on my web site so that my fans and publishing friends could participate--and the idea for my auction was born. This will be auction #5. Last year, we raised $252,300. This year we're shooting for $300,000.

We have over 2,000 fabulous items up for auction, many of which you can't get anywhere else. And this year we'll have something new--$1 "Buy it Now" opportunities for aspiring writers. This will enable them to get their work in front of some of the most prestigious agents and editors in publishing for only $1. I will randomly list these items throughout the auction--it could be in any category--and the first person to find such an item will be able to buy it for only $1! There will be other fun $1 "Buy it Now" auctions for those who are not writers.

Jo: Wow, Brenda! I love the new $1 “Buy It Now” opportunity! I've participated every year in the Auction since its beginning and love the excitement of bidding and the good feeling of knowing my money's going to a worthy cause. Can you tell us some of the items that are up for bid this year?

Brenda: One of my personal favorites is Anna DeStefano's Coach handbags. Who doesn't love a good handbag? LOL Or Dianne Despain's antique jewelry. I just got an antique cameo worth $600 from Kathryn Caskie. There are meet and greets with editors and agents, a fabulous painting from my all-time favorite artist Marilyn Sears Bourbon (I own three of her paintings and want more!), a whole list of fabulous offerings from Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dianna Love and Mary Buckham, a complete collection of Christine Feehan's wildly popular DARK series (all autographed), a stay in Nora Roberts' inn, opportunities for people to name a character in various authors' books (authors like legal thriller writer John Lescroart!), lunch with Barry Eisler in San Francisco, a handmade quilt from Anne Stuart, and over 100 autographed books from Booklovers Bookstore, including an autographed copy of one of the best books ever written--CLAN OF THE CAVEBEAR by Jean M. Auel.


The second winner of the $25 Auction Coupon is, ta da -- CrystalGB. Congratulations!
I could go on and on. There's SO much in this year's auction--something for everyone. And these items make unique gifts. You could immortalize your friend, sister or mother by buying the "name a character" item. How fun would it be to give that away?

Jo: You can find out more about the auction and the items for bid at Brenda's website --
http://www.brendanovak.com/auction.shtml. Check it out! You don’t have to wait until May 1, when the auction officially starts to see what’s available and plan your strategy for bidding. The Romance Bandits have a basket up for Auction this year and we’d love one of our readers to win it!

Now, let's hear something about your new series, Brenda. I know the books are The Perfect Couple, The Perfect Liar, and The Perfect Murder. The titles are so intriguing. Tell us more
about them.

Brenda: I'm excited about these books! They're all part of my Last Stand series that began last year with TRUST ME, STOP ME & WATCH ME, but they're only loosely connected, both to the series and to each other, so they also stand on their own.

In THE PERFECT COUPLE, Zoe Duncan’s thirteen-year-old daughter goes missing from her own backyard while home sick from school and private investigator Jonathan Stivers is called on to help find her. But he's never had fewer leads to work with--and is sure of only one thing: Sam was taken by someone close to the family. He has no idea how close until he realizes that the “perfect” couple next door is anything but...

Jo: Ooooh, I love the premise of that story! Additionally, anyone who buys a copy of THE PERFECT COUPLE in the first week it comes out and sends Brenda the receipt will have the opportunity to join her fan club and receive a Brenda Novak tote with goodies. See details at
http://www.brendanovak.com/ THE PERFECT COUPLE comes out Tuesday, July 28 so you'll need to buy it between July 28 and August 5 to be eligible.

Brenda: THE PERFECT LIAR is about obsession. After air force captain Luke Trussell goes home with the wrong kind of woman, he's falsely accused of rape, putting his career and his reputation at stake. He didn't force his attentions on the woman who's been coming on to him for months, but she has the bruises--and the DNA evidence--to make her claim convincing. And Karina Harter is determined to have him, or make him pay.…

In THE PERFECT MURDER, investment banker Sebastian Costas is trying to unravel the truth behind the murder of his ex-wife and son. The evidence suggests a murder-suicide, but something he heard the week before the killings won't allow him to accept that. He believes her second husband, a cop, killed
her and the boy, then faked his own death. But proving it isn't easy--or safe.

Jo: These books sound wonderful. Look for THE PERFECT COUPLE's release on July 28.

Okay, now for a quick personality test. Will the REAL Brenda Novak please weigh in with her answers?

1. Favorite food? Thai food--Yellow curry (spicy ) I also love pizza, but I know that would make me sound like too much of a kid, sort of like picking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

2. Preferred sleeping wear? Comfortable underwear

Jo: No need to elaborate!

3. Hugh Jackman or Daniel Craig?

Hugh. I think he’s gorgeous, but I’m sort of mad at him right now. LOL I was planning on offering a day on the set and lunch with him as part of a promotion for my next book, and his publicist got involved AFTER I had it all lined up and screwed it all up. So sad…

Jo: Ah, now, that just breaks my heart. Hugh's quite popular in the Lair and as you can see, we're on a first name basis with him.

4. Favorite non-romance writer?

Wow--too many to pick just one. Margaret Mitchell is probably my all-time favorite. I think she’s as good as Charles Dickens at characterization. Someone who's still alive and writing? Philippa Gregory would be one. I read THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL while on a three-day drive to Cabo San Lucas with my entire family (yes, we drove!) and couldn’t put it down. Janet Evanovich is considered mystery, so I guess I can name her, too. :-)

5. Most romantic place in the world?

Prague. I visited the city last year and was captivated by its beauty. More than any other European city I’d seen on this particular trip (we drove through Germany, France, Italy, Monoco, and Austria, too) it felt we were stepping back to a far more romantic time and place. The famous Charles Bridge, which connects Old Town to Mala Strana was simply magnificent. And there seemed to be such an upbeat air to it all (whereas Venice had the feel of decay and ruin that made me depressed).

Thanks for joining us today in the Lair, Brenda.


Our final winner for a $25 Auction coupon goes to . . . wahooo!! RUTH C. Congrats, Ruth.

Brenda and I have some special prizes for our Bandita readers and friends.

First, throughout the day we’ll choose 4 random posters to win a $25 off coupon for Brenda’s Online Diabetes Auction. Check back often to see if you've won. Meanwhile check out the auction items at Brenda's website.

Second, at the end of the day one lucky poster will receive a free autographed copy of STOP ME, the book that was just nominated for a Rita.

Okay, readers, it’s your turn to weigh in. Ask Brenda anything you want to know about her career path, writing process, the auction, or her books.

Or, if you’d like to play the game, what are YOUR answers to the five questions above?

And don't forget to come back to see if you've won the $25 Auction Coupon!

132 comments:

Pissenlit said...

For the win?

Jane said...

Hi Brenda,
Congrats on the RITA nomination. I registered for the auction last year and was wondering if the log in info is the same or do I have to register again. I'm looking forward to reading your new series. Will characters from the first three books of The Last Stand series being making appearances?

Virginia said...

Congrats Pissenlit for nabbing that rooster, have fun with him today!

Hi Brenda, congrats on your Rita nomination. First off let me say I admire the work you do in your auction for diabetes. Diabetes runs in my family. My father and brother both had it and my brother passed away at the age of 52 from heart failure. My older sister develope diabetes at the age of 55. So far my younger sister and I don't have it.

Favorite food would have to be fish, although I like pizza pretty good to.

Preferred Sleeping ware would be a loose nylon gown

Hugh Jackman or Daniel Craig Hugh Jackman by all means, love that man. He is to die for.

Favorite non-romance writer I not sure about this one because most of what I read has at least a little romance in it.

Most Romantic place in the world, I think it would be Italy, or Paris, although I have never been there. I just picture it that way.

jo robertson said...

Yay, Pissenlit, you DID zoom in for the win. Congratulations! The GR has been sighted at various conferences throughout the country, majorly sucking up to every attractive woman he sees.

Shameless!

jo robertson said...

Jane, I can answer that question about the auction for you. I don't think Brenda's joining us until tomorrow (well, actually it IS tomorrow, but I meant, like after the rooster's actually crowed).

The log in information is the same for the auction. I've bid every year, and the second year, I didn't know that, so I actually have two logins and names. Major PITA and I wouldn't recommend it.

Hope you have fun!

jo robertson said...

Virginia, diabetes seems to be affecting more and more people. Almost everyone I know has a family member touched by the disease. My son-in-law has Type I diabetes.

Pizza and fish?? So, do you like anchovies on your pizza LOL?

Carol said...

Congrats Pissenlit! Have a great day with the feathered one!

I was lucky enough to buy a beautiful pair of earrings from last years auction (Lauren Hawkeye design)
The auction was just the best fun! easy to do and the email prompts to tell me someone else had bid on the item I was interested in was very helpful.
I have already recieved an email from Brenda announcing the 2009 Auction...fabulous email and website communication and as I don't put my credit card numbers on the net...wonderful Telephone support as well! (yes from Australia) I'm on the lookout for earrings again!

Food: My absolute favorite is Lasagne.

Love a nighty...

Hugh or Daniel, gosh thats tough to choose between ... I'm looking forward to Daniels new movie Defience...so I'll go with him!

Robin Hobb - Fantasy genre.

The most romantic place mmm...I love mountains so I'll say the Rocky Mountains - Aspen (cos' I've been there)

Cheers Carol

Helen said...

Congrats pissenlit have fun with him

What a wonderful interview Brenda and Jo and Brenda I admire you so much for what you do for Diabetes. My husband is an insulin dependant diabetic he was 40 when he was diognosed while going through chemo and radiation therapy for cancer and although on tablets to start with he now has insulin and the hypos are really scary we now have a needle to use if necessary.
I do hope your reach your goal this year.

Your books sound fantastic I need to add them to my must get list. Congrats on the RITA nomination

I will play the game

1.Pasta any type I love it
2.Compfy PJ's
3.It has to be Hugh who else could it be (I am an Aussie afterall LOL)
4.Agatha Christie
5.I haven't travelled much but I would love to visit Rome

Have Fun
Helen

Laurie said...

Hi Brenda,

My FIL has had diabetes for 33 years. He just turned 79. It's been a constant struggle! Best of luck with reaching your goal. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding your "Dead" series!

Favorite food: Toffee Bar Crunch ice cream

Hugh or Daniel?: I'll take them both! What's not to like?

Preferred sleepware: nothing

Favorite nonromance writer: Tim Dorsey, closely followed by Clive Cussler

Most romantic spot: a secluded beach watching a gorgeous sunset.

Minna said...

Well, it's Vappu Eve here and those who are not for instance doing spring cleaning -like me- are celebrating.

http://sthweb.bu.edu/archives/index.php?option=com_awiki&view=mediawiki&article=Walpurgis_Night
http://finland.fi/netcomm/news/showarticle.asp?intNWSAID=26049

As it's almost May:
"Yellow May":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYjMTeUKWXI

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Brenda! Thanks Jo for bringing one of my fave authors back to the Lair! I'm so excited about your new series, Brenda and can't wait to get my hands on it!

The Auction is always fabulous and I love seeing what you have available ... plus, who can resist the bidding! With a number of friends and family having diabetes, it's a really great cause and I love supporting it, and you.

Favourite food: Coquilles St Jacques, though bangers and mash comes a very close second!

Sleepwear: nothing, but do love to lounge about in VS flannel pj's

HJ or DC? Yes please.

Non-romance writer: Ooh tough choice. Tess Gerritsen, Elaine Viets and Carrie Bebris. Like Thomans Perry too.

Most romantic place: Oh man, so many places to choose from! Caribbean beach? Charleston? sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in DC at sunset, looking out over the Reflecting Pool. Anywhere but Paris *g*. Anywhere with hubby *g*.

PJ said...

Hi Brenda! Welcome back to the lair.
I admire what you do for diabetes research. It must be a tremendous undertaking! Diabetes runs in my family as well.

I've had fun bidding on items in your previous auctions and am anticipating another good time this year!

Congrats on your RITA nomination. I'm looking forward to the ceremony in DC this summer - my first! :)

Favorite food: Pasta

Sleepwear: Cotton or flannel PJ pants and tee-shirt.

Hugh please. :)

Non-romance writer: Tom Clancy

Most romantic place: Anywhere can be romantic if you're with the right person.

Gillian Layne said...

Bless you, Brenda, for all the work you do. My mom and many other family members are diabetic. I've participated a couple of years and love getting those auction wins! My eye's on Stacey Kayne's gorgeous purse this year, and I know Banditas are offering yummy prizes as well--bless you too, ladies!

Lets do writing advice! Brenda, you are both a talented and proficient writer--with all you have on your plate, how does your writing process work? After the kids are in bed, or bits of time, or a very set time of day?

Caren Crane said...

Pissenlit, congrats!

Brenda, it's so great to have you back in the Lair! I am always excited about your auction and this year it sounds more awesome that ever. I think everyone knows I have Type 1 diabetes, so this issue is near and dear to my heart. Or pancreas. Whatever. *g*

I have to say, your family sounds as die hard as mine. You drove to Cabo San Lucas?! That's like my husband and older daughter's great vacation idea: driving from Raleigh to Glacier National Park. Hello! Three days out there and three days back. In a car. With two teenagers. Oy! At least one will be able to drive, but still...

Good thing you can read in the car. I may have to try the non-drowsy Dramamine and give that a go. By the way, I would love to hear more about Prague!

housemouse88 said...

Hello Brenda,

Congrats on the RITA nomination. Good luck with the upcoming auction.

1. Pizza
2. Sweats
3. Hugh Jackman
4. John Grisham
5. Either Switzerland or camping in the mountains

Have a great day.

Terry Odell said...

Just popping in to say hello. Thanks to the alphabet, Brenda and I sat next to each other at my very first ever book signing at RWA, and there's no one like her. And I had people to talk to while they waited in her line. Alas, she also keeps beating me out in contests, but I can't begrudge her that.

Beth said...

So nice to have you back in the lair, Brenda! I truly admire all your hard work for raising money for diabetes research. Thank you!

Congrats on your Rita nom! I can't wait to cheer you on in DC *g*

As a RS writer, when coming up with a new story or series idea, do you come up with the premise or the characters first? Also, do you have any time management tips you can share?

Louisa Cornell said...

Go Pissenlit! Put that GR to work!


Welcome Brenda! I am a big fan of your auction as my critique partner and best friend has Type 1. She's an amazing woman who does so much in spite of dealing with diabetes AND recent gamma knife surgery for brain tumors.

I have to ask a writing question. When you are working on the suspense in your novels (something you do exquisitely!) do you always know who the villain is and how do you weave those things into the story that a reader looks back and realizes how those clues were always there. Is that something you map out ahead of time or do those things pop up as you write?

Hmm. The quiz -

Favorite food - My Mom's chicken and dumplings, hands down. Completely from scratch and a real taste of heaven when you are feeling down.

Preferred sleepware - Over sized t-shirt. Add sleep a pair of men's sleep pants in the winter. (The men's sleep pants are more comfortable.)

Hugh Jackman without a doubt. He is talented, funny, sweet and humble. Oh, yes and SEXY AS HELL!

Favorite non-romance writer - tough one there. I have a couple.

Lincoln Child and Preston Douglas
Harper Lee
William Faulkner
Thomas C. Cooke
Ace Atkins

Louisa Cornell said...

Go Pissenlit! Put that GR to work!


Welcome Brenda! I am a big fan of your auction as my critique partner and best friend has Type 1. She's an amazing woman who does so much in spite of dealing with diabetes AND recent gamma knife surgery for brain tumors.

I have to ask a writing question. When you are working on the suspense in your novels (something you do exquisitely!) do you always know who the villain is and how do you weave those things into the story that a reader looks back and realizes how those clues were always there. Is that something you map out ahead of time or do those things pop up as you write?

Hmm. The quiz -

Favorite food - My Mom's chicken and dumplings, hands down. Completely from scratch and a real taste of heaven when you are feeling down.

Preferred sleepware - Over sized t-shirt. Add sleep a pair of men's sleep pants in the winter. (The men's sleep pants are more comfortable.)

Hugh Jackman without a doubt. He is talented, funny, sweet and humble. Oh, yes and SEXY AS HELL!

Favorite non-romance writer - tough one there. I have a couple.

Lincoln Child and Preston Douglas
Harper Lee
William Faulkner
Thomas C. Cooke
Ace Atkins

Most romantic place in the world -

Prague is gorgeous, but I LOVE Salzburg, Austria. The old city is like a piece of heaven and still has that small village feel. Salzburg at Christmas is magical.

Another place you would not think is romantic, but actually is - Bran Castle in Transylvania. The trip through the forest that surrounds it is a trip back through time. You feel as if an elf or vampire could step out from behind trees that have seen all the pageant of life, death and what we mere mortals call history pass beneath them. The castle is so picturesque one can hardly believe the things it no doubt saw will Vlad Tepes lived there.

Another romantic spot in Transylvania is the ruins of Poenari Castle, another residence of Prince Vlad. Climb to the top of the 99 steps and look down over the valley and you can see your brave knight riding to your rescue while the wind whispers his name. Gorgeous.

Susan Sey said...

Pissenlit! Congrats on the GR! He's pretty handy--maybe he can do something about your blowdryer!

Susan Sey said...

Hi, Brenda--

Thanks for swinging by the lair today. Your auction (and of course your writing) is the stuff of legend here in Romancelandia, so we're really honored to have you.

Your new series sounds really fabulous. I love my romance with a suspenseful edge. I'll have to snap it up right away.

Bummer about Hugh Jackman's publicist hosing things up for the auction. I think Hugh totally owes you now. I wonder if you can get him to donate a personal lap dance? I saw once on TV where he did one for Barbara Walters. It looked...fun. :-) Any chance? Women will be sabotaging each other's internet access to improve their chances.

Thanks again for swinging by! Looking forward to diving into your new series!

p226 said...

1. Favorite food? Fresh bluefish. With steamed shrimp coming a close second.

2. Preferred sleeping wear? Boxer briefs.

Jo: No need to elaborate! But what if I WANT to elaborate.

3. Hugh Jackman or Daniel Craig? I'm noting that Denise Richards is not an option here. :(

4. Favorite non-romance writer? Stephen King's old stuff.

5. Most romantic place in the world? Middle of the Mojave. At night.

Christie Kelley said...

Pissenlit, congrats on the GR! Take good care of him.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Brenda. Congratulations on your RITA nomination.
1. Mexican
2. short gown
3. Hugh Jackman
4. Patricia Cornwell
5. Paris

Christie Kelley said...

Welcome back to the lair, Brenda. I love your auction and try to participate every year. Good luck this year, I hope you make your goal!

jo robertson said...

Isn't it loads of fun, Carol? I remember the first year I bid on Brenda's auction, I didn't realize you needed to refresh, so I let the item get way out of control. It was hilarious, but not for the faint of heart! JK!

I've been to Aspen too. Isn't it gorgeous -- in all kinds of weather!

jo robertson said...

So sorry about your husband, Helen. That's a lot of trouble to have in one body! Does he have everything under control now?

My father was a diabetic and when I was pregnant I had gestational diabetes -- hence, the three eleven-pound babies, OY VEY! But fortunately, nothing's developed so far. It's a really insidious disease.

jo robertson said...

Sorry about your FIL, Laurie.

I'm ashamed to admit I haven't read Clive Cussler (although I do love the alliteration in his name LOL). Hanging head in shame. Which book do you recommend?

Brenda Novak said...

Hi everyone--

Thanks so much for the warm welcome! I'm happy to be here and SO excited about the auction starting tomorrow. This is the culmination of an entire year's worth of work so it almost seems surreal that the date is upon me.

Brenda

jo robertson said...

Vappu Eve, Minna? Explain, girl!

And bite your tongue!! Spring cleaning, what's that?? I swear the dust is ready to get up and walk away at my house.

Okay, Anna S, you'll have to explain about bangers and mash. And why does the "nothing" sleepwear not surprise me? I was ready for someone to suggest that.

Hey, no greediness with Hugh and Daniel. You canNOT have both of them!

Brenda Novak said...

Hey, looks like my original interview has been edited w/o permission. What's up with sleeping in comfortable underwear, Jo? I'm pretty sure I said sexy underwear. LOL (j/k)

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks for the Rita kudos. I still need to go out and buy a dress. Of course, I have three daughters who have SO many formals--all their homecoming, senior ball and junior prom stuff. Some of it is truly lovely. I think I'll just pick from there. LOL

And Jane, Jo didn't lead you astray. The log in and password information is the same. If you've forgotten any of it, just go to the sign on page. There's a link to retrieve it.

Brenda Novak said...

As Jo said, diabetes is affecting more and more people. I think it's getting so common that people are becoming apathetic. I actually has one friend tell me (about my own son)--just give him insulin. How I wish it was that easy!

jo robertson said...

Good answer, PJ. Isn't it true that being in the most beautiful place in the world means squat if you're not with the right person?

Have fun bidding in the auction this year. Dr. Big's put me on a budget this year -- yeah, right, like that's gonna work -- so I must bid carefully.

Have you been over to the site to check out the items yet? Some wonderful stuff up this year.

Brenda Novak said...

Virginia, my father had diabetes, too. He passed away from a heart attack at 64. I was only 19 and six weeks away from my wedding. I now realize it was diabetes related, but the doctors really didn't make a big deal of it. A lot of deaths are actually diabetes related that get relegated to another cause.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Helen--Wow, it sounds like your poor hubby has been through a lot. I'm so sorry. Is he doing any better?

Brenda Novak said...

Carol--Glad you like the earrings. Lauren lives in Canada, and she's an absolute doll. She's always a big help on the auction scene, not only with donating items but with putting up pictures and the like.

I'd love to visit Australia!

Brenda Novak said...

Laurie--Your FIL's story is inspiring. Sounds like it hasn't been easy, but he's still kicking at 79. That's amazing!

jo robertson said...

Stacey's got a purse up for bid, Gillian!! Hmmm, must check it out.

Sorry about your mum's diabetes. Brenda tells me they are very close to finding a cure for this dreadful disease, which is why I enjoy contributing to the research auction.

Brenda will answer the question about writing time, but I can tell you first hand, she's a little turbo! She's probably out running right now.

Brenda Novak said...

Anna--I'm so glad you're excited about the new books. It's been a while since my last book came out (last August) so I'm getting anxious, too. How do you like the covers? I wasn't quite sure whether or not I like them, but they're growing on me....

Brenda Novak said...

PJ--Great answer on most romantic place. I agree. I love hanging out with my husband anywhere. :-)

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Gillian--

When my children were small, I wrote whenever I could get five minutes together. LOL Fortunately, that has changed. I still have the five kids, but my youngest is 12. That makes it possible for me to work in solid batches. I get up and hit the computer just as if this was a regular job. I'm here pretty much all day, every day--either writing or doing promotion. I'm so glad it's gotten easier (since my deadlines have gotten tighter!).

jo robertson said...

Duh, Caren, I feel stupid. I didn't know you had Type 1 diabetes. That's what Mike, my SIL has. He's always joking about shooting up before he eats.

Speaking of driving on vacations with kids, a friend of mine (who's crazy enough to have 10 kids) drove from California to D.C. in a van with ALL of them.

Just kill me now! I love my kids, but any more than 3 at a time in a car is waaaayyyy too much family time.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Caren--Big hug to someone who is also facing Type 1. I'm determined to see a cure before I die--or work myself to death trying. LOL

Yes, my husband thought driving all the way from Sacramento to the tip of Baja would be great fun--with five kids in an Excursion. But you know what? That was the best trip we've ever taken. All the kids say it was their favorite, too. I read aloud in the car. We stopped whenever we found something interesting. We swam in the ocean on the most pristine beaches I've ever seen--when no one else was around. We bought lobster for $12/plate. It was much better than doing it the touristy way. Of course, it was probably a little dangerous, too. I kept asking my husband what we'd do if we broke down on the deserted highway (not one of us speaks any Spanish). The military checkpoints could be a little unnerving (foreigners holding guns as they ask you to get out of your car), but they thought our daughters were beautiful and would be so polite. They rarely bothered to search anything.

And Prague...oh, that city is so amazing. I loved touring the palace and going down that little road of medieval shops (can't remember the name). I only got to stay a day, but it has left a lasting impression.

jo robertson said...

Housemouse88, I sleep in sweats too. They're not very sexy, but they're scrunchy soft!

Terry, isn't Brenda just one of the nicest people in this industry? She's always so helpful to new writers and loves to chat with her readers.

Brenda Novak said...

Stacey Kayne always donates something cool. :-) And she blogs about the auction, too. Great person.

Brenda Novak said...

Waving to Terry! Thanks for dropping by to say hello!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Brenda! I knew you'd be joining us soon -- after you'd written a few pages, washed the breakfast dishes, run on the treadmill (or outside since it's so beautiful here in northern Cal today), and checked on the auction items!

Hey, hey, comfortable underwear. Don't forget I've actually seen you in it LOL!

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Beth--When coming up with a new story, I always start with the suspense conflict. Then I flesh out my characters and develop the romance conflict.

Time management...I wish I was better at this. I don't have trouble procrastinating. I have trouble stopping once I've started a project. I'm one of those compulsive workaholics. I've had to train myself to stop and smell the roses. The love I feel for my children has been the only thing strong enough to check that impulse. I've had to learn to juggle.

I do have one tip, though. Do whatever is most important to you first. If that's getting some exercise, get up and do it in the morning. If that's turning out X number of pages, get up early and get them done. The day seems to unravel as you go along, which makes it harder and harder to reach the goals we set the day before. Plan for that and do the important stuff first. Sounds easy, but it's made a huge difference for me.

Brenda Novak said...

Louisa--I have sort of an odd take on writing. I believe that most of it is done from the subconscious side of the brain. When I try to wrest too much control on the conscious side, I actually get in my own way. I sometimes know who the villain is (sometimes my reader does, too), but even for those where I don't know (as with WATCH ME), I don't map it out. I'm not a plotter. I have to let the story grow organically for me to be interested and excited about what I'm writing. That does mean I have to make a few nips and tucks at the end, but over all I'm constantly surprised by certain things I added early on that I had no idea I would need or could use later. My main conscious thought is, "How can I make this scene more interesting? Put more at stake?" I go from scene to scene that way and somehow when I pull everything together, with a little polishing, I have a coherent story--one that surprises even me.

I hope that makes some sense.... LOL

Cassondra said...

Welcome, Brenda!

Poo on Hugh's publicist, though I would likely pick Daniel Craig, Hugh is no slacker. ;0)

Thank you for all the work you do through your auction. I know this is a major undertaking, and I don't see how you get everything done. I haven't read through all the comments yet, but if it hasn't been asked, that's my question for you...how do you do it? The further along a writing career moves, the busier the writer gets. And yet you still have time to do this level of charity event and everything that goes with it, PLUS write and promote your books. How? Have you made adjustments? ARe you just naturally good at time management? What have you learned about how to fit it all in? Any tips are much appreciated. Oh, and then I notice you have time for family and trips to feed your muse as well. Good to know you keep the important things going too!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Christie!

Hi, CrystalGB, I loved Patricia Cornwell's earlier books too. The later ones sort of faded in quality for me, though.

Great questions for Brenda, Beth and Louisa.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Susan--I'm super bummed about Hugh Jackman's publicist blowing my lunch with him. LOL I think he owes me, too. :-)

Glad you're looking forward to the new books. I'm going to have some really great contests and stuff running until they come out, so check it out at my web site. For instance, Allison Brennan and I will be offering a trip to San Francisco to have dinner with us (and see the city) that includes hotel stay and airfare. It'll be advertized in the July RT.

Brenda Novak said...

p226--You crack me up. Go ahead and elaborate if you want. And Denise Richards? That sort of surprised me.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Jo--I haven't gotten that exercise in yet. Although I wish I'd taken my own advice and gotten up a little earlier to get to it.

Thanks for the warm welcome and the kind words!

jo robertson said...

Brenda, great advice about doing the important things first. That's what I try to do and it makes all the difference between if I'm satisfied or depressed at the end of the day.

jo robertson said...

LOL, Brenda, about the police thinking your daughters are beautiful -- as they are! I found that traveling with my three daughters gets us lots of extra attention LOL.

jo robertson said...

P226, had to laugh over Denise Richards. I first saw her in a movie called The Something Wild??? Anyway, she's probably got the most beautiful body on earth. Can't act so much LOL, but gorgeous.

So, we'll add Denise just for you!

Brenda Novak said...

Cassondra--My writing life has gotten progressively busier. Fortunately, that has happened as my children have grown progressively older. LOL Actually, the auction started to outgrow one person's ability to manage it two years ago. That's why I had to become my own non-profit and could no longer manage as a third-party fundraiser. I did the necessary paperwork so I could hire help and did so. I hired a part-time assistant last year who moved to full-time this year.

For those of you who haven't met my assistant, her name is Anna Stewart. She has done such an outstanding job with helping me get the auction loaded and ready this year. I couldn't have managed without her, not under my current deadlines. Jeannie Ruesch has also come on board and taken care of lots of technical issues and automation. They've both been indispensable.

And, if I have to be honest, I'm not doing much cooking or housecleaning. I've had to rely on my children and husband to help in those areas. My house isn't filthy--but it's not company ready, either. LOL I realize I have to pick priorities, and right now it's taking care of my kids (two had the flu this week--Uck!), raising money for diabetes and writing my books.

I asked Allison Brennan this same question when I interviewed her for an RT article that will be out in July, and I really liked some of her responses. She said her kids don't know if she's spent 10 minutes cooking or one hour, so she spends 10 minutes. LOL Most kids like simple fare, you know? I think we're the ones that believe it has to be fancy.

Brenda Novak said...

Jo--You hit it on the head. When I get up and get the most important things done first, I'm happy at the end of the day. If I don't...I don't feel so good. LOL I've started procrastinating my exercise, so that it's looming over my head all day. Definitely not the way to go. I've got to get that turned around again.

jo robertson said...

Okay, Bandita Buddies, fellow bloggers and readers, we're gearing up to announce the FIRST WINNER OF A $25 COUPON off Brenda's Online Auction.

The person's name will be imbedded in the blog somewhere, so you'll have to scroll through and check for your name in a few moments.

Good luck!

p226 said...

And Denise Richards? That sort of surprised me...

She's kind of cute in a vapid sort of way. Girl-next-door-ish.

I mean, she wouldn't win out over Elle McPherson or anything. Elle's just smokin.

But the choices you gave... well... they're um... dudes. And not that there's anything wrong with that or anything... P226 doesn't swing that way.

And now that you've called me out about elaborating on my boxer briefs, I'm not sure I want to. I didn't expect that. I mean, in this crowd? Nooooo, I think I'll let caution be the better part of valor.

But they are usually gray. Sometimes black. And kind of tight. For support you know. Not as restrictive as tidy whiteys. But they don't leave stuff just flippity flappin' all around willy-nilly like boxers.

Geeze, did I really type that?

jo robertson said...

Well, P226, glad you clarified that. You know, we can't all be good athletes, but we can be good athletic supporters!

And pul-leeze, Denise over Elle any day! Glad you don't swing the Daniel-Hugh way, though. I really like your manly presence in the Lair!

Tawny said...

Oh fun fun!! Hi Brenda and welcome to the lair :-) I love your auction and admire how much you bring to the writing and reading community.

I love the questions :-)

So -

1) Mexican. Anything spicy and vegetarian

2) Big roomy tee shirts

3) Mmmm, Hugh Jackman all the way!!!

4) JK Rowling *g*

5) Monterey

:-) Good luck with hitting your auction goals this year, Brenda!! And a huge whohoooooooo and congratulations on your RITA nomination!!!

Minna said...

Here's some more about Vappu:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpurgis_Night
http://www.finland.com/main-201-id.do

flchen1 said...

Hi, Brenda!! I'm so excited that it's almost time for your auction--you do so much good with this, plus we all get to shop :D I used it last year as a good excuse to add to my enormous TBR (not that I truly need an excuse... ;))

Hmm... my answers? Sushi (or ice cream, depending on the day); something comfy, although pretty is a bonus; Hugh, because he's all kinds of hot--I'm definitely sorry to see that his publicist messed up your best-laid plans!; Dave Barry, just for laughs; and whatever city I'm with my husband AND a good sitter :)

Congrats on the GR, Pissenlit, and hooray, Jane!

Thanks again, for visiting, Brenda!

flchen1 said...

And LOL, p226--wouldn't want anything flapping willy-nilly, now would we? Hee... (Sorry, I'm clearly showing my personal immaturity!)

Brenda Novak said...

LOL P226. Now there's an image I won't be able to get out of my head for a while.

What do you write? I hope its comedy.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Tawny--Great to hear from you! Thanks for all the kudos, and thanks for being one of my auction donors!! Everyone has been SO generous.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi flchen1--My TBR stack is enormous, too, but there are even more authors participating in the auction this year. Some of them are such big names I'm tempted to become a collector. LOL

Cheri2628 said...

Brenda, you always have the most amazing items at your auction. It must be so heartwarming to receive this kind of support from the writing/reading community. Will you also be holding raffles this year?

Cheryl

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, congrats on grabbing the rooster!

Brenda, welcome to the Lair and congratulations on the RITA nomination. The auction sounds wonderful, and I'll be checking it out. As for Hugh, I think we all wish he were in the auction. Hanging at SFF conventions has led me to think publicists sometimes insist on a distance and a lack of access their clients don't always like.

I do have a question for you. What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you were trying to make that first sale?

As for Jo's questions:

1. Spaghetti. Or chocolate
2. Nightshirt, preferably cotton
3. Hugh, definitely
4. Harper Lee -- wrote my all-time favorite ever book, which became my all-time favorite ever movie.
5. Yorkshire dales

Nancy said...

Jo, I also had gestational diabetes. Didn't have to take shots, though, thanks to paranoia about what I ate and a little luck in the metabolism department. All seems fine now, and the boy has no issues, so far as we know.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Cheryl--I'm extremely touched, and humbled, by the outpouring of support. :-)

Brenda Novak said...

I forgot to mention the raffles--Yes, I have four this year. These, too, are because so many people were telling me they wanted to win something but were afraid the prices would go too high. For a mere $20, the raffles provide donors a chance to win some amazing packages. Check them out. I just went over them this morning and thought, "Darn, I'd like to win these myself!" LOL

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Nancy--Thanks for the welcome. You pose a touch question. I knew NOTHING when I started. LOL I guess the answer to that would be: I wish I'd known about RWA. I'd finished my first manuscript and was trying to figure out how to shop it around when I first learned that there was an organization out there that provided tremendous support. I showed up at my first conference five months pregnant and not knowing a soul, but everyone was so kind. And I felt as if I'd hit the motherlode of opportunity and information. LOL That actually turned out to be true. I finaled in the Golden Heart that first year, got my agent and sold my first manuscript shortly after. But the during the five years previous, I'd been feeling my way through the dark.

Sometimes, however, it's better not to know. I didn't know how hard it is to get published, or I might not have tried. I didn't know there were so many out there with the same dream, or I might've felt I'd never make it. I didn't know that you don't make much money on your first book, or I might've realized that my endeavors weren't (at least initially) going to provide the living I needed. LOL So...not knowing is sometimes better. I didn't know that newspapers don't typically print articles about romance authors so I submitted press releases to The Sacramento Bee and the Salt Lake City Tribune and ended up with big pieces in both.

p226 said...

What do you write? I hope its comedy....


Hmm... what do I write. Letters. Emails. Blog comments. Graffiti on bathroom stalls. You know, something like "For hot love call 202-456-1414 day or night." (That's the number to the White House switchboard, BTW, as I figure at least SOME of my tax dollars should be spent to amuse me.)

A rare greeting card.

Forensic reports. Vulnerability reports. Occasional reviews of tactical courses or equipment. Congress. State legislators. My name in the snow.

Cassondra said...

P226 said:

they don't leave stuff just flippity flappin' all around willy-nilly like boxers.

Geeze, did I really type that?
Oh, yeah. You did. And I'm never going to let you forget it. (evil grin);0)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Morning Brenda and Jo. Well, it's my morning! Welcome back to the Lair, Brenda. We Bandits always love having you here.

Last year was the first year I got to be part of the Diabetes auction. I so wanted to win a trip somewhere, alas, my finances had me withdrawing early. But I still got to watch the Bandit basket's bidding. That was great fun!

OKay, my answers to the game:
1. Favorite Food: meatloaf...my recipe.

2. Favorite sleepware: pajamas and tee shirt, (shorts if it's summer and I'm expecting to be interrupted during my sleep by kids or workmen.)

3. Hugh or Daniel: I have to choose? Okay, Hugh, especially if he's all buff like in Wolverine!

4. Favotie non-romance writer: Robert Ludlum...but since he's dead, I've taken up reading Steve Berry.

5. Most romantic place: The Blue Ridge Mountains.

3.

Minna said...

1. Pizza
2. Nightshirt
3. Hugh Jackman
4. Arto Paasilinna, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, JK Rowling.
5. Helsinki


"Miss Spring":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwIgXd6avWY

Brenda Novak said...

p226--Those must be some entertaining reports. :-) And I think your congressman should be wildly entertained.

jo robertson said...

Yummy, Suzanne, meatloaf! Do you have a secret recipe you'll share? I love meatloaf and people hardly make it anymore; well I don't at any rate.

NO ONE'S going to let P226 forget that comment, Cassondra. Between his boys and our girls -- I'm just sayin' -- we might have to upgrade our rating on the blog. Evil laugh.

jo robertson said...

Thanks for the Vappu link, Minna. I'll check it out.

jo robertson said...

Hey, readers, we're gearing up for the next winner of the $25 Auction coupon and the winner hasn't weighed in on the first one!!

Check it out, everyone!

Anna Campbell said...

Pissenlit! Congratulations! You're on a roll right now, aren't you? Congratulations on winning a prize this week too!

Brenda and Jo, what a great interview. Thanks for visiting us again, Brenda. You know we all love you, especially since you gave the cabana boys your secret cocktail recipe!

I think what you've done with the diabetes auction is an amazing achievement. Always makes me think of the power of one person!

On a personal note, I'm doing a crit of three chapters and a synopsis as part of the fundraiser. Would love that to go to a Bandita buddy! Oh, and I'm throwing in a signed copy of Tempt the Devil as well so you've got something to do while you wait for me to get back to you ;-)

And the Bandit basket is amazing!!!!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Brenda! SUPER CONGRATS on your Rita nom, we'll all be hootin and hollerin for you at the awards ceremony!

And BIG THANX to Jo-Mama for interviewing you! I'm sure this year's auction will be a HUGE success!

AC

jo robertson said...

We now have TWO winners posted on the blog for the Auction Coupon.

Congratulations!

Brenda Novak said...

The trips are AMAZING, Suzanne. This year, the one I have my eye on is the week-long stay in Tuscany courtesy of author Tom Gabbay (who also has a child with Type 1). I would love to spend a whole summer in Tuscany. LOL

Pissenlit said...

Oh! I've never heard of this auction. What a great idea! Diabetes runs in my family.

Congrats, Jane!

Brenda, your books sound really good. I'll have to keep an eye out for them!

1. Fish and chips!

2. Cotton nightgown in the cold months(no buttons down the front! Drives me nuts when you shift and something gapes and you get draughts), t-shirt or tanktop in the warmer months.

3. Hugh Jackman...with some facial hair. Normally I'm not a huge fan of facial hair but I think he looks better with than without. I didn't like Craig as Bond...then again, I'm not sure I cared for any Bond after Connery...

4. Julie E. Czerneda...and Lois McMaster Bujold...oh and definitely Dick Francis...um...I'm going to stop now...

5. I'll get back to you on this one when I've found Prince Charming.

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Anna--I'm sure your critique will be a highly sought-after item. You write fabulous books. Thanks so much for contributing.

And I'm waving to Loucinda, my fellow chaptermate.

Brenda Novak said...

Pissenlit--I have a fun book trailer at my site. I actually have two for THE PERFECT COUPLE. One is in 3D. If you'd like some glasses so you can view it, just drop me an e-mail.

CrystalGB said...

Congratulations to Jane.
Thank you so much! :)

Cassondra said...

Brenda said:

This year, the one I have my eye on is the week-long stay in TuscanyOmygosh! What a trip! Think of the wine..and the scenery...and..well...the wine.

Pissenlit said...

Hee! I didn't think I'd get the GR this time.

Susan Sey- maybe he can do something about your blowdryer! Nooooo...the GR might break my preciousssssssss!('cause it's not broken right now, really, it isn't!)

Christie Kelley- Take good care of him. Oh, I will! I will name him George, and I will hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him.

Anna Campbell- Congratulations! You're on a roll right now, aren't you? Congratulations on winning a prize this week too! Ya, no kidding! *shifty eyes...whispers* I feel so bad! But uh, not quite bad enough to stop posting for awhile...

Pissenlit said...

Congrats, CrystalGB!

Brenda Novak - No...way! That is such an awesome idea! This, I gotta see. Email's winging your way via the form on your contact page! :)

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Brenda,

I also have participated in your Auction for several years and have
already been on site. Great items!

1. Mexican Food
2. Nice roomy gown with long
sleeves (I get cold!)
3. Hugh
4. Cheryl Kaye Tardif
5. I love Venice!

Pat Cochran

Suzanne Welsh said...

A trip to Tuscany, Brenda? Ooooooooooo that would be wonderful! I already speak enough Italian...

Pasta,
Manga
Magnifico

See? I'm ready to go!

Beth said...

I do have one tip, though. Do whatever is most important to you first.Thanks, Brenda! This is great advice and something I've been trying to incorporate. The days I get my pages done first and then workout before worrying about anything else, are the days I get the most done :-) I just need to stay on track!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ah, Jo...meatloaf was one of the few meals we didn't have to fight with our two youngest to eat, so I made it weekly!

1 lb of hamburger
1/2 pound of sausage
1/2 small onion minced finely
1 egg
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 tsp salt
extra fine bread crumbs
** secret ingredients---
2 tsp worstershire sauce
1/3 cup prarmesean cheese**

Mix thoroughly. Form into loaf and leave in bowl. Pour 1/3 cup 2% milk over meat and wait for bread crumbs to soak it up. Place in foil lined pan and cover with foil. Bake 1 hour on 325. Uncover, smooth 2 TBS ketchup over top and cook another 30 minutes.

Especially good the next day with mustard on whole wheat.

Helen said...

Jo and Brenda

Yes my hubby is doing well although the sugar levels often jump up and down. But all is good.

Congrats to Jane and Crystal I have been over to look at the items up for aution and there is some great items I have registered and there is one ARC that I would love by a certain Bandit who is known to crack a whip

Have Fun
Helen

donnas said...

Your series sounds great. I cant wait to read it.

I love the idea of the auction, I have had family memebers with various levels and a couple friends who had it too. And its great to see a cause like this getting some well needed support.

flchen1 said...

Suz, thanks for the recipe--that sounds completely yumola... might have to make that tomorrow!

Brenda Novak said...

Suzanne--That looks like a GREAT recipe. I've been hankering for meatloaf. LOL Now I gotta make it....

Brenda Novak said...

Helen--Glad you found that ARC category. Pretty cool, huh--to get to read your favorite author's book before it even comes out?

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks, Donnas. I hope you make it over to the auction.

I completely agree, Beth! I feel SO much better about life if I get my exercise and writing done first. I have more time to spend with my kids, I'm more enjoyable to be around, etc. Makes a big difference.

jo robertson said...

Time for another random winner for an Auction coupon. Heads up, everyone!

Ruth C. said...

I was lucky enough to purchase 5 items in last year's auction.

Love the opportunity to browse through the items and bid on them.

Of course, there are a lot of hig end item s that I would love to get, but I am definitely NOT married to The DONALD.LOL!!

Everything was received in a timely manner and in perfect condition.

I am anxious to bid on a number of items this year.!!!!

Everyone involved in the auction are polite and extreemly helpful.

flchen1 said...

Oh, Jo... the tension!

Is there a drumroll? ;)

Cassondra said...

Whoa, Suz, that meatloaf looks GREAT! I don't have a good meatloaf recipe.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Feel free to use it, everyone.

My husband once asked me why we had meatloaf every week.

I explained: "The same reason we have hamburgers and spaghetti, three meals we don't fight the two littlest to eat. Why?"

Him: "Oh, okay. I don't really like meatloaf, but if I have to eat it, yours is pretty good."

I took it as a complement.

p226 said...

Meatloaf?

What is it with meatloaf. I know like five guys including myself, who will ONLY eat their own wives' meatloaf.

p226 said...

Uh... I just realized how badly out of context that could sound. So for the record, I am not using "meatloaf" as a euphemism.

flchen1 said...

LOL, p226!

Definitely a compliment, Suz!

And congrats, Caren! Woohoo!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

(AC waves back at Brenda and winks at Helen!)

Yes, I too have donated a 30 page critique and would LURVE to see it go to a BB. And besides the fabulous Bandit Basket, I have a single autographed copy of The Wild Sight and an ARC of my Sept. release The Treasures of Venice, which I haven't even seen yet myself! ACK! I might have to bid on my own item! (just kidding)

Speaking of romantic places... we were weren't we?!?! I have to say ROME! Yes, yes, I know my new release is set in Venice but there's just something about Rome.

I also find Paris very romantic (though the graffiti bothered me on the last visit) and Maui.... I'm ready to go NOW!

AC

jo robertson said...

P226, ROTFLOL. Now for sure we'll have to redesignate the whoooo factor of our blog.

Seriously, though, I think meatloaf is one of those dishes that you really want to know what's inside it before you eat it. Sort of like Spam or vienna sausages.

Still time for two more winners, one for the Auction and one for an autographed copy of Brenda's Rita nomination STOP ME.

Christine Wells said...

Brenda, thanks so much for being with us in the Lair today. Jo, thanks for bringing Brenda to visit!

Congratulations on the RITA nomination, Brenda, and huge kudos to you for doing such a marvelous job with your online auction. Some amazing giveaways there.

Favorite food: Indian curry or choc chip cookies, can't decide.

Hugh or Daniel?: Daniel

Preferred sleepware: jammies

Favorite nonromance writer: Too many, but probably Margaret Lockwood

Most romantic spot: anywhere it's just the two of us.

Yay, Pissenlit! Have fun with the GR!

Gillian Layne said...

Oh, Aunt Cindy! An early chance to get my hands on Treasures of Venice...whoa, I see a big auction bill coming...:)

Suzanne, thanks for the meatloaf recipe. I love meatloaf! My Mom's is the best. It's all that baked ketchup on top and caramelized onions.

Is there a lawn mower in the auction? I think I killed our brand new one tonight. I managed one strip down the middle of our side yard and then the engine sputtered, smoked, and died. I could tell my dh was trying not to laugh on the other end of the phone. He has good survival instincts.

Cassondra said...

Christine Wells said:

Hugh or Daniel?: Daniel

WOOHOOO! Another vote for Daniel! I thought I was the only one. :0/

Cassondra said...

Brenda said:

When I get up and get the most important things done first, I'm happy at the end of the day. If I don't...I don't feel so good. Brenda, I'm this way too, and although I know it's true for me, I always seem to forget and start to let it slide. Thanks for this reminder.

And Pissenlit, forgot to say, congrats on the bird! He's been getting around lately.

Virginia said...

Thanks Suzanne for the meat loaf recepe. I will have to try this one. I have never put sausage in one before. I have always made my out of ground beef.

Brenda I have checked out your auction and you have some great stuff there.

jo robertson said...

The final winner of a $25 Auction coupon is coming up. Check out the blog again.

Sorry it takes so long, but my random number generator keeps choosing either me or Brenda -- uh, that won't work!

flchen1 said...

LOL, Suz! Gotta stop chatting so much ;)

Yay, Ruth! Now get out there and shop! :D Thanks again, Brenda!

Ruth C. said...

Checking in before checking email one last time and I was elated to see that I won.!!!

You can be sure that it will be used and in in this good cause.

Tomorrow and Sunday I will be going to a weekend fund-raiser that helps mentally challenged people. URS (United Rehabilitation Services) has had their weekend fling each year. There are tricky trays - food (really good food) - rummage sale - book sale - a bake sale (one lady donates some AWESOME baked goods, but they are gone in the blink of an eye; regular attendees wait for her to arrive each year.!!) and on Sun., an auction.

When someone says an event will benefit children or the disabled, I am a willing participant.

I work with 32 pre-schoolers every day and love my job.

I also have a slightly handicapped son and a granddaughter born with the lower half of her left arm missing. It is amazing what she does one handed.

Once again, TYVM and I will use it wisely.

HAVE A GREAT EVENING EVERYONE.!!!

Joan said...

p226 said: But they don't leave stuff just flippity flappin' all around willy-nilly like boxers.

Geeze, did I really type that?
Yes, you really did......and don't worry about the gray ones...a little bleach does wonders...

Joan said...

Brenda,

Sorry I missed out on your day. My mother had Diabetes and on MD orders I need to step up the exercise and lose some pounds or I'll be dealing with it to.

Good luck with your auction!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Ruth, so glad you checked back in to see your win. You deserve it!

Thanks for visiting today, Brenda!

Everyone, be sure to check out Brenda's Online Auction for Diabetes Research, which starts tomorrow, May 1.

Coupon Winners, congratulations. When you bid on your selected item, the final bid you make will be reduced by $25. Enjoy!

Check in tomorrow night to see who's won Brenda's giveaway book.

Helen said...

Thank you Jo and Brenda for another great day in the Lair congrats to all the winners

Have Fun
Helen

Pissenlit said...

Congrats to both Caren and Ruth C.!

Suzanne - Thanks for the recipe! I've never actually had meatloaf before.

Brenda Novak said...

Thanks, Ruth. I'm so glad that you've had a good experience. I keep telling my assistant that I'm determined to be the Nordstrom of nonprofits. LOL

Brenda Novak said...

Hi Gillian--No lawnmower, but now that I know you'd bid on one, let me see if mine is still running. LOL Seriously, before the auction starts, I go through everything I have to see if there's something else I can donate. LOL My kids are hanging on to anything they have that's new.

Brenda Novak said...

Congratulations, Ruth! Sounds like you have quite a day planned for tomorrow. Enjoy! I'll be glued to my computer screen, watching the auction. LOL

I had a wonderful time here in the lair. Thanks to everyone for making me feel so welcome. I wish you all health and happiness. Visit me at my web site sometime. :-)

Brenda

Jane said...

Thank you. Congrats to the other winners.