love you guys! Same time next year?<bg>
Outlet - Warren, MI
Thursday, June 15th, 2006
Once a year is not enough!
We love visiting these guys in Warren. From Annie
and Gay, owners of the Paperback Outlet, Barb and
Tee and their fams, to the fantastic readers' group
members, it always feels a bit like comin' home...
It was a pleasure meeting new Tori Carrington
readers Diane and Beverly!
Bad Barb on her best behavior with her beautiful
Lil' Gunner is definitely a hero in training!
Jeepers, creepers, where'd he get those peepers?
Kadeem, Barb, Tony, Theresa, Tabitha, moi
and Nataia strike a pose. (Looks like Barb's
a wee bit ticklish!)
Another try without the ticklin'. (Tabitha
made Tony this fantastic banana bread, and
Nataia wrote us a wonderful letter. Hugs,
Isn't Kadeem adorable in his new glasses?
Tabitha is a dyed in the wool reader. She
didn't even see me sneaking up to snap this
Stacy, Gunner, Kadeem and Jenni finding a
cozy spot between the bookshelves.
The gang's all here!
Let's see if I can get name everyone. From
left to right, back row: Deanna, Mike, Cel,
Yvonne, Marilyn. Middle: Mary, Gay, Tony and
Lynn. Front, Annie and Lisa.
I trade places with Gay.
thanks to the entire OCC/RWA
gang! We look forward to when our paths cross again in
& Tony Do LA...
Orange County Chapter RWA
Saturday, June 10th, 2006 - Brea,
When we were invited to
speak to the Orange
County Chapter of RWA (we're longtime,
long distance members), we jumped at the chance
for numerous reasons, the top one by far the wonderful
people with whom we'd get to spend extended time.
You see, we cross paths with fellow OCC
members often at various other events,
we inhale the group's fantastic monthly newsletters,
but this is the first time we've been afforded the
op to visit everyone on their home turf. And the
wonderful memories created as a result of their
warmth and generosity will be with us for a long
time to come. California's called
the Golden State. We long suspected
it was because of the sunshine. We now know it's
because of the people. Everyone was good as gold
and we very much look forward to our next visit.
We've been to the Los Angeles area before. We drove
Route 66 on our way out for the
in Anaheim in '98. But we hadn't seen a great deal
of the city beyond never-ending, packed highways
and marvelous Redondo Beach. This
time, we made a point of scheduling in an extra
two days to explore the area. And are we ever glad
We hope you enjoy our photographic journal...
I've gone my entire life without seeing a
hummigbird, yet here one not only nested outside
our hotel in Brea, but fed its tiny little
At the Brea Community Center
with OCC treasurer Sue Phillips,
program director Bobbie Cimo
(I think I'm going to buy her a whip to keep
wanderers like Tony in line<bg>) and
Julie Kim, publisher of Interludes.
Marvelous OCC membership chair Tina
Ralph welcomes a fellow OCC member.
Neff and Sandy Novy-Chvostal
lead off the festivities.
Pro pins awarded to those who have finished
their first manuscripts. Congrats, all!
Wonderfully effusive agent Kelly Mortimer
accepting a rose for publishing an article.
Bobbie, critique winner, and Sandy Robins.
Our warm thanks to Bobbie for not only taking
excellent care of us during our visit, but
for her great sense of humor and wonderful
Bearly Read Books owner Michelle
Thorne and her sister Barbara.
(Michelle's in the middle of saying "sex,"
you know, because not everyone likes cheese.<vbg>)
Reception at web editor's Marianne
Donley's lovely home in Corona.
I swear, they had to kick us out at the
end of the night. We enjoyed the Greek food
and fantastic company and beautiful environs
so much we didn't want to leave.
That's Marianne to the left,
Michelle to the right.
Sue, Kelly, Tina and Sandra.
Sandy and Mindy.
Swapping stories with Sandy and Mindy next
to the pool.
Sue, Bobbie, Cookie and Marianne (psst, don't
anyone tell Cookie she's not one of the girls!).
Bobbie took this shot of us next to the wonderful
pool and waterfall.
Breathtaking! And we didn't even get a shot
of the phenomenal view from the other side
of the pool. We watched coyotes hunt and hawks
A group photo!
Santa Monica Pier and the
surrounding beach wasn't quite what we expected.
Perhaps June Gloom was to blame, but I'm thinking
the homeless under the pier and here and there
on the beach injected a little too much reality
into what we expected to be paradise. Quite
a jarring contrast when compared to the high
end stores and restaurants and hotels at the
top of the cliff.
An Iraqi War memorial off the north side of
the pier was humbling and thought-provoking.
Now Manhattan Beach a ways
down the coast from Santa Monica
was quaint and beautiful despite June Gloom.
We meant to explore even more LA tourist hot
spots but once we discovered MB, well, we
ended up spending the majority of our time
there walking the historic cement pier and
window shopping at the surrounding shops and
strolling through neighborhoods alive with
More Manhattan Beach...
More Manhattan Beach...
More Manhattan Beach...
More Manhattan Beach...
Taking in the sunset on the Manhattan
Beach Pier (we also cheered on a
fisherman who appeared to have a big one on
the line, then lost it after a valiant battle.
A shark, Tony says. It had to be a shark.
Why am I thinking this is going to make it
into one of his speeches?).
Dinner at the Greek/Italian Old Venice
restaurant on Manhattan Avenue at 10th.
Greek food! You know, because it's not like
we eat Greek every day. But there are a few
items better eaten out than made at home.
We have no idea what was happening here (weren't
the summer Olympics two years ago in Athens?),
but he was holding a flame and was escorted
by officers with their sirens blaring so we
all clapped anyway.
Visit OCC's website by clicking here.
Wednesday, June 7th, 2006
Baklava in hand, we set out
to make our local appearance at the marvelous new
Borders store in Westfield Shopping
Village. Here are a few pics of the happenings.
Thanks to Borders reps Matt, Chris, and to everyone
who came out. For those who couldn't make it, Borders
is keeping the few remaining signed copies of Dirty
Metropolis and Seducing
McCoy on hand just for you!
Lovelies Joni Nofsinger, Rita Shake aka Shay
Lacy, MVRWA prez Barb Horvath,
Barb Nagel, and reader pals Riley and Marnie
strike a pose with us.
Matt Firlik sure knew his stuff. Thanks, Matt!
Greek compatriot Joyce came out for a
Visit Toledo's Holy Trinity Greek
Orthodox Church's website by clicking
Joyce and Maria. Both are involved with the
church and will be manning the cultural booth
at Toledo's Greek Fest September 8th-10th.
Mark the dates on your calendar now!
Riley and Marnie.
Tuesday, June 6th, 2006
We headed to the Columbus area
for tea with the wonderful Worthington Library
readers group. And what a great time we
had, too, thanks in large part to Monica Baughman,
her partner-in-crime Sara, and the rest of the fabulous
gang. Thanks for having us, guys! We look forward
to visiting with you again soon.
Times 25th Anniversary Convention.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Yes, because of deadline concerns, we arrived late for
this convention. But boy did we ever make up for lost
time once we arrived Thursday morning! Our son Tony
lives in Daytona Beach, so we got to mix a lot of pleasure
with business. Then again, don't we always? Here are
a few pics to whet your appetite.
to check out the full photographic journal.
to check out the full photographic journal.
May 12, 2006
It's hard to believe almost a year has passed since
our last visit with wonderful Christina Tomazini
and Tonya and the rest of the gang in the Dayton/Columbus
area. Christina brought a yummy batch of spanakopita
(she actually made it from our recipe in the back
Laundry), and served it alongside Tony's
baklava. Ah, yes. Every event should be this delightful...
Juicy Jenny, her daughter Emily, Partee Animal
Diane (look at that tan! I hate her ;>),
and sensational Sally. We love you guys!
thanks to Christina, Tonya, Sharon and to everyone who
came out on this rainy Friday night! Here's to seeing
you all again very soon.
Play Mystery Books
Westerville, Ohio - May 10, 2006
This was our first visit to Foul
Play Mystery Books and Gifts
for the Cat Lover. Owners John and Toni
Cross and their four resident felines are warm and
wonderful, and their readers group and customers
friendly and witty. We signed with fellow authors
Viets and Jane
Cleland and thoroughly enjoyed our visit to
this little oasis to introduce everyone to our Sofie.
thanks to Toni, John and Judy, and everyone who came
out. We hope you like our Sofie and that you enjoyed
Tony's Famous Baklava!
Novi, Michigan - Meijer Cafe
May 6th, 2006
was our second time at this fest and we somehow
managed to have even more fun this time around!
Of course, we have those we met to thank for that.
So thanks so very much to all the readers who
stopped, to Levy reps Kate Mirsky, George Tyrell,
Laurie and Nanette and to Meijer for taking such
great care of us...and for giving us special cause
Here we are with Laurie and Kate in front
of the booth.
George! (Next time a dinner at Greek Town
is on us. ;>)
Wonderful readers Linda and Dawn.
Patty and Andrea stopped for a chat.
That's Angie on the left. (Did I tell you
that we have a son we'd love to fix you up
Laurie, her daughter Mary, and her mom Marilyn
join Nan, Tony and George for a quick pose
for the cam. What a great bunch!
Pooh! (Being from Greece, Tony doesn't get
the very American pop culture icon, but I
made him pose anyway. lol)
Beats me what was going on in the booth across
the aisle from us, but boy did it look like
look forward to seeing you all again, hopefully very
Annual Festival of Mystery
Hosted by Mary Alice Gorman and Richard
Goldman of Mystery
Monday, April 24th, 2006
We decided to drive the four
hours to this beautiful area north of Pittsburgh
the morning of the signing. All the way in, Tony
kept saying, "Who in the hell is going to come
out on a Monday night?" The answer? Everyone
in a fifty mile radius, it seems, and quite a few
from even farther away than that. Seriously, this
was the single most successful event we've ever
attended on a weekday. Throughout the evening, Richard
interviewed a good number of the authors on hand,
and introduced others, as well as drew raffle tickets
for a slew of great baskets and gifts. We also got
a chance to catch up a bit with old bud Jenny
Crusie and her new cohort in crime writing Bob
Mayer, as well as meet countless wonderful others.
This was the Mystery
Lovers Bookshop's 11th annual fest
and our first. It won't be our last. Incredible.
There may be a few signed books available at the
store from your favorite authors. Go to http://www.mysterylovers.com
to place your order today!
Steve Zettler and Cordelia Biddle aka Nero
Mayer and Tony mingle at kick-off tea
hosted by the Allegheny Country Library Association.
We went all the way to Oakmont to meet someone
from Kentucky. Between Steve and Tony is Mark
Librarian Joyce joins us to mug for the camera.
The Theotokos Greek Church Hall was fantastic.
Over 50 authors were in attendance and more
than 350 people came out.
Kathy! (We look forward to seeing you at the
RT convention in Daytona, sweets!)
Here's Mary Alice Gorman, co-owner of Mystery
Lovers Bookshop, and Pohla Smith of the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Click here
to read Pohla's pre-event piece.
Heather and Mom! We had a great time visiting
Now you *know* we would have been very disappointed
had we signed at a Greek church hall and not
happened across any Greeks. Penny and Eugenia
come out to say hello and dish on Sofie. Filia!
Richard Goldman, Mary Alice's other half,
both in life and business, and fellow author
Isn't she precious?
may still be a couple/few signed books from us and the
other authors at the Mystery
Lovers Bookshop. Go to http://www.mysterylovers.com
to place your order now! And make sure
you keep posted for info on next year's festival.
warm thanks to Mary Alice, Richard, Sisters in Crime
and the staff and volunteers at Mystery
Lovers Bookshop. We look forward to our
paths crossing again very soon.
Lucas County Public Library
"Why Can't I Get Pulished?"
April 8th, 2006
This was our first solo library speaking appearance
locally and in all seriousness, we expected maybe twenty
people at most to turn out, many of them from the writers
groups to which we belong. To our surprise, the McMaster
Center was nearly filled to capacity, and there
were nearly a dozen other attendees at the Heatherdowns
Branch Library where our speech was being broadcast
via the library's impressive teleconferencing equipment.
We spoke for over an hour, took questions, then all
of us enjoyed Greek goodies provided by Manos'
We delighted in meeting other local writers and were
so engrossed with the experience we didn't remember
to get photos until everyone had gone home and we were
ready to leave. Our warm thanks to Andre Criner, Meg
Delaney and Susan Gibney of the TL, to our fellow MVRWA
members, and to everyone who came out. Here's wishing
you love and luck and success in all of your endeavors.
bud Rita Shake aka Shay
and Andre Criner.
Book Lovers Festival
Friday & Saturday, March 10th
& 11th, 2006
This was the inaugural Book Lovers Festival hosted
by Sue Cantrell of Around
About Books. If the weekend's events
are any indication of what future festivals will hold,
then we're all in for a real treat. Spectacular! Pencil
it in on your calendar for next year, March 9th and
10th. From great people to great food, this was a
great way to spend the weekend with great friends
close to home. We hope you enjoy our photographic
heartfelt thanks to Sue, Mike and Dave of Around
About Books, Espresso
Book Club members and the city of Troy
for their warm hospitality.
See you guys next year!
Saturday, February 11th, 2006
February 11th, 2006
Holland Branch Library
This was Maumee
Valley Romance Writers of America's second annual
Valentine's Tea and we think it's safe to say it
was a roaring success! Event organizer and immediate
past prez Nicole Jonsson, along with her gang of
merry helpers, did a fantabulous job. Kudos, guys!
Visit the chapter's site at http://www.mvrwa.net
for more info.
This was our second annual Tea and the turnout
was at least twice that of last year's event,
if not more!
Here we pose with Lucy aka Margaret, a reader
and a poet in her own right.
Diane Knerr demonstrating what Punxsutawney
Phil did last week.
Gorgeous Jennie Moning chatting with bookseller
Prez extraordinaire Barb Horvath.
Tony posing with Janet and Bill Rau and Lesly
A Tony sandwich with Rita Shake aka Shay
Lacy and friend!
Joy Seman and Denise Koch aka Denise
Lynn chatting with attendees.
"You do know that Cupid is just another
example of the many things the Italians stole
from the Greeks, don't you? His real name is
Eros and he's much more handsome than this fat
The MVRWA gang! Left to right: Elizabeth
Vaughan, Nicole Jonsson, Tony, moi, Janet
Rau, Diane Knerr, Jennie Moning, Rita Shake
Lacy, Denise Koch aka Denise
Lynn, Barb Nagel, Barb Horvath, Lesly Blanton,
and Joy Seman.
Missing -- and much missed! -- are Brenda Garvin,
Dec, and Tracy Ritts.
Next year, same time, same place?
Soaking up the...rain?
Saturday, February 11th, 2006
Rays of warm sunshine were what we were supposed to be soaking
up during our trip to Cocoa Beach, Florida
for this year's STAR
Conference. Instead, it rained from the moment
we drove over the state border and didn't stop until Sunday
when, of course, it got cold. Oh well. I guess after the
past two conferences of picture perfect weather (actually,
warmer than usual) we were due for a reality check. After
all, not even Florida can be warm and sunny all the time.
Thankfully the rain dampened our spirits not at all because
we basked in the warm rays of friendship instead. From using
our cell phones as walkie-talkies with Terri and Mike on
the way down (Name That Movie: "We got cows"),
getting lost (okay, so the woman who lives in Mike's GPS
knew where we were at all times - I think), to tweaking
the gorgeous cheeks of our son Lil' Tony and spending time
with great friends, well, we'd definitely count this outing
as one for the memory books.
Cocoa Beach, Florida
We love attending this biennial conference for myriad
reasons, one of the top being, well, that it's held
in Florida in February when winter blows the coldest
up here in NW Ohio. But over the years we've also
made some great friends, solidified friendships with
others, and our older son Tony has made Florida his
home, making this conference more like a vacation
for us rather than a working trip. Two musts are Leslie
& Bruce Kelly's Sunday night dinner and a
visit to Meg O'Malley's in Melbourne, both done with
longtime buds Terri
& Mike Medeiros (thanks to Terri for the pics
from Les & Bruce's!). Hope you enjoy perusing
our photographic memories!
Not pictured and top on our list of people
to track down next time (you know, when we get a higher
capacity disc - ugh) are Jenny
Bent of Trident, Roxanne St. Clair and the Romance
Divas among others.
May the next two years fly by!
Rollin' on the River...
Sunday, November 13th, 2005
Writers on the River Book Fair is an annual
event at the Monroe
County Library that we always love to take
part in because it gives us the chance to catch up with
area authors, chat with fellow readers, and visit with the
library staff and Friends. Michelle Swartz of the Monroe
Evening News called and talked to Tony before the
big day. Click here
to read her delightful piece.
Warm thanks to Heidi McCraw, head of collection services,
for having us up -- again! -- and to everyone who helped
arrange this wonderful event and the many who came out to
Here are our photographic memories:
on the River Book Fair
Sunday, November 13th, 2005
Okay, on three...
Sunday, October 30th, 2005
Okay, on three, everyone take a nice, deep breath. Notice
the scent of freshly fallen leaves on clean, crisp air.
Look at the brilliant yellows and reds. Feel autumn slide
over your skin. Hold it...hold it. Now slowly release. Ahhh.
That's exactly the sensation we experienced this weekend
while visiting editor and dear friend Brenda Chin and her
husband Jim in Canada. They have the coziest little cottage
on Georgian Bay and create an atmosphere bursting with warmth,
friendship and laughter.
We always thoroughly enjoy ourselves when we travel north
of the border. Brenda and everyone at Harlequin are always
more than friendly, helpful and generous. From catching
up with those we know, to meeting those we didn't, and
being spoiled with delicious meals at wonderful restaurants
shared with great company...well, it's all we can do to
stop ourselves from not going up every weekend.
Thanks, guys! Here's looking forward to when our paths
will cross again...
Schmoozing the local press...
Wednesday, October 16th, 2005
Marvelous Erica Blake of The
Toledo Blade stopped by for a visit along
with paper photog Jeremy Wadsworth. We thoroughly enjoyed
meeting and talking with them both. And, of course, we
sweetened 'em up with baklava, resulting in a wonderful
piece that ran on Wednesday, October 16th.
to check out the online version!
Isn't Erica gorgeous?
Life is like a tuna casserole
October 8th, 2005
Okay, something is slightly off here. I mean, when you think
of binge food, double-chocolate chip cookies, Godiva and
black forest cake usually pop to mind. Or at very least
Oreos. You know, something sweet and decadent and forbidden.
Something guaranteed to pack unneeded and unwanted pounds
onto my already inordinately large ass.
When, then, did I polish off half a pan of tuna casserole
over the course of two hours while reading through the copyedit
of Dirty Laundry? The answer? It was there. And, like Chinese
food, twenty minutes after eating it you're ready for more.
And since it was such a large casserole, well, no one would
really notice, would they?
Yeesh. Is there such a thing as a tuna high? And why would
I want to gorge myself on this ordinary dish that, while
delicious given Tony's inventive cooking skills, isn't worth
the trouble it brings? Or the extra five miles I'll have
to huff and puff my way through in order to burn it off?
Ugh. Now I'll have to pass on some really binge-worthy fare
because of my momentary tuna weakness.
Where's my Deepok Chopra CD? And just where, exactly, did
I put my favorite sweatshirt so I don't freeze subject ass
off during my walk?
L - exasperated...and mysteriously still drawn to the rest
of the casserole downstairs =;0
September 26th, 2005
Ah, yes. It's always interesting the way fate works. The
only official appearance on our fall promotional schedule
was a gig with Georgia Sarianides of Cooking
with Georgia fame and her gorgeous daughter
Despina in Conneticut. Then from out of the blue our publisher
Forge invited us to appear at the Midwest
Booksellers Association's Annual Trade Show
in St. Paul, Minnesota on the same weekend. So we sent Georgia
our regrets along with copies of SOFIE
and we flew out to St. Paul.
From what we understand, the Twin Cities has had its share
of bad weather lately. From severe thunderstorms and even
tornadoes, the unusual weather fronts have caught the residents
off guard and were even the cause of some flash flooding
during our visit. Rain kept us from getting out and exploring
the environs east of Ole Miss, but we did cover every inch
of the indoor five-mile long St. Paul Skyway Saturday night,
which was a little eerie because all the connected businesses
were closed and -- aside from a great guard at US Bank with
whom we chatted and who provided us with a map of the Skyway
-- the walkway itself was deserted. But we had fun, nonetheless!
How can you not with Tony by your side?
While we know we would have had a fantastic time with Georgia
and Despina, we had a great time in St. Paul meeting associates
and attendees of the MBA, meeting Holtzbrinck rep Tom Leigh
and publicist Dot Lin, and fellow author Adam Stemple. Check
out the pics!
September 25, 2005
St. Paul Minnesota
Our many thanks to Forge and Dot for making this the perfect
way to spend the weekend!
L&T :> ;>
Our kind of people
September 1, 2006
While we had sporadic Internet access during our Baklava
Express Tour, we still had tons of email to bulldoze our
way through when we got home. And one piece was cause for
special smiles. You see, we met Kelle Riley at our signing
in Naperville, IL (near Chicago), and she...well, she instantly
felt like an old friend. So we were pleased that she was
not only an RWA Golden Heart finalist, but that she planned
to do her Reno conference experience up right by renewing
her vows with her dh. Just look at this pic!
We know that great things can't help but
happen for this true redheaded dynamo! We look forward
to posting more great news from her in the months to come.
Until then, look up the three offerings Kelle has at Echelon
L&T :> ;>