You say anime, I say manga…

So, yesterday was interesting!

I found out that a Japanese publisher is interested in putting out one of my past releases (THE CINDERELLA RULES…still available everywhere and the kick-off book to the 4-book “fairy godmother series”) in comic book/graphic novel form! How wild is that? I’m very excited to see what they’ll do with it, and how they’ll transform it…but apparently I’ll have to be patient as the process from this point to publication can take as long as 4 years. !!! I guess they do have a lot of drawing and conceptualizing to do…

And of course, intrepid Blog Babes, I will share it all with you as it happens!!

In the meantime, thanks for helping SIMON SAYS fly off the shelves this week! You guys rock! Also, SOME LIKE IT SCOT is doing very well and all your word-of-mouth is certainly helping. A special shout out of thanks to those of you who go the extra mile and post on Facebook, tweet about it, and (super hooray!) post very kind reviews on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. My publishers love those last two, so your support there and the time you take to post things like that mean a great deal to me. I have the best Blog Babe readers anywhere!!

Don’t forget, last week to enter the JUST FOR GRINS contest! Winners announced this Friday. See Monday’s blog post for the entry details. I am collecting quite the photo gallery!! I should put an album together. It’s been such a kick seeing all the shots you guys are sending in (from all over the world, even!! Tres coolness!)

I’ve been asked to “sneak peek” the winner’s prize…what advance reading copy is it? Well, okay…drag it out of me!! Winners will get the full trade paperback set of TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT, KISSING SANTA CLAUS, , and the final in the trilogy, not out until this October – THE NAUGHTY LIST!

My stories in these three anthologies are all connected and this will give you the complete story arc. You’ll also get a copy of SIMON SAYS tossed in, you know...Just For Grins! (I told you to think multiple books!) Of course, if any of the winners already have any of the above titles, you can sub in any other title you wish.

So…what are you waiting for? Get those book snap shots sent in and get yourself in the running!

Happy reading…and happy picture taking!!

Simon Says…

No, I’m not starting a game of Simon Says… I’m announcing the release of SIMON SAYS!! It should be landing on shelves right this very second, so I hope you get the chance to check it out! This month is the “bestsellers” month for HQ Blaze as part of their anniversary celebration, and I was happy and honored to be asked to be part of that. And if you like their “Wrong Bed” sub-series…it happens to be one of those, too! Bonus!

About SIMON SAYSRT Book Reviews gave it 4 stars and called it “…amusing and very sexy…”

I hope you think so, too! :)

Contest time! This is the last week for you to get your JUST FOR GRINS contest entries in. To enter, just send a picture of any of my books on the shelves at your local store/airport/grocery/etc, with or without your smiling face involved, to donna@donnakauffman.com with Just For Grins in the subject line. No, I don’t have to post them in the blog for them to be valid, but if you’d like to see them here, please let me know you don’t mind seeing them here! I won’t post without permission. This Friday, I will pick three entries, each of whom will win a multiple-book prize package (that just might include an advance copy of a certain book coming out this fall….. Just sayin!)

We’ll resume the Free Stuff Friday contest next week after all the fireworks and such!!

Ooh, and don’t forget there’s a booksigning coming up! I’ll be signing both SOME LIKE IT SCOT and SIMON SAYS at Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, MD on Saturday, July 10 starting at noon. This is in celebration of their 15th anniversary and promises to be a blowout! Our favorite redhead, Nora Roberts, will also be signing that day, along with Loretta Chase, Mary Blayney, Jocelynn Drake, and Diane Whiteside.

Can’t attend but want signed books anyway? Turn the Page is conducting a “virtual” signing along with the real deal, which means you can hop over to their website here and advance purchase the books you’d like signed…we’ll sign them for you that day, then they’ll be shipped right to your door. Can’t beat that deal! You can even tell us what you’d like us to say. (And if that isn’t encouragement enough, don’t forget The Creamery right around the corner – best frozen custard on the planet. I’m especially partial to their dreamsicle version. Mmmm! (They just think I come there to sign books….)

Hope to see some of the Blog Babes in attendance!

Free Stuff Friday!

But first! In a move that didn’t really surprise anyone, the judges on SYTYCD send home Cristina. The only part about that I didn’t like was that they had the chance – AGAIN – to send home Melinda, and didn’t. But her turn comes a week from now. She lands there three times in a row, they gotta do it. Which means everyone else is essentially safe next week.

And, Melinda, honey, when Nigel tells you he wanted to send you home and that America just isn’t connecting with you, then saves you? Yeah, you might have wanted to, oh, I don’t know, turn to Cristina – who now knows she’s been cut – and show at least a modicum of respect or acknowledgment for her abrupt dismissal at your expense, instead of smiling smugly and strolling off the stage. Just sayin. Enjoy your last week on the show.

In other news, two things: One, YAY!! Welcome back to the SYTYCD stage Brian Gaynor. I loved your crew, Remote Control, and thoroughly enjoyed your routine. Watching him always makes my heart happy. And thank you also for FINALLY figuring out how to get me to watch the weekly musical guest – have them sing while the All Stars are dancing! More of that please.

Oh, and Robert landing as the third in the bottom three was a teeny bit surprising, but I’m glad they didn’t send him home in some kind of misguided affirmative action move. Still, Adechike? You’ve got some luck there! And Robert, if you have to dance for your life again? I hope you bring it, because that was miserable.

Now on the the fun stuff! Free Stuff Friday!! Even with all the Just For Grins contest entries rolling in, you all managed to get your entries in for this, too. The winning blog babe for this week’s contest is? Helen L!! Congratulations, Helen! Please send me your address and a few picks from my website bookshelf (in case I’m out of your first choice) and I’ll get your prize in the mail to you.

I want to thank you all for your lovely and kind notes about the loss of my faithful little canine companion this past week. Scamper and I both thank you! Tune in next week for another Free Stuff Friday contest, news about my new release, SIMON SAYS (which I hear is sneaking onto the shelves already, so go check it out!) and more entries in the Just For Grins contest. It’s the final week coming up! (See Monday’s blog post for entry details, then grab your stealth camera and get out there!)

But, in the meantime? DISH!!

Oh, I think they can dance…

First, a shout out to my late blog post of yesterday. Scroll down and check out the new cover and copy for OFF KILTER!

Okay…so, clearly I am not a dance judge, nor should I ever be, because last night it was all about the entertainment for me on SYTYCD. Dance steps? Proper choreography? Who cares? I did enjoy every performance in some way, but some stood out for me…and they weren’t always the most technically danced routines.

I was enthralled with Alex and Lauren’s Broadway Fosse routine, and though I could absolutely understand the judges critique of Alex, and doubly didn’t mind they came down on him as it will keep the tongue-bath backlash from happening after last week…but speaking purely for myself? I loved it. I was amazed, again, at his synchronicity ability with his partner, especially given he gets a new one each week. I loved how he flew through the air during that routine, and will even respectfully say that I don’t think Tyce choreographed it to be sinewy and Fosse-like, so not exactly sure where he’d have done that anyway. I appreciated how intently he took their critiques, as if eager to apply new knowledge and soak up more new information. Which he confirmed by what he said to them. He’s still my number one.

But, in a strong, so strong tie for the key to my heart, is Kent. I know some folks are all done with his country boy-from-the-farm antics. Me? I will never tire of it. He’s just too damn cute, and too damn sincere and having way too damn much fun. Adore. Him. And I really, really loved his jazz routine last night. A lot. In fact, I wondered if the judges, from their vantage point, could see how expressively he was attacking his role (and Courtney) because I thought he became a young, fierce man-on-the-prowl during those few minutes and I was buying it completely. There were only three routines I went back and watched over again. And this was one of them.

The other one? Was Jose’s Bollywood. Now, I know he was all over the place in that one, but I didn’t care. Exactly like Kent’s cha cha last week, this was infused with so much joy and charisma, I just completely and utterly enjoyed every second of it. Twice. Yes, I would have enjoyed it more had he gotten this routine a few more weeks in, but wow, that was fun, and he totally went for it. I’m not his biggest fan, but he was in my top three in terms of entertainment last night.

In other news… I felt that Lauren really stretched herself, though I wasn’t all over the routine itself. I thought that Adechike tried to stretch himself, but that the routine sort of limited him. He could be in trouble. I didn’t get, at all, why they were fawning all over Melinda, who I thought looked exactly like a tapper trying to do contemporary. I thought it was gawky and awkward all over the place.

And as much as I love Pasha and Doble in the same sentence, in terms of actual skill, I thought both he and Cristina looked a little shaky, though I enjoyed the performance well enough. Same with Ashley and Mark. They brought the pretty, but left me feeling pretty much nothing when it was said and done. Then Robert had all the smoldering looks, but their Argentine tango was so frenetically choreographed, it looked like even Anya was having a hard time selling it.

And, finally…Billy B. Buc. Just…no words. I was proud of him, because that? Was never going to be good, much less buc, no matter how many weeks into the competition it came. I liked that Comfort came to his defense (I like that many of the all stars defended their partners) and I even was pleasantly surprised that he brought as much to krumping as he did, but wow, that kid deserves a break next week. I hope he gets it.

All in all, another entertaining week and I’m still loving this season. That said, they need to give Mandy “always the same routine” Moore and Tyce a break for a few weeks and branch out a little with the choreographers. And stop picking on Travis, Nigel. At least he’s interesting more often than not.

As to the Bottom Three…could be a tough call this week. For me, not on skill, but just on overall “did they make me care”…I’d definitely put Melinda there again. I don’t know that Cristina is really showing us anything all that interesting, though I otherwise like her well enough. And…either Adechike or Ashley. Both beautiful dancers, but neither of them are moving me personally. Going home? It would be Melinda for me.

What about you? Have you entered the Free Stuff Friday contest this week? See Monday’s post. Did you watch last night? Who do you think is going home? Who was your favorite? Let’s DISH!!

Sneak Peek!

Fun news! The cover art for my January 2011 release, OFF KILTER, showed up in my in-box. So, naturally I’m going to share it with you guys!

Here’s the back cover copy:

FIRE DOWN BELOW

Brash entrepreneur Roan McAuley has no problem getting naked. But being the only one in the room dropping kilt and giving plenty isn’t his idea of fun—even if it’s for the “Men of the Highlands” calendar and a good cause. However, getting feisty photographer Tessa Vandergriff all hot, bothered, and hungry is proving irresistible…even though she’s not his type. And even if the sizzling attraction between them is changing everything this roguish playboy thinks he knows about lust…and love.

Praise for Donna Kauffman and Her Novels

“Give me more.”
—Linda Howard on THE CHARM STONE

“Whimsical and sexy.”
—Jennifer Crusie on YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND

Also, more entries in the Just For Grins contest! (See Monday’s blog post for entry details!)

Tune in tomorrow for all the SYTYCD MAC that you can stand. Can’t wait to see how everyone does tonight! I hear that Billy gets Krump and Alex gets Broadway. Should be interesting!

Free Stuff Friday contest and more Just For Grins!

It was a difficult weekend (see post below) but this is a new week, the sun is shining…and I think that means it’s time for a new contest!

But first, here are a couple entry highlights in the Just For Grins contest. You have been great (and creative!) in sending in your entries. You’re all entered! Thank you for allowing me to post some of them. Pat and Kirsten are today’s featured Blog Babe entries!

If you want to get in on the action, just send a picture featuring a picture of you holding up any of my books (or just a shot of the books, for you shy folks out there!) and send it to donna@donnakauffman.com with Just For Grins in the subject line. Posted to the blog or not, you’re in! Contest runs until the end of the month, with three winners announced on July 1. Multiple book prizes to the winners! So, whaddya waiting for? Grab your cell phone stealth camera and get to your nearest Borders!

On to Free Stuff Friday! This week, send an email to donna@donnakauffman.com with “I need a hot read for a hot month!” in the subject line. One lucky Blog Babe chosen from all the entries and announced in Friday’s blog! WInner gets a free book from my website bookshelf.

Good luck to all with both contests!

RIP my little Big Guy…

Saying good-bye isn’t easy, but I’m so glad you’re in a better place. You were a faithful companion for twelve years and a real little trooper. Rest in peace, Scamper…and have a good time up there!

Thank you, Paul & Rhonda, for your kindness, your generosity, your animal loving spirit, and your friendship. All of them mean more to me & Scamp than you could possibly know.

Free Stuff Friday!

Before we get to this week’s winners and more Just For Grins contest entries, let’s talk SYTYCD Results Show, shall we?

I was underwhelmed with the opening number. I think Wade spoiled me with his David Bowie opener last week, but this just looked like a lot of prancing about in gold lame to me, with the occasional odd solo thrown in. I did find the Twyla Tharp number really powerful, but given how strong and muscular and tall the woman was, I wish she’d had a like-matched partner, because she was almost too raw and masculine in comparison for the push me-pull you dynamic to be fully believable. But, that said, it was a powerful piece. Can’t say the same for Usher or Bieber, which I ff’d my way through.

So, the first set of results, with Alex, Kent, and Lauren, really showed just how bonded these kids are, and how totally freaked out they are by the magnitude of what they’re trying to accomplish. I thought they were going to either collectively faint or throw up, the stress was so clearly etched in their beings. So it was really rewarding to experience their own crush of relief when they were all announced as safe.

Then, to the surprise of no one, there were three girls in the bottom this week. The only surprise of any level for me was that Alexie landed there along with Melinda and Cristina, and not Ashley. Even more surprising was that, of the three, Melinda wasn’t the one taking a hike. But then, I thought, no, they’e not sending home their only ballroom girl, or their unique tap dancer. So….Alexie, the contempo girl is out. In the bigger picture, it doesn’t really matter, as they’re all going to exit, one after the other, anyway. Lauren might be the last out, but it will eventually come down to the guys. As it should. They are what’s making this the season to watch, and I am thrilled they’re being paired with All Stars so they can push themselves that much harder, and not be dragged down by the female contestants. I wish I loved the girls more, I do…but given the talent we ended up with this season, it’s the guys I’m tuning in for.

Someone made an interesting comment about if we send all the girls home, does that mean the male All Stars will stop appearing on the show. I’m thinking there is no reason you can’t have Twitch and one of the male contestants doing hip hop, etc etc… So, perhaps Pasha will find himself partner-less here in a few weeks, but I’m hoping their not ruling out same-sex pairing in some of the routines, as they’ve done in the penultimate episodes in the past. With this corral of talent, it could spawn some really great performances.

Mostly….I just can’t wait until next week!!

On to Just For Grins… My cousin Di had to get in on the fun, in her own particular way. Love it! Check it out….

Starting the latest Donna Kauffman book….

Then, by the end….

Thanks for the grins, Cuz!! xoxoxo Keep the contest entries coming everyone!

On to the Free Stuff Friday giveaway. Lots o’ entries this week. One winning Blog Babe…. And that would be? Stephanie G!! Woo hoo! Congratulations, Stephanie!! Send me an email with your mailing address and a few choices from my website bookshelf (in case I’m out of your first choice) and I will get your prize in the mail.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. See you back here Monday, with more MAC, more Grins, and another Free Stuff Friday contest. In the meantime….you know what to do. DISH! Who goes home next? Did you agree with Alexie going out? Who are your faves?

They can dance! They just can’t film it very well.

So You Think You Can Dance? Absolutely. So You Think You Can Position the Camera’s Right? Not so much.

So, the first night of competition was also the first time they’ve done the performance show live. (Usually just the results shows are live.) And the lack of editing ability showed. Not one minute in and we’re already missing the dancer’s intros, some are off the screen entirely. It was really, really…not good. Definitely got better as the performances themselves started -thank God – but they couldn’t have been much worse, so that’s not a huge compliment.

I’m all excited to see if they live up to all the pump and hype. The format will be one contestant paired with one all star, then the contestant only comes over to be judged. In some cases, I am as excited to watch the all star perform as much as the new kid on the block. In some cases, more.

That wouldn’t, however, but the case with the first up. Billy is paired with Lauren (all star, not current contestant, though I’d love it if it were.) They get a Tyce Broadway routine to Footloose. Billy definitely can keep up with the frenetic choreo and it was a good opening. Like Mia, though, I’m looking forward to something less childlike for him and soon.

Next was Cristina, paired with Mark. He would be one I am very interested in seeing again. And he definitely doesn’t disappoint. Afraid the same can’t be said for Cristina. They get a Sonya contemporary routine that is supposed to embody the feel of a snake, and you’d think with Cristina’s salsa background she’d be able to writhe with the best of them. Turns out, not so much. I completely disagree with the judges on that – I thought she was stiff and not at all fluid. She hit her poses, but the transitions I thought were really off. Maybe they’re just trying to pump the girls so they’re not first off the island. It’s not going to help. Just sayin. Not with this line up of guys. For me, Mark completely outclassed her in both performance and skill. And while I get that he’s the all star here, she really came up short with this. And since the all star’s return isn’t predicated on her getting votes, I don’t think Mark will help her out there, either. He’s back either way. And from this routine, he’s the only thing I want to see again. Sorry, judges. Sorry, Cristina.

We get Jose next, paired with Comfort and NappyTabs for hip hop (um….not exactly out of his comfort zone here…hmm….coincidence?) I liked the “floaty” feel to the opening part. After that, it was a little hit or miss choreo wise in terms of excitement and wow factor, though they both did a great job. But then….duh.

Adechike is up next, paired with Kathryn, for a Travis Wall contemporary routine. I’m in! I thought Kathryn was ridiculously great in this. Wow. Adechike just basically had to show up. And he did. It’s his genre, too, so no surprise that he did well. Loved the effect of her throwing the papers up, then dancing as they floated down around them. Really enjoyed this. But then, I tend to heart all of Travis’s work. Nice job. Odd interpretation of the song Addicted to Love. But two enthusiastic thumbs up on the routine. Agreed with Nigel on emotion from Ade. Harsh, Mia, but, alas, true. Glad Adam brought the balance.

Melinda is up next. I wasn’t in love with her during Vegas, but she did a great job in the intro performances last week. So…I’m more interested to see what she has to give now. She gets Pasha (mmmmm) and a Melanie and Tony jive routine. Okay, that’s a kickass routine with the most kickass pro she could get and I thought she hung in there amazingly well. The camera work, frankly, sucked. Show. Their. Feet. It’s a jive. Sheesh. But what she lacked in technique, and there were a lot of mistakes, she did make up with personality, which I’m sure she draws on her tap background for that. It was a remarkably challenging routine to start with. All in all, a surprising thumbs up from me. (For cannon fodder.) Pasha, of course, gets both thumbs up. Amongst other things. :)

YAY! Alex is next, Alex is next! (I might be slightly, just slightly, biased.) YAY, Alex is next! !!!!!!!!!! And he can sing, too? I heart him. And way to show them that you won’t take the Danny “Has No Personality” edit. Have they met you? Loads of personality. Loads. Outdone only by the ridiculous level of talent you possess. He gets paired with Allison (yay!) for a contemporary routine from Sonya. This is going to be stunning. He is going to be stunning. And…what did I tell you? WOW. They were so in sync. That was gorgeous. He is gorgeous. How ridiculous is he? SEE??? There is so much pleasure and joy to be had in watching him dance.

I could happily end here. But? We have more dancers. I can rewind and rewatch later. And, I will.

Up next is Alexie and Twitch with a NappyTabs hip hop. Alexie is a Laker Girl, so she should do well here. And I enjoy Twitch, so should be fun. A complete change up from what we just experienced, which is also a good thing. She was total Laker Girl and Twitch was all Mr. Charisma and it was fun. Good chemistry. Cute. Doesn’t rock the house down, but definitely passable. She won’t be fodder for a few more weeks, at least. I think it will be Lauren and her lasting the longest for the girls. We’ll see!

Speaking of…Lauren is next, paired with Ade to a Mandy Moore contemporary. Okay, confession time…I love Oh Yeah by Yello. Love. So…they better DO THIS. I loved the choreo. Really innovative. And she has the technique chops, fo sho. But, like Alexie, her beaming grin came across more cutesy cheerleader than sultry seductress. Not as much chemistry as needed. Still, I really enjoyed watching this. Very entertaining. I hope she sticks around.

Three left…next up is Kent. Yay! I adore this kid. I hope he shines, because, next to Alex, his journey is the one I’m most interested in being a part of. Now, he gets a Melanie and Tony cha cha. With Anya. I know, right? Yowza. That’s a Mrs Robinson set up if I ever saw one. I’m intrigued. And little scared for him. Let’s see how this is going to go. Aaaaand, about like I thought. HA! This is so adorable. Of course, it needs to be hot and sexy. Which it has no way of being. And? I don’t think I’m going to care. I just want to pinch his cute, country cheeks. Okay, so watching this is too, too much. In a good way. This is what Ade’s routine should have been, because if anyone is looking like they’re living out their hot woman fantasy, it’s Kent in this routine. HA!! I love it. He’s nailing this! How adorable is he? Screaming charisma from every little hormonal pore of his body. Is anyone having more fun than this guy? I think not. I’m going to LOVE this season.

Ashley (aka Cannon Fodder) is up next. (Crazy voices? That’s all you got? ::shaking head::) And other than coming up after Alex, Kent would be the other person you don’t want to perform after. So…yeah. She’s toast. And then she gets Neil for a Tyce contemporary routine? So….we’ll see. She fully commits, I’l give her that. But, otherwise, it was just….nice. I mean, I can’t pick apart the routine or the performance, but it doesn’t move me to care about her. Something is too…generic contempo girl for me. Shrug. We’ll see. But, for me? Compared with the field? Cannon fodder it is. She rescues herself somewhat with her candid confession about being in love…so perhaps a one week reprieve?

We get Robert next. He’s gorgeous. So, I hope to fall in love with him. Hey, you can join me in the shallow end of the pool. The water is fine. Pass the umbrella drinks, would you? He get’s Courtney and a strong Sean Cheesman African Jazz routine. Intriguing! So, I was never a big Courtney fan during her season, but I couldn’t help but watch her in this, at least in the beginning. I don’t know why Robert wasn’t commanding my full attention. He was shirtless and everything. And he did a good job. But even then it was a lot of flailing on both of their parts. Plus? The chemistry totally wasn’t there. Sigh. (Tons of charm after, though!) Well, another umbrella drink and a rewind of the Pasha dance from last week and I won’t care so much. Lights!

So. That was a damn entertaining two hours of dancing, if I do say so myself! And I believe I just did. I am forever grateful for the new format, so only one dancer leaves tomorrow and no one is penalized by being paired with someone who isn’t pulling their weight. Great kick off to the season. Can’t wait to see what we get next!

What say you Blog Babes? Who did you love? Alex, Kent. Who should go home? Hmm….it will be a girl. Guaranteed. Cristina? Melinda? I dunno. What do you think? DISH!!

More Grins! More Dancing!

More entries for the Just For Grins contest are landing in my Inbox. Thanks Blog Babe Sue for letting us share this entry, and thanks for the prominent display!

Thank you also, to Marie, for this well-stocked shelf photo!

And thank you, shy Blog Babes, (Stealth Babes?) for sending in your entries, too! Keep em coming! Still two more weeks to go! (And for those who missed the details, check out Monday’s blog post this week for the entry instructions and for details on this week’s Free Stuff Friday contest as well! Good luck!)

Tonight is So You Think You Can Dance’s first night of competition and I’m so excited it borders on pathetic. (Go Alex!) I will be watching and blogging, so check back here tomorrow for all the latest MAC (Morning After Commentary for all you new Blog Babes.) In the meantime, what is your summer guilty pleasure? What are you watching now that all the regular programming is over until Fall? For me, it’s Burn Notice and, soon, Leverage! Oh, and Cupcake Wars!! For my mom, it’s America’s Got Talent, and Dance Your *ss Off. Ha! What about you? Your turn to share….so DISH already!