Monday, August 28, 2006

Some Sharing and Tooting…..

Last Saturday, I completed my very first triathlon. Now for some of you this may not seem like much of a feat, but for me this is huge. And I mean huge!!!

So just how did I find myself with 511 much more physically fit people than myself waiting to swim for my life on Saturday morning?

It all started earlier in the spring when my 9 year old daughter and I decided to participate in an after school running program at her school. I have never been a runner and have always admired anyone who could run farther than the distance from couch to fridge.

Our first run was a 5k or 3.1 miles in March. I managed to finish and that was a major accomplishment for me. Most importantly it planted a seed for me that I could do many things if I just set my mind to it and trained. We did a few more races in the spring and then several of my friends and I decided to sign up for a triathlon... Why did I think I could do all of this, you might ask? Well, I knew I could run and I used to bike quite a bit and I figured I could train for the swim. So 10 of us signed up and made plans to train for the summer.

Well, the big day finally arrived last Saturday and frankly…I have to admit I was more than just a little bit scared. My big plans for training never really materialized as the weeks turned into days as the big T loomed ever nearer. My friends and I dubbed ourselves T.I.T.S…triatheletes in training…….and truthfully I did train some and I knew I could do all 3 events. I just didn’t know if I could do them back to back to back…..

We set out Friday evening for the race site, a state park about 50 miles from home. We decided to go the night before so we could pick up our race packets, checkout the course and get a good nights rest. Afterwards four of us went for pizza and a wise-ass competitor sent us over 2 very cold Heinekens….the waitress sent his message to remember we were in training and ½ a beer was ample. Ha….whoever heard of drinking only ½ a beer with pizza.

When we arrived at 7am for an 8 oclock start on Saturday morning, I had my doubts and was really questioning what I had gotten myself into. I can’t tell you how amazed I was at just how fit some of those people were. And interestingly enough….they grease pencil your age onto your left calf. I think this is supposed to make it easier to size up your competition.

With the Black Eyed Peas tune Lets Get It Started Now playing loudly in the background, we all donned our bright orange bathing caps labeling us as novices. And there I was….. down right shaking in my flip-flops…..and when they said “on your mark, get set, go”…..I went, and I went and I went and I went…………I went for 1 hour and 58 minutes and some odd seconds. And I have to tell you it was one of the most fun things I have done in a really long time.

My swim goal was just to not drown and also to beat the 84 year old man that was nipping at my heels. I saw his age on his calf…. The biking was a breeze…my best time of all 3 events …and the run was basically hell. But I did beat my friend Beth and only because she had to pee so badly from all the Gatorade she drank she had to dash behind some trees for relief. It was all pretty hilarious.

I finished 494 out of 512. Not bad for my first time, and I did beat the 84 year old man but not by much.

I am sharing some pics here for you all to see. It was an awesome experience and really deepens my belief in the power of a goal.

Hats off to all of us who attempt something new and challenging!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

High Noon

Where do you need to be? Chatting with Kristin Daly from HarperCollins!!!

Friday, August 25th from Noon to 1 pm EST, we at TKA are thrilled to be chatting with Kristin Daly. I know you're dying for more so here's a bit about Ms. Daly:

Kristin first became interested in children’s books as a career in high school, when she worked in her local public library shelving—and often covertly reading!—books in the children’s room. In May 1999 she was hired as an Editorial Assistant at Golden Books, where she worked on picture books, series fiction, and the Road to Reading line. In January 2002, she began working at HarperCollins, where she has been for the past four and a half years and counting. Kristin has been privileged to work with authors and illustrators such as Valeri Gorbachev, Charles Santore, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Jack Prelutsky, Suzy Becker, and Barbara McClintock. Currently, she is especially excited to be working with best-selling author Gary Blackwood on his first I Can Read Book, The Just-So Woman, and talented newcomer—and SCBWI member—Sudipta Bardhan on her first Harper picture books, Snoring Beauty and Hampire! Kristin edits a range of children’s titles, from picture books and easy-to-reads through middle-grade, and is currently on the hunt for her first YA novel.

Come Join Us Friday, Aug. 25th and Chat With Kristin Daly!

Shout out to the blogs!

Already know what TKA's blog rank is according to Associated Content? Then you, my friend, are a Bloghopper. Congratulations on your title!

For those who don't already know or hop here first, Associate Content listed the "Top Ten Blogs About Writing and Publishing," and TKA's ranked 4th! To be in the mix with Miss Snark, Evil Editor, and our beloved Kristen! This pretty much made my day, too, Kristen.

"4. Want to talk sales? Numbers? Publishing? Agenting? And have a chance to win some free stuff? Then check out the blog by the Knight Agency. Found at, the Knight Agency doesn't update daily, but it does boast as its constributors several reputable agents. It also has some great links to other websites and blogs. "

Check out these other blogs if you haven't already. Each is packed with info about every angle of a writer's career! Happy Blog Hoppin'

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

WOW, am I ever excited? Why you may ask?! Because of you faithful blog readers who snapped up and jumped at my critique opportunity. You people are all amazing! And the opportunity is now officially gone!

I have kept quiet about the walk up to now because I was scared to death of it. I was scared of the walk ( I still fear I may be crawling across the finish at the end of each day!) and even more scared of my ability to go out there and raise my portion of our teams donation.

Well, let me tell you, those fears are LONG gone! I’ve been walking my little tush all over town in preparation, not an easy task to do considering the evening lows are 85 degrees – My training sessions are HOT HOT HOT little treks!

Training aside the best part about this event has been the fundraising. It has become a total obsession. The endeavor started off easy enough. We were each spurred on by a little banter back and forth among team members along the lines of “HAHAHA I have raised more than you.” It has become all out war! The second we get a donation notification we each get a hold of everyone else chanting “I got another one!” You can say that we’re all a little competitive, umm yeah, just a bit!

Regardless of which of us are in the lead, it is even more exciting to see the team total. We have already raised $8,000! How incredible is that! Every penny that we make goes to such an amazing cause and we are all having so much fun spreading the word! I am so proud of all of my fellow teammates for generating support for this great cause. We have all been blessed with tremendous support from our friends, families, and web-community – Thanks to each of you for helping us accomplish this! More to come!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Attention All Bloggers...

We interrupt the regularly scheduled WALK updates for this special announcement:

Do you blog? Well, here is a chance to promo a friggin awesome book and enter to win some great prizes all at once!

Okay, so first about this awesome book. It's called SLAVE TO SENSATION by Nalini Singh. And, it has a HOT cover!

I first heard about this book when fellow agent, Nephele Tempest, came over to the Eastside this January. I pretty much thought it was one of the coolest ideas ever as I listened to its intricacies. Obviously, Christine Feehan agreed when she said about SLAVE TO SENSATION, "I LOVE this book! It's a must-read for all of my fans. Nalini Singh is a major new talent."

How to enter this sweet contest? Easy. Check it out:

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback (click on the link to learn more about them) and you are entered to win the following prize package.

$200 Amazon gift certificate
Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game

You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.

SLAVE TO SENSATION Nalini Singh Berkley / September 2006
Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.

Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.

Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities…or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.

Psssstttt... yeah, I just entered... it was that easy.

What better way to meet an agent?

So, you're looking for a literary agent. You e-mail queries. You send those snail-mail packets. You pitch at conferences. And you ask your writer friends for introductions to their agents.

But wait...I've got a better way!

Why not sign up for Team Parallel Heat's Breast Cancer Walk team and you'll get to spend THREE days with three members of the fabulous Knight Agency! And while you're schmoozing and networking with (did I mention THREE members) the ladies of TKA, you're also participating in a fantastic, worthy cause: raising money for breast cancer research.

The event in Atlanta, is a three-day fest of fun, fellowship and a feeling of satisfaction, knowing that your efforts will go to help millions of women who have been stricken with this disease.

As a cancer survivor myself, I am pleased to be participating with Deidre and TKA on Team Parallel Heat and I hope you'll join us!

Marley = )

(In case you want to sponsor me, any donation would be appreciated!! In September, I'll have a giveaway for someone who sponsors me -- don't you love teasers?)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Our Breast Cancer Event Continues! Some Very Special Opportunities

Hi, Gang!
Elaine's critique went very quickly, so we want to offer this great opportunity to two more individuals. Sponsor Elaine Spencer in our Breast Cancer 3 Day event for $300, and you will receive a three chapter critique from her. This is good only for the first two people who sponsor her in the walk after this announcement goes live.

And I personally want to raise the ante even higher. I will give two--just two--three chapter critiques with accompanying thirty minute phone consultations to the first two people who sponor either Elaine Spencer or Julie Ramsey for $750 or higher a piece. When you consider the opportunity to get in-depth personal critique, along with career and writing consultation, I think you'd agree that it's definitely worth it for such an amazing cause.

As women--and so many of us writing romance and women's fiction are women--we are faced with this terrible disease all the time. We all have friends, mothers, or sisters who receive a breast cancer diagnosis more often than seems fair. My own mother is a victorious breast cancer survivor, which is one reason I'm so passionate about this cause.

We've chosen not to auction our critiques on ebay, but rather to keep things a bit simpler. We do hope you'll join with us in this fight to find a cure, and either sponsor us, or opt for one of these auction item critiques! Beyond that, we are still looking for team members to walk with us, no matter where you live. Imagine spending three days and sixty miles with those of us from TKA! It's a great opportunity for bonding and sisterhood, and we welcome any of you who wish to join us.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Elaine and The Announcement

Okay, okay...don't blame Deidre. It's all my fault that we haven't let the cat out of the bag until now about this big announcement. Truth is we have been hammering out the details.

This particular post is all about Elaine. But, we will be offering up several more goodies as the WALK gets closer.

Now, listen up. The first person to sponsor Agent Elaine Spencer for $300.00 will receive a 3 chapter critique from her. How to do it? Easy. Click on her link and donate to her page. She will have a record of each donation and the date the money was given. We will announce the winner as soon as we get a name!

Keep an eye on the blog! We're gonna have more opportunities for published and unpublished, writers, and fans! Don't wait though. Check out our team today!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Talkin' 'bout Gena!

We're chatting with the lurvely and amazing Gena Showalter
TONIGHT, Thursday, August 17th
9:00 pm

You don't want to miss it!!!

Shhh! Stay Tuned for a Major Announcement!

We've got something exciting coming up here in the next couple of days. It *might* pertain to one of the lovely girls in this picture, our very own Elaine Spencer (blonde) and Julie Ramsey (Jody Foster... yes, she does look a lot like her, doesn't she?) For those who don't know, Elaine is our newest agent with TKA, a true powerhouse, and Julie is our amazing Marketing Manager, the force behind so many of our exciting "extras" like the blogs, the newsletters, and the chats. Both of these talented, brilliant women are, quite simply, two of my favorite people in the world. We're honored to have them as driving forces here at TKA.

In short? I'm really excited about our upcoming news, so keep your blog ears tuned. :) And, yes, I'm a terrible tease. LOL!

Hugs, Deidre

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

This is Chick Lit

Rush over to the new home for THIS IS CHICK LIT, the anthology edited by TKA's own Lauren Baratz-Logsted which features Cara Lockwood, Gena Showalter and a host of other writers. THIS IS CHICK LIT will release from BenBella Books September 1, 2006.

This is Chick Lit dot com

Steppin' Up the Heat for a CURE!!!

Join Deidre and the TKA team for an incredible 3 day journey
in the fight against breast cancer!
Looking for a way to get serious about getting fit? Want to spend some time with the TKA team? Well, here it is. Deidre, Elaine, and I are spearheading Team Parallel Heat for the 3 Day event in Atlanta this year. In short, we will each be raising at least $2,200 and walking 60 miles for a cure for breast cancer on Oct. 20-22, 2006. Yep, that's 20 miles a day!
What is 3 Day?
The Breast Cancer 3-Day is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Net proceeds benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.
What are our goals?
TEAM PARALLEL HEAT hopes to be gain more than 50 members and raise over $110,000 to put an end to breast cancer once and for all.
How can YOU be involved?
There are so many opportunities to participate in our team. You can walk, be a crew member, sponsor the team members, hand out popsicles, help raise funds, and just spread the word for our cause. The walk will be challenge (I mean 20 miles a day!) but what fun it will be!
I hope you'll consider walking and spending time with us as we tackle this adventure. If you are unable to be a member of our team, do think about donating. To find out more about The Breast Cancer 3-Day and donate to such a worthy cause, visit
To find out more:
Please post any questions here, and I will answer them best I can. Check out our team and individual websites in the mean time. Watch the blog for some more fun ways to support our cause.

Let's put an end to this terrible disease together!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Gonna be in Alabama this weekend? If so, catch TKA authors Deidre Knight and Jennifer Echols as they join Wendy Wax and Kelley St. John to present a workshop on

Writing Romance
Saturday, August 19, 9:00am-noon
at the Wetumpka Public Library.

There is a $5 attendance fee. A book signing will follow.

Wetumpka Public Library
212 S. Main Street
Wetumpka, Al 36092
(Behind City Hall)
***Sponsored by Friends of the Wetumpka Library***
For more information, please post here or log onto

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Come Chill With Us!!!

We're chatting with Bev Katz Rosenbaum TONIGHT at 9 pm EST! You don't want to miss out on chatting with the author of I WAS A TEENAGE POPSICLE.

Here's a bit about Bev in her own words:

After becoming famous in elementary school for short stories set in Toronto's smelly but atmospheric Kensington Market, where my father owned a fish store, I decided that writing was my future. Fast forward to Carleton University in Ottawa, where I studied journalism, but quickly decided that fictional people were more interesting than real ones. (Especially politicians. Ugh.)

After completing an Honors English degree at the University of Toronto, I landed a job as an editorial assistant at Harlequin Books, where I rapidly worked my way up to the position of Associate Editor, and won a Romance Writers of America award for excellence in editing.

While working as an editor, I wrote a Serious Romance of my own (called What Friends are For), but decided these books weren't really what I wanted to write. I thought maybe the magazine world was a better place for me. If you've ever read The Devil Wears Prada, you already know how misguided an idea that was. I did run my own cute little literary 'zine for a while, called Slush, which was fun, but it didn't exactly pay the bills. It didn't even pay for a pair of really great shoes.

When Harlequin came out with the comedic Flipside line, I thought I'd found my forté. I promptly wrote Wanted: An Interesting Life, which was published in
April, 2004 to high praise from reviewers. So naturally, the Flipside line
tanked shortly after my book came out, and I was at a loss once again. But while
all this career stuff was going on, I'd married and raised two fantastic kids—by
now, tweens. (Don't leave! I'm not as old as you think!) When I fell in love
with the books my kids were reading, I knew I was meant to be part of the YA
world. (Note: This does not mean I'm immature. Well, okay, maybe it does.)

In short order, I sold I WAS A TEENAGE POPSICLE to Berkley Press,
and it looks as though I'll be selling a few others shortly. So life is good. I
hope to be able to channel my inner sixteen year old for many years to come!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Diana in the News!

Now, usually when you flip on the TV and see someone you know on the news, it's just not a good thing. Not in this case! Diana Peterfrend gave an EXCELLENT interview to a Yale local news station recently.
You can watch it here! Look under the "Watch Our Stories" column in the middle of the page.

Way to go Diana! You did a fantastic job!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Auction Update

Hey there cybermates! Just wanted to give you an update on the Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research spearheaded by Brenda Novak. This past year, Deidre contributed some time and critques to the auction. It was quite a success! I met with Brenda during RWA's national conference last week and boy has she got an auction lined up for this May. Be sure to stay tuned in for more info by signing up for her enewsletter!

In 2005, the auction raised $34,982. This year, together we raised $62,706. That brings the totals almost to $100,000!

If this is the first you've heard of the auction, it's easy to help out this great cause. All you have to do is shop right here like you would at E-Bay every year during the month of May. So keep checking back for news, information and lists of the items that will be up for auction.

Just wanted to throw that little tease your way...