A wonderful, beautiful day

    Not much longer now... April 1 is just around the corner (well, sort of).

    Today I had a wonderful, beautiful day. I really needed it, too, because this week started with a big blow. Mondays suck anyway, but mine really sucked. I found out early, early Monday morning that a friend of mine in Denmark had been found dead. It was really a crushing surprise, one of those kicked-in-the-stomach moments. I didn't even bother to wear mascara to work, because I knew I'd spend the day crying and that all that LancĂ´me would end up in my bra.

    The blow was especially crushing because he called me in July and left a message that I never returned. When I got the message, it was 2 AM in Denmark. So I opted to wait till the weekend... and then I forgot. And now I have the message, and that's all I have, besides old photos.

    Farvel, Henrik, min ven. Og tilgive mig!

    But today, with this week's paper on the stands, I played a wee bit of hookie and combined work with adventures.

    First I went to DSH Perfumes, the parfumerie I mentioned a while back. Dawn Spencer Hurwitz makes perfumes the way they made them in France 300 years ago, using all natural essences and doing it by hand, drop by drop. She has the most incredible sense of smell, and she's wildly creative. She has a lot of Hollywood clients, in addition to a strong clientele base on both coasts and in Paris. BUT she happens to live in my town. (She has all her scents online at www.dshperfumes.com. Too bad no one has invented an iSniff program yet...)

    She and I got to know each other last summer, and when I suggested that we collaborate in connection with Unlawful Contact to create scents to go with the book, she thought it would be a great idea. So I gave her a finished copy of the manuscript to read, and today I went to her studio to see what she'd come up with.

    It was fascinating! She'd taken notes from the books — about the scents I mention in the story, together with character traits for both Marc and Sophie, then had set about making "sketches" that she felt represented them. I sampled both and love them! We talked through her notes, and she let me sniff many other essences she was considering using in the final forms of the scents.

    Would you like to know what Marc smells like? Mmmmm.

    One of the things she wanted to make sure of was that the two go well together, because the thing that struck her most about the story was how much the two of them belonged together. She doesn't want a "Sophie" scent that clashes with the "Marc" scent. And I think she did a brilliant job of making the two of them fit and compliment one another. Sophie's scent has an innocent eroticism to it, a young energy that could be described as very "fairy sprite," while Marc's is darker, deeper and has a strong male sensuality to it. Both scents are very sexual.

    Of course, when these scents are done, she will be making them available to customers as a limited edition, and I will be giving some away in contests right here on this humble blog. Dawn is one of those people who believes that all the good things in life should be affordable to everyone, so there will be "sample" quanties avialable for very little.

    I can't tell you how fun it was to feel my characters turned into smells! There's really a "young, sexy fairy-girl" and a "older, sexy bad boy" feel to the scents.

    But that's not all...

    This past year, I also met Deanna and Tara from Vamp Bags. They make designer handbags that are super-sexy and eco-friendly. They're made in the good, ol' US of A, so no slave labor is involved. And I think they kick the pants off pretty much everything out there on the designer scene. (You can check out last fall's line at www.vampbags.com.)

    Deanna and Tara are avid romance readers, so today we met for coffee and had what turned into a three-hour-long conversation (oops!) like long-lost friends. I now have the loveliest bag, which is perfect for a writer/editor. I can't tell you all how much I love it! AND I'm going to be giving away a Vamp bag together with the perfume and an autographed copy of the entire trilogy as a prize in honor of the book's release in April. So that's like a... $500 prize? Something like that.

    A sample of the sexy stuff the Vamps turn out!

    In the meantime, I plod away on Untamed. My characters are up to a wee bit of hochmagandie at the moment, and those scenes area always the toughest to write. I've been getting up at 3 AM — no, I'm not kidding — to write and then working all day, trying to get caught the heck up.

    Oh, and, of course, I have ARCs for Unlawful Contact so I'll be giving one of those away soon, too.

    Stay tuned for details!

    Now get on the phone and call the people you love, okay?

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