Nine Rules for Visiting Destiny, Ohio

The next book in Toni's sexy, heartwarming Destiny series, Sugar Creek, releases this coming Tuesday, May 25th. To tide you over the final few days and help you prepare for your next visit to Destiny, Ohio, enjoy this fun list of rules for visiting the town. Nine Rules for Visiting the Quaint Small Town of Destiny, Ohio by Toni Blake

  1. Be sure to stop by the Under the Covers bookstore on the town square and share a cup of coffee with Amy and Tessa. If there’s good girl talk or gossip to be had, this is where it will be going on and you don’t want to miss it. There’s usually a cat-in-residence, too, who will be happy to rub up against your ankles or sit in your lap.
  2. Don’t speed in Destiny. Hunky cop, Mike Romo is a stickler about that sort of thing and will give you tickets repeatedly – just ask Rachel Farris.
  3. Take a canoe ride across idyllic Blue Valley Lake. Besides being quite scenic, this quaint body of water has seen a lot of Destiny drama over the years, most specifically between good girl Jenny Tolliver and the bad boy of her dreams.
  4. But never, never visit the old Brody cabin in the woods across the lake. It’s SUPER creepy – especially when you think you see lights on even when no one has lived there in years!
  5. Buy some apples from Edna at the Farris Family Apple Orchard on Sugar Creek and ask her to tell you the story of her tragic first love over a piece of her award-winning apple pie.
  6. Stay away from Mick Brody! His brother is in prison, after all, and he was always a bad seed. No, it doesn’t matter how hot he is – beware!
  7. In case of trouble, remember that the Destiny Police and Fire Departments are right next door to each other, just across the square from Under the Covers. And both come complete with lots of sexy men in uniform, which has the potential to make any emergency more enjoyable.
  8. Hang out at Creekside Park. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to watch hot, sweaty guys playing softball, or you might even be invited into a touch football game with Mike Romo, Logan Whitaker, and Adam Becker – “touch” being the key word here.
  9. Plan to stay awhile and soak up everything Destiny has to offer, from the quaint garden parties to nights at the Dew Drop Inn, from hot and sexy encounters to deliciously sweet romance.

Hope you're all ready - the release of Sugar Creek is just four days away!

This list was first posted at Sarah MacLean's blog as part of the release celebration for her book, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. Check out her blog for lots more entertaining lists of rules from other popular authors.

Toni's Romantic Times Conference Recap: It's All About the Books (and the Dresses)

I spent the last week of April at the Romantic Times conference in Columbus, Ohio – and I’m not proud to tell you that I’m still unpacking! But there were two very large suitcases involved. And lots of dresses and jewelry, and an insane amount of shoes. (I packed ten pairs and managed to wear nine of them, something I’m not sure if I’m proud of or embarrassed by.) This is the madness that ensues when someone makes the mistake of hosting a conference close enough for me to drive to. Anyway, as I sift through the piles of laundry and other rubble, thought I’d share a few personal conference highlights: Toni and Lindsey at the Red Dress PartyRT hosts a big banquet and/or dance party every night, which means I got to dress up a lot, and if you know me, you know this makes me happy. Both because I spend a lot of time at my computer not dressed up and because I adore clothes, dresses, shoes, purses … and yes, this is exactly why two full suitcases were required. Here, Lindsey Faber (Samhain editor and my personal assistant) and I pose in our red frocks on red dress night.

Lori Armstrong and Toni BlakeI got to hang out with a lot of author and industry friends, something there’s never enough time for since we’re all spread out all over the country. Here I am with good friend Lori Armstrong aka Lorelei James at the Saturday bookfair.

Scamps and Vamps at RT

I hosted a bookseller luncheon with a group of local author friends I’ve known forever: LuAnn McLane, Dianne Castell, Patricia Sargeant, Donna MacMeans, and Shiloh Walker. Despite that we’d spent the last hour before the luncheon frantically stuffing a hundred goody bags in my room after half of us got caught in a major traffic jam on the way to the conference, the lunch came off without a hitch and it was great meeting so many enthusiastic, romance-loving booksellers.

I spoke on two panels, one for readers and another about multi-genre writing – and everyone who attended the multi-genre panel received a free copy of ONE RECKLESS SUMMER, thanks to my fabulous publicist at Avon! And speaking of panels, I heard that Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches Trashy Books mentioned the Destiny series in her Save the Contemporary panel, which totally made my day. Thanks, Sarah!

Toni, Lindsey, and Keri in cat earsAnd I got to wear cat ears. Yeah, I know, that one sounds weird, but it was kind of fun. If you know anything about the RT conference, you know each night is themed, and this year the vampire ball was coupled with a sort of animal theme – “catpersons” were mentioned in the conference literature, so I decided this was the route to take and I persuaded Lindsey and friend Keri Stevens to join me, so here we are: three crazy catgirls. You can’t tell this, but one of my cat ears was pierced, which amused me, and yes, Keri’s leopard print coat is fabulous and it was all I could do not to rip it off her run away with it.

So there you have it – my RT conference in a nutshell. The next big thing on my calendar? The release of SUGAR CREEK on May 25, only a couple of short weeks away now! Big thanks to everyone who has let me know they’re looking forward to this second installment in the Destiny series – I’m excited that the wait is almost over!

New Feature at ToniBlake.com

Notice something new at ToniBlake.com? The little red and white boxes popping up around the site are Toni's gift to you! Any time you come across one of these Fun Finds, click it to receive special tidbits about her books - how she envisions her heroes, where she gets her inspiration, recipes, and more. The Fun Finds are scattered throughout her page and more will be added throughout the year, so be sure to check back for new behind-the-scenes info. There are currently five Fun Finds hidden throughout the site. Have fun finding them all!

And for even more fun, you can find Toni in person this coming Saturday, May 1st, from 11 am - 2 pm at the Romantic Times Convention Book Fair at the Hyatt Regency Columbus in Columbus, Ohio where she'll be signing One Reckless Summer.