Tuesday, May 29, 2012


HOT FOR FIREMAN has officially been released into the big wide world! My sweet baby, which started as a kernel of an idea during a long drive from Anchorage to Homer, has blossomed into a full-grown book and flown the nest.

Seriously, I'm not one of those people who think of my books as babies -- it's just a metaphor. But when you consider how much goes into developing an idea into a book, it fits. Creating the characters, devising a plot, fleshing it all out with side characters and fun scenes and sizzling scenes and bit and pieces of imagination and observation and inspiration. Then other people take a crack at it -- critiquers and agents and editors and copy editors and proofreaders. Cover artists work their magic. The publisher machine cranks into action. It takes a medium-sized town to produce a book! Thanks to everyone who has participated in the creation of HOT FOR FIREMAN: Liz, Rick, Maxine, Alexandra, Tessa, Scott, and many more whose names I don't even know!

Here's a little bit about the story, which is the second book in the Bachelor Fireman series, but can be read as a standalone:
Katie Dane knows better than to mix business and pleasure, but her new bartender, Ryan Blake, is simply irresistible... and besides, she doesn't plan on working there much longer. That's if things go according to plan. But they never do, do they?
Ryan, the sexy heartbreaker of Station 1, is determined to rejoin the force. Tending bar in the meantime seems like the perfect idea, especially when it means he can spend his nights working next to his sultry new boss... if only the bar didn't keep catching fire.
Throw in a grizzled career criminal, a luscious-bodied barfly, a Bachelor Fireman bachelorette party, a flash-fire romance, and a million-dollar money pot, and suddenly playing with fire never seemed so much like falling in love.

And here's a review from Romantic Times Magazine, which gave it 4 1/2 Stars and made it a Top Pick.

"Bernard thrills again with her fast-talking women and smooth-talking men. The second in her Bachelor Firemen series is a fast-paced, laugh-a-minute ride that will have readers turning the pages at lightning speed. With a series of fires pushing the characters together and a cast of characters that should be headed to the big screen, this is a great read."

You can read the first chapter of HOT FOR FIREMAN on the "Books" page. Or you can just .... 




Monday, May 21, 2012

Cover Secrets

When Avon decided to release the first two Bachelor Fireman books back to back, I was incredibly excited because, as a reader, I don't like having to wait for the next book in a series. I want it now! I want to know what happens next. I want to see my favorite characters again. Instant gratification, how I love thee.

I knew back-to-back releases would be a lot of work, but I didn't mind that. I jumped at the chance. I wrote my little fingers off, met my deadlines, and eagerly welcomed the dates of April 24 and May 29. What I didn't expect (because I didn't know anything) was that I'd have a double whammy dose of the jitters. HOT FOR FIREMAN is coming out in a little over a week, and I've still got release day nerves for THE FIREMAN WHO LOVED ME. But not to worry, those jitters are a good thing -- it's excitement, anticipation, the fluttery-belly breathlessness before you take a step into the unknown.

Here's a little piece of trivia about the covers of the first two Bachelor Fireman books. HOT FOR FIREMAN originally featured the image on the current THE FIREMAN WHO LOVED ME cover -- and vice versa.

The first cover I ever saw was this one, with the bare-chested hottie in the kitchen with the girl with the cute skirt. It had the title THE FIREMAN WHO LOVED ME. I absolutely adored it. But when they switched the two covers, so Mr. Hottie now graces the HOT FOR FIREMAN cover, I adored it even more. Because that cover is hot. (In my humble opinion.)

The other cover has a sweeter feel, which perfectly suits the title THE FIREMAN WHO LOVED ME (although both books are equally hot, content-wise.)

So I'm not sure who came up with the idea of switching the covers, but I'm very grateful. I think it worked out perfectly. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The "Love Mother"

The little girl who calls me "mother" isn't related to me by blood. And my path to becoming her "mother" wasn't an easy one. It took several years of trying desperately to have my "own" child, one born from my own body. It took facing the possibility that it might never happen. It took a huge decision to leave the city and job I'd gotten used to. It took meeting and falling in love with a new man -- who just happened to be a single father of two children. It took the gracious and patient work of my husband and his ex to create an amicable relationship for the sake of that little girl. 

Although some steps on that path seemed mortally painful at the time, I'm so grateful for every one of them. That lovely little girl lives with us half of the week. She knows that technically I'm her "stepmother," but she's read enough fairy tales to reject the term since it usually has the word "evil" attached. Occasionally she calls me "Mama," but that's too confusing because that's what she calls her actual, blood mother, whom she loves like crazy. So she came up with her own term for me.

I'm her "love mother."

Being her love mother means more to me than I can ever express. The desire to love and take care of a child is so basic, but it can be expressed in a million different ways. Here's to everyone who offers love, time, protection, and attention to a child. Mothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, aunts, grandmothers, the list goes on. In the end, we're all "love mothers."

Happy "Love Mother" Day!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Things I Didn't Know about Firemen

When I first started writing about firemen, I didn't know a lot about their daily lives on the job. I've done lots of research since then and learned quite a few things. I've used almost all of these items in my books and love how they add some real fireman flavor. So here goes ...

10 Things I've Learned about Firemen 

  1. When a fireman does something for the first time (for instance, breaks down an oxygen tank during inventory), he owes the rest of the crew ice cream. Rookies end up buying a lot of ice cream.

  1. Speaking of rookies, it’s their job to make the coffee in the morning.

  1. You can’t gamble in a firehouse. Instead the firefighters bet each other sodas. 

  1. The shift starts with something called “lineup,” when everyone gathers in the kitchen and they go over the next nine days of scheduling, etcetera.

  1. A certain number of firefighters are adrenaline junkies. When they’re off-shift, you might them on a motorcycle, a snowboard, or a fast car.

  1. When a firefighter arrives at the station, the first thing he (or she) does is take the previous shiftmember’s gear out of the engine and replace it with his (or her) own jacket. That way if a fire breaks out in the next minute, he’s ready.

  1. Firefighters love nicknames. My fire advisor’s nickname is Captain Go-Go. Another fireman is called Psycho, though no one’s sure why.

  1. Most firefighters are also trained paramedics; they respond to quite a few medical calls.
  1. Firefighters love to play pranks on each other. It’s a way to relieve the tension and also the tedium of waiting for a call. Go on any firefighter online forum and you’ll hear some great stories.

  1.  On September 11, firehouses across the country honor the 343 firemen and paramedics who lost their lives in the Twin Towers attacks.

I also learned that firefighters have a great sense of humor that helps them cope with the terrible risks they take. It’s in that spirit that I made my Bachelor Firemen books light-hearted, sexy and romantic.

Do any of these items surprise you? I, for one, didn't know the extent of how much 9/11 is still with our firefighting forces. You'll be hearing more about that in Book 3, SEX AND THE SINGLE FIREMAN! 

Yes, I'm almost finished!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Bachelor Firemen and Brenda Novak's Online Auction

I'm thrilled to offer up a Bachelor Fireman Gift Basket as part of Brenda Novak's online auction to fund diabetes research. I've been assembling fun stuff for the past month -- including some extras that aren't even in the description! Many, many wonderful authors are contributing some wonderful items. Please consider bidding -- diabetes is a terrible disease that affects an astounding number of people. 

Thank you!