Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here's to a fantastic 2009!!!

2008 Reflections

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before? Held my own book in my hands!!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? No resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Not that I remember.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes. My father-in-law. I miss you, Jay.

5. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? More time with family.

6. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Nothing comes to mind.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Signing two publishing contracts and seeing my book in print.

8. What was your biggest failure? Not finishing McKnight.

9. What was the best thing you bought? Furniture.

10. Whose behaviour merited celebration? A friend of my daughter's.

11. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? My daughter.

12. Where did most of your money go? Furniture. lol

13. What did you get really, really excited about? Meeting Sam and Jeremy.

14. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? much happier. This time last year, we were at the hospital quite a lot.
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner! Woohoo. 15 pounds lighter.
iii. richer or poorer? who knows.

15. What do you wish you'd done more of? Spent time with family.

16. What do you wish you'd done less of? Spent time on pointless issues.

17. Did you fall in love in 2008? No.

18. Did your heart break in 2008? Yes.

19. What was your favourite TV program? Project Runway.

20. What kept you sane? I retained that?!

21. What political issue stirred you the most? I detest politics but probably, people's interaction concerning the US Presidential campaign and election.

22. Who was the best new person you met? Sam and Jeremy

23. Favorite book you read? Thr3e

24. Favorite movie? 27 Dresses

25. What are your plans for 2009? Continue to write, attend at least one wedding, travel more.

What about you??

Monday, December 22, 2008

Barnes and Noble

Cost of Freedom is now available at While there, scan to the right (customers who bought COF also bought this). Not too shabby. :D


Okay, I admit it, I am not a cat person, but look at this little face. Do they come any cuter?!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yup, that's me.

You Are Cider

Your holiday personality is cozy.

The holidays are your favorite time to stay home, stay warm, and spend time with those you love.

You don't need a lot to make you happy over the holidays.

Seeing an old relative or favorite holiday film is enough to make your day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Have hatchet, will slash

Yesterday while galley reading Bound by Honor, I was in knots. Huge, gigantic, steam liner ones. Not good. I'm almost out of Maalox. Deep down, I knew what had to be done.

This morning, I emailed my editor. God love her, she is fantastic. I expressed my concerns about a couple of chapters. She agreed that it would be best to 'off' them. I remember writing those chapters. There is some good work in there. But, it has to be done.

She worked her magic to pull BBH from galleys and I set to work on the unthinkable. Two, large chapters are now gone and to be honest, it's for the best. *whimper* Yeah, it's for the best.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Covey Award

Cost of Freedom's trailer has been nominated for a Covey Award. Please vote for #4.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Fun Christmas Survey

I was tagged by Anita. I tag: all of the M:A ladies.

Insert your own answers and pass it on to whomever you feel would respond – including the person who sent it to you

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper

2. Real tree or Artificial? Usually it’s real but this year, fake.

3. When do you put up the tree? First Sat. in December, but I got an early start this year.

4. When do you take the tree down? – The Sat. after Christmas.

5. What do you do with your tree after you take it down: To the curb! Where it goes from there, I have no idea.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? An Etch-a-sketch.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My husband. He always wants something that is never going to happen.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My daughter. We go shopping, she picks out what she wants. There ya go. Done and everyone is happy.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? I used to.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Cards

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? There's no need to bring this up again.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th St.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Right after Thanksgiving.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Is it wrong when the person really wanted it and I didn't?

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies

16. Lights on the tree? Love, love, love lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I would love to stay home but on Christmas Eve and ending late on Christmas Day, we start our trek around the state.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Sadly, yes.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? This was a yearly disagreement when my children were home. The girl's liked the angel, the guys liked the star. We did agree to alternate. The trouble came when deciding what topped the tree the previous year.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Yes. LOL

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Christmas carols.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? No real theme. I try to add an ornament every year. Something representative of the preceding year.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? A repeat of Thanksgiving dinner.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? a d-i-l. Oh, I thought that said, what do you expect this Christmas. ;)

Merry Christmas To Everyone

Holiday checklist

The Christmas tree went up yesterday, I took my daughter shopping on black Friday (it's much easier this way), and I'm putting together a package for my son and his fiancee. Hmm, what's next on the list? Christmas cards? Cookies? The holidays sure take on a whole different feel when there aren't any children in the house. *le sigh* I miss it.

Good to know

You Are 81% Likely to Survive Another Great Depression

You have been saving for a rainy day... or a rainy few years.

While most people may not have as grim of an outlook as you, they're also not as prepared as you.

If society collapses, you'll have plenty of food and resources for you and your loved ones.

And plenty of ammo for anyone who wants to steal from your stockpile!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh, why not? It's the holidays!

You are a Ginger Bread House
You Are a Gingerbread House
A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

What Holiday Food Are You?


If you bought Cost of Freedom and would like a bookplate, send me an e-mail and I'll tell you how to get one.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Today is the busiest shopping day of the year. One suggestion:


Books are the most versatile gift. They can be the main gift, used as wrapping accessory, or as stocking stuffers. They are meaningful, sentimental, humorous, or informative. Everything and anything you want can be found in one little building, or better yet, online. And, no batteries needed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. No craziness, no candy, just time spent with family. It doesn't get any better than that. The one thing missing this year will be Jared and Sam. :( shrug A phone call will have to suffice.

What are some things that have happened in the past year that you are thankful for?

For me:

We wondered if it would happen but in January, my son became engaged to a wonderful girl. Wedding news to follow.

She had my nerves on end, but my daughter managed to live in Mexico for an entire month and not end up attached to an I.V. drip. Don't ask. She came close.

Greg and I have managed to remodel in harmony. A collective sigh was felt throughout cyberspace.

And much to my eighth grade English teacher's surprise, I became a published author.

Monday, November 24, 2008

pre Thanksgiving

One more day of work and then a nice long five day weekend. Can I help it that Wed. is my normal day off?! I can't wait. My daughter will arrive sometime on Wed. and out the door we'll go. She isn't one to sit still for very long. A trait she inherited from her great-grandfather. I hope I can keep up. I did not inherit this trait. Being with her is definitely the "Rockin' Roller Coaster" of rides. I'll let you know if I survive.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I did my Thanksgiving shopping today (with a list.) Now, I'm making a new list of all the things I forgot. At least I have a few more days.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Author's copy

I've received my author's copy of Cost of Freedom! How exciting. I flipped through the pages bringing about all the memories that went with each scene. What a journey this has been. I've learned a lot and made many wonderful friends. Please be sure to read the acks page and share a bit of my experience. Thank you, everyone!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Round 2

I have the second round of Bound by Honor edits from my editor. I gave it a quick look--nothing drastic. I would love to get this back to her before Thanksgiving week. She thinks this round should do it and then it's off to galleys. Very exciting. I'm looking forward to hearing what my release date will be.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's here!!!

Cost of Freedom is available in paperback at I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I've posted an excerpt for Redcoats and Sleigh Bells on my message board. The anthology is scheduled for release Dec. 2009.

New read

Last night I started reading a new book and before I finished the first paragraph, I was hooked. I went back to the top of the page and reread a few sentences. Have you ever read a section of a book and wondered how you got to the end of the paragraph? It wasn't jarring or a struggle. I didn't have to make concessions or allowances in hopes the author would win me over at a later point in the story. No. The words floated me easily to the end of the thought. Needless to say, I settled into a comfortable position on the couch and thought, my, my, my, I am in for a good read. This is my first experience with Anne Perry but if the first few pages are any indication...ahhhhh.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Michael Crichton

Sadly, the writing world has lost a great author. Michael Crichton has passed away. His writing was introduced to me through my son, who told me I had to read Andromeda Strain, which my son still views as one of his top five favorites. When I procrastinated, he dragged me to see Timeline and then shoved his hardback copy in my hands and pointed to the couch. He was right. The man could tell a story. He will be missed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rise and fall

I'm sure you know what it's like to read several books by an author that are fantastic and then come across one that doesn't match up. It's no big deal, it's actually expected. Let's face it, you can't be at the top of your game in every book. However, I think I've experienced the reverse. My first read of a particular author has fabulous. She soared to the top of my auto-buy list, but with each sequential read, she has slipped a notch and with this last book, sadly, she has fallen to my don't-buy list.

This was a really odd experience. I expected each book to be as good as the first. Oddly, these were not the author's debut books, nor her latest releases. In this last book, I kept hoping for the story to come together but it kept sputtering with weak attempts. I'm aware that this author changed genres. From what I have read of her work, I get the impression it was during these books that she gave her career change serious contemplation.

Oh well, off to find a new favorite.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I voted today! I don't know what I think about the early voting but since I waited for an hour and a half, I can only imagine what Tuesday will be like. So when you head to the polls on Tuesday, bring a book and a bottle of water. Then on Wednesday, celebrate that the political ads are over.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Dance

WooHoo!! What a nice way to start the morning. I got an email from my editor. She loved the anthology I sent her. She took it with her to a conference over the weekend and couldn't put it down. YES!!! I'm so glad she liked it. Red Coats and Sleigh Bells was so much fun to write and I love the story. Since I have to wait an entire year for its release, Christmas 2009, I'll put a snip on my website.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


My son called this morning from North Carolina. There are three inches of snow on the ground. It looks like it will be a good ski season.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


*Big breath* I have not been able to get motivated lately and it really bothers me. So...I have joined with several talented ladies who will be able to keep me on track. Let's hope. Jen started a community for writers who need accountability. Boy, do I need it. Here's hoping we encourage and ignite each other's creativity.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Edits and decisions

The edits to Bound by Honor are back with my editor. This is such a nice feeling. While working on book two, I decided to tie up the loose ends that would have gone into book three. As much as I liked the idea of keeping the series a trilogy, I thought it would work well as a two book set. This decision did bring about several new climactic scenes and, I think, the the end result is fantastic. I hope everyone will be as thrilled as I am for this next book.

Monday, October 6, 2008


This was rather frustrating. I have read other Moning books, which I loved. I even added her name to my auto-buy list. But this book, yikes. I got the impression this might have been her transition book from time travel romance into paranormal. Setting that aside, I found it impossible to like any of the characters even in the slightest degree. I did finish because I held out hope for some small whisper of what I enjoyed in her other books. It wasn't there.

Bottom line...give Moning a try but not with this book.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Amelia Landry has writer's block. In an attempt to meet her editor's deadline, she goes to Scotland for the summer. There she finds no distractions, no people, just a few fourteenth century ghosts. Ethan Munro and his warriors have been waiting a long time for someone who is capable of freeing them from their enchantment. Led by a friendly spirit, and trying to stay ahead of a malevolent one, Amelia tries to do just that.

I was in the mood for something light, fun, and quick to read. HIGHLAND KNIGHT was just that. All of the characters were likable. The plot was predictable but in this kind of story, who cares? Deep and immersing isn't why I read it. As I neared the end, I thought Ms Miles may have painted herself into a corner with the ending. Not at all. She brings about a thoroughly satisfying conclusion that left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

I'm glad to see this author has other books at the ready because when I'm in the mood for a light-hearted escape, I will reach for a book by this author.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I hate to do it.

I never thought I would become one of those people, ;) but it has to be done. Because I am jumping back and forth between three stories, there's no choice. I have to write an outline. Yikes! Did I just type that?! Each time I get on a roll with McKnight, my attention is needed elsewhere. When I come back, it takes days to get back into the groove. Not fun. I hope this doesn't suck the spontaneity and wild tangents out of it. Why do I feel like I'm being punished and forced into shackles?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Back again

My plate is finally clearing so it's back to McKnight. I hope I'm able to pick up where I left off. If I remember correctly, they were at a party and Isa had been confronted by the antagonist. She has learned disturbing things about Cole and has to make a decision. Disclosed facts about a former love are as comforting as learning Cole's part in the young man's death. If she plans to clear her name of murder charges, she will have to betray, not only Cole but herself. I'm anxious to get to the next quarter of the book.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Thank you everyone for voting for COST OF FREEDOM over at The Long and Short Reviews. We didn't win, but we made a good showing. Don't forget, the print version is available the day after Thanksgiving.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Voting is open for Best Book here. Please stop by today or tomorrow and vote for COST OF FREEDOM.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Best Book Honor

Cost of Freedom has received a five book review from The Long and Short Reviews and is nominated for Best Book Honor. Tomorrow (Saturday) go to The Long and Short Reviews website and VOTE for Cost of Freedom.


The edits for Bound by Honor are with my editor. I love the changes I included, and the it. Not at all what I initially planned, but so much better.


A friend of mine sent this to me and I had to share.

Just the stone cold truth
of our great friendship.

1.When you are sad,
I will jump on the person
who made you sad
like a spider monkey
jacked up on Mountain Dew!!!

2. When you are blue,
I will try to dislodge
whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile,
I will know you are
plotting something
that I must be involved in.

4. When you're scared,
we will high tail it out of here.

5. When you are worried,
I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse
it could be until you
quit whining, ya big baby!!!!

6. When you are confused,
I will use little words.

7. When you are sick,
Stay away from me
until you are well again.
I don't want whatever you have.

8. When you fall,
I'll pick you up
and dust you off--
After I laugh my rear off!!

9. This is my oath...
I pledge it to the end.
'Why?' you may ask;
-- because you are my FRIEND!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Killing our darlings

Is there anything worse for an author than to look at sections of their work, highlight terrific material, then press delete? That's how I spent my morning. I know, I know. It will leave me with a better book and I will be glad for the changes, but...*sigh* There were some good lines, sections, and scenes in there, then poof. Gone forever. I'll take a break, come back, and start the healing process with fresh words. *sniffle*

Friday, September 5, 2008


I received the edits for Bound by Honor. I like the changes mentioned and think it will make for an even better book. So, *rolling up sleeves* everything is on hold until I finish. I'm so glad this isn't taking place during a holiday. :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I was nominated for this award by a great friend and talented author, Anita Davison

Part of the obligation of this award is, in turn, nominating a few sites that I admire and enjoy reading too, so mine are as follows

Allison Chase
Gwyn Cready
Diana Gabaldon
Heather Graham
Karen Kendall

These five ladies have great stuff on their blogs which range from personal insights as authors and editors and snippets they find worth passing on to others in this strange yet rewarding world we call writing! They have great websites too so all are worth a visit.

Now my nominees get to post this same award to their blog and nominate up to seven others. Please link back to me at my blog for nominating you. As Anita said on her nomination, I was honoured to receive this and hope you will be too.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

One more chance

Ugh. I am reading a book that is less interesting than watching a six year old walk down a dirt road dragging his feet. I really want to give up on it, but the reviews have been great. For that reason only, I'll keep going. I'll be back in a few days with a full review.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

DARK OBSESSION by Allison Chase

Forced into a marriage to save her reputation and his estate, Grayson Lowell and Nora Thorngood must trust that the rumors concerning each other are false. When their community refuses to let them reestablish their lives, they move to Blackheath Moor, Lowell's family's estate. Met by a mysterious housekeeper, a mute nephew, and two ghosts, the newlyweds forge into a mystery that has cost Grayson his finances and has his sanity teetering on the edge of an abyss.

Ms Chase does a fabulous job of weaving her characters together in a story that will keep you glued to the pages. I rooted for Gray and Nora from the minute they entered the scene and held my breath until the end. The secondary characters enrich the story and will keep you offset as to who did the deed. Equally important is how and why it was done. I worried that I would get to the end and it would be an easy finish. Not so. The conclusion was very satisfying.

I am not a fan of paranormal books, but I do enjoy a good ghost story. In the tradition of JANE EYRE, DARK OBSESSION will satisfy lovers of Gothic novels. This book is a must read.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back in sync

Ahhh, I had such a good time writing yesterday. I finally reconnected with Isa and Cole. I sank into her skin and didn't want to leave the keyboard. I love it when that happens. : D

My husband mentioned our upcoming vacation and my first thought was, *rubbing hands together* I can't wait for all of that time to write while in the car. Is that a bad thing? lol

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


The Christmas anthology is in the hands of beta readers and I am getting very encouraging comments. As soon as I get their full critiques, it will be out the door. What a nice feeling.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A review is in!

"Not to be missed", according to Romance Reviews Today website. Please take a look at COST OF FREEDOM's entire review.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A touch of home

omg, I just had the best hit on my blog. It was from Cork, Ireland. That's home for my family. Well, it was home over one hundred and some odd years ago.

As is the case with most Americans, I am a conglomeration of a variety of nationalites. German, French, and American Indian (Cherokee, to be exact), but my heart is Irish.

In my youth, I would listen for hours as my grandmother told the story of her grandmother leaving her homeland. I especially loved to hear her mimic the accent. I don't know that I would have enjoyed meeting Grandma Nora, she seemed like a hard as nails woman. I guess she would have to be to take on the challenges she faced.

It was very nice to see a part of home attached to my blog.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back to McKnight

I'm having a little transition problem. I have spent the last five weeks writing the 'short' and need to move back to the full length. It's a little more difficult than I expected.

To get back in the McKnight frame of mind, I'm reading over a few scenes leading up to the point where I left off, reviewing my plans for the next few chapters, and familiarizing myself with the main character's appearances. I'll get there.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Finished (first draft, anyway)

The first draft of the Christmas Anthology is finished!!! WooHoo. I'm still working on a name, but everything I come up with sounds hokey.

I'm presently at 16k, which is a nice place to be at this point. I prefer to write light on the first draft. I find it easier to add words, layers, etc. than remove them. Plus, it's depressing to hit delete on so much work. :)

So, I'll let the anthology rest, go back to work on McKnight, and wait for edits on Bound by Honor.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

THE PRESENCE by Heather Graham

Wanna spend the afternoon with a good mystery? If so, you gotta read THE PRESENCE. Toni Fraser and a group of friends have rented a Scottish Castle and are giving skitted tours, featuring the ancestral owner. Toni believes she has created the tale but when the descendant of her play arrives, she is made aware that her ghost story is factual on many levels.

This is my first experience with Heather Graham's writing and I loved her book. Her writing style is easy to follow, she paints the scene with a skilled hand, and her characters are fantastic. She also weaves subplots and red herrings throughout her story that will keep you guessing until the end.

Although it took me a while to keep all of the characters straight, I was drawn in immediately to the story and found it difficult to stop turning the pages. THE PRESENCE has made me a fan of Ms Graham's work, and I will look for more of her books.

Friday, August 8, 2008

AT HIS COMMAND by Brenda Coulter

Part of the Homecoming Heroes series from Steeple Hill, AT HIS COMMAND is a Christian novel featuring Madeline Bright and Jake Hopkins. Jake survived a military helicopter crash and lives with the guilt that his best friend died. Maddie is a constant reminder that although he lived, he will never lead a normal life.

The characters in this book are very real and and easy to relate to. Jake struggles with a future that he sees only as grim while Maddie tries to get him to see her as something more than his best friend's kid sister. Just when she is ready to give up on him, both of their mothers step in for a few coincidental meetings. God bless meddling moms.

This book is filled with faith-encouraging scenes that aren't at all preachy. The characters handle adversity with very human responses while relying on Godly wisdom and intervention. AT HIS COMMAND is a must read for anyone who has hungered for an opportunity to peek into other people's lives and see how it is possible to rally when your plans are shattered.

AT HIS COMMAND will be available in stores Aug. 26 but can be ordered now from Please visit Brenda's blog, No rules. Just write.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Seph Pyle is at the Pittsburgh airport with co-worker Tom Fraser when a killer pair of pink stilettos catch her eye in a store window. What better way to fill time while waiting for their flight to be called. The fit, color, feel has never been better. She plunks down her credit card, snaps the last strap in place, and finds herself on board a ship in 1706. The captain is quick to explain her arrival. After all, this is Seph's doing. He is merely a character in her book and he wants spoilers.

I have to tell you, I loved this book. Yes, there are a few bumps but nothing unforgivable. The characters were likable, fun, and real. When I read the back cover and saw two love interests, I knew whose side I was on. Umm, no. Tom won me over. I loved that he didn't spend all of his time not believing her story. And his little test to see if she had traveled, this is a guy you want to have around.

The idea that an author ends up in her own unwritten story was a great hook, and I wished this could have been expanded on a little more. With that said, the book did not lack plot.

Can we talk cover art for a minute? I am not a fan of typical romance covers, but I like this one. I think it is because the artist got it right. The cover depicts the story. Even the shoe's details are there.

This is not a by-the-book romance or time travel story. YES! (Sorry. Reviewer commentary.) I enjoy both of these genres, but this book had me turning the page because I didn't know what to expect next. My fingers so itched to flip to the last few pages before I was finished. I resisted. :)

TUMBLING THROUGH TIME is a definite keeper and Gwyn Cready is an 'auto-buy' author.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Meg MacKinnon has to marry in order to defend her clan's holdings. Faced with a deadline to achieve marital bliss, she heads to court in search of a husband. Alex MacLeod must keep his identity and purpose hidden. Too bad for him that Meg recognizes him as one of the men who aided her and her mother during a roadside attack.

Ms McCarty does a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. Meg and Alex are both strong, very likable, but not over powering.

I did feel there were times when the story bogged down with details and I rolled my eyes at a few phrases. But, the author did stay focused on the plot and kept the action moving.

This is my first read of this author and I have already scribbled a note to myself listing the title of her next book to go in my tbr pile.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dorothy's road to publication

I wrote this, though never made it public, about a year ago. With all of the latest blog posts about submission frustrations, I thought I would bring it into the open.

You know how the unknown is spooky and gets creepier because of our imaginations adding to the mystery? I have a feeling this is what happens with the 'getting published' process.

We have these Oz-like characters (publishers) who no one ever sees but everyone is in awe of. To get to the great Oz, we have to get past the gatekeepers (agents) who are the only ones who have access to his chambers. If that isn't enough, the gatekeepers have these little minions (interns), who are delusionally self-empowered to make life and death decisions concerning little Toto (your ms).

Dorothy (the writer) is frantic. The Tinman, Scarecrow, and Lion (fellow writers) are comforting, but all Dorothy really wants is a home for little Toto.

"No!" they cry. Saliva drips from the fangs of the evil minions.

"Please, if I may have a moment of your time," Dorothy begs.

"There, there," her friends comfort, "you can stay with us in our world (forums and boards)."

"But you don't understand. They don't understand. Oz will understand. He has helped so many who were more pathetic than I. I know he will hear my plea, if only I can approach."

Dorothy awakens, surrounded by familiar faces, and clutched in her hand is a hardbound book with Toto's cheerful face adorning the cover.

The point of the story, everything seems unattainable with numerous stumbling blocks. We know where the finish line is but are constantly being shoved to the side of the path. It's scary to keep picking yourself up and continuing on an unfamiliar road, knowing you will face an even greater unknown. But we do it nonetheless. Don't be afraid of the unknown, be afraid of not getting back up.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

new wip

I managed 1400 words today on the new wip. This put most of the bones in place for chapter one. I really like what I have planned and I have that gushy feeling. You know the one when you can't wait for someone to read what you've written, even though you know better than to share because it will barely make sense. A good clue to hold back is all of the green and red underlines from Word. Doesn't that software know a first draft when it sees one!

Hmm, I really need to come up with a name for this. Any suggestions?

Friday, July 18, 2008

News I can finally share.

I have been asked to be part of a Christmas Anthology for 2009. How exciting is that!

It will be interesting to say the least. I have to keep the entire story under 25k. I can do this...I can do this. As long I eliminate subplots and secondary characters, this shouldn't be a problem. And you know how I love my secondary characters.

I am so excited. I pulled together a very rough outline this morning. Yeah, I made an outline! I don't see any major problems other than putting McKnight on hold. The anthology comes with a deadline, he'll have to understand. It will be intersting to see what mayhem Cole and Isa wreck while I'm gone.

Off to lower the air conditioner to get in a cold frame of mind.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Introducing: McKnight

I thought I would share the opening paragraph of McKnight.

Murderers are hanged. This realization swept over Isabella Foster in a cold sweat. She rubbed her throat where phantom knots laced her neck like a string of pearls. It was reassuringly smooth. She swallowed and wondered if stealing a horse could also send her to the gallows but then, it was her horse. Of course, she hadn’t committed murder either, but that hadn’t stopped Eli Banks, her dead uncle’s business associate, from trying to wrap a noose around her gullet.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I feel like a tag-a-long, but this is the earliest I could get to this. (Click the thumbnail to enlarge.)

Cost of Freedom

Bound by Honor

For Mercy's Sake

Introducing: McKnight

The perfect end to the week.

If I could go back in time and relive a handful of days, today would be in the top 10. I came home from work and found a birthday card attached to Scott Westerfeld's PRETTIES and SPECIALS in my mailbox. It doesn't get any better than this. Wow!!! I have a really great friend who knows me very well. THANK YOU, Jen!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A slow simmer or a flash in the pan.

Here's something to consider.

How many books did a favorite author have on the bookstore shelf before you 'discovered' them? And, how did you learn about them?


Tonight is the opening ceremonies for the Highland Games on Grandfather Mountain, and I won't be there. If you've never gone, you really should go and if you've been there, you understand how I feel. It is so much fun, plus there are kilts for as far as the eye can see...even in town. I did see that Off Kilter wasn't scheduled to appear. That did ease the pain.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Roselyn Longworth goes from a destroyed reputation due to a family scandal to utter humiliation by being auctioned to the highest bidder. Kyle Bradwell wins the bid and must win her trust in order to save her from further ruin.

Have you ever read a book where, for no reason whatsoever, everyone loved it, but you? That is what happened with this book and why I take the blame. The cover blurb was intriguing, the author's writing style was easy to follow, and the characters were clearly written. All of the elements were there, but no spark. There was also no reason to dislike it.

You know, sometimes, it has nothing to do with good or bad, it just happens. In fairness to the author, I would like to give this book another read to see if I see it differently at a later date.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Lily Hamlin has traveled back in time to Scotland, 1654. She meets Ewan Cameron, who isn't at all surprised she is from another time.

I'm slightly torn on this book. Ms Wolff's writing style leans toward literary. If you prefer books that are filled with narrative and details, you will love this book. If you are looking for a light romp through Scotland, this book isn't for you.

The book begins with many pages of backstory. Because of the author's overuse of narrative and detailed description, I felt like I was sorting through wrappings in search of the story.

Lily is introduced to another time traveler in the castle. I expected her to spend a lot of time with him, comparing notes, in search of a way to return home. There isn't even a small amount of curiosity, which I found odd because I thought she had a science background.

I never warmed up to any of the characters and when Lily and Ewan professed feelings for each other, I was shocked.

Overall, I was determined to finish, and did, but with a headache.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Unusual Historicals

I'm the featured author at Unusual Historicals. Come take a look at an historic character from Cost of Freedom.

As a disclaimer, I'd like to point out that this was an actual person and the first half of his story is true. When it was time for him to depart, I felt he had so much left to offer my story. What else could I do? I promoted him, gave him an impressive rank, and led him down a fictional road. I do not mean to sully the man's name. Anything concerning Thomas Preston after the trial is purely my imagination.

When will I learn?

I should know by now, pov cannot be forced. If a character wants to tell the scene, you have to let them. It doesn't matter that you want to show a certain element from a different character's perspective. Fine. Isa wins...again. At least I didn't fight with her through the entire chapter. Oh, that would have been lovely. I'll go shift things around on the first page or two so peace can reign supreme. I'm glad Cole can handle her.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Meme from Deniz

I pinched this from Deniz.

1. What’s in your pocket right now? Nothing

2. Have you ever gone skinny-dipping? Ummm. Next question.

3. Did you have a baby blanket? No.

4. Have you ever tried to cut your own hair? I trim my bangs.

5. How did that turn out? Fine.

6. Have you ever sleepwalked? Nope.

7. Have you ever had a birthday party at a restaurant? No.

8. Have you ever eaten a dog biscuit? No.

9. If you were in a car sinking in a lake, what would you do first? Wrap a plastic bag around my laptop then open the window.

10. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? No.

11. Have you ever fallen asleep in school? No.

12. How many foreign countries have you visited? None, but I really think some states should qualify.

13. Have you ever broken a bone? Cracked one.

14. Have you ever accidentally taken something from a hotel? No.

15. If you could invite any movie star to your home for dinner, who would it be? How about a producer instead, let's keep our priorites, shall we?

16. If you could attend an Olympic Event, what would it be? Diving.

17. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Not nearly as many as my daughter.

18. If you won a $5,000 shopping spree to any store, which store would you pick? Black and White.

19. Have you ever been rushed to the emergency room? No.

20. Have you ever had surgery? Yes.

21. When was the last time you had a sit-down dinner with your immediate family that didn't consist of a television? It's been a while, mainly because we are rarely together at meal time.

Monday, June 30, 2008


When Marietta Winters' brother is arrested for murder, she discovers there is only one person in town willing to help her prove his innocence. Gabriel Noble's price is steep, but he is willing to work for three favors called due at his discretion. Marietta agrees and discovers that Gabriel has more reason to find the murderer than she does.

The title and the book blurb really intrigued me (I could do without the cover art), but I found the story dealt more with the events that led up to THE THREE NIGHTS OF SIN opposed to the nights themselves. Although not what I had bargained for, the book still held its own. There were a few places of description that wobbled, but nothing that was irritating.

Ms Mallory's writing style is very clean and enjoyable. Her characters are fantastic, and I loved the way they were evenly matched. I rooted for them from page one.

Her plotting is good and easy to follow except for a few 'did I miss something' moments. This was easily forgiven when a major hook, about three fourths into the story, had me turning the pages before I finished the last words. I had to see how this was going to be handled and I was on pins and needles hoping the characters would make me proud.

Overall, I think this author has a lot to offer and will improve with each book she writes.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hopefully, it's clearer than mud.

I am in the middle of one of those scenes where you hope the reader will fully understand why a character has done something a little odd. I keep checking to see if all of it is clear but let's face it, I can't preface the chapter with a one sentence synopsis of what the chapter entails. Hmm, that would be an interesting approach. Maybe a footnote that says, in case I wasn't clear, this is why this happened. Nah. That's why it's called work. ;) I'll put it to the side, come back, and see if I am able to follow along. After that, it's up to crit partners. Thank goodness for them.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I don't know why I feel this is such a right of passage, but I'M ON AMAZON.COM!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

: )

I found this comment on a loop:

"I just finished Carol's book, Cost of Freedom, a few minutes ago and my
pulse has yet to return to normal! It's truly a phenomenal read!"

It doesn't get any better than this, does it?

Monday, June 23, 2008

DARK RIVAL by Brenda Joyce

DARK RIVAL is the story of Allie Monroe, a healer, and her protector, Royce. Able to time travel, Royce appears in present day New York and guards Allie from darkness as she heals others. When Royce is murdered in front of her, Allie forces his friend, Aidan, to take her back in time to prevent his death from happening.

I realize this is not the first book in the series, but I was lost for a good section of the book. The author did continue to reference the backstory, but this proved more annoying than helpful. I did at least grasp the concept of the story.

Allie knows her calling in life, almost too well, and is portrayed with a solid strength. She was likable until she and Royce were reunited. At this point, she came across as overbearing and whiny, which resulted in him appearing wimpy. Royce doesn't know what to think of this woman who keeps insisting that she is in love with him. He is sworn to a code and does try to keep her safe, even when she does everything to encourage 'evil' to find her.

The plot is filled with undeveloped, secondary characters with storylines that lacked continuity and believability. The scenes with the queen and Royce only served to undermine his character and distanced Allie from me as a reader.

There were glimmers of hope, but these all fizzled. I really wanted, and tried, to like this book. I love time travel stories. This one, even with all of its false starts, never came across.

I know, I know

If I say, I'm exhausted, will you automatically assume that my daughter visited for the weekend?! She did and we had fun, although I find it difficult for an introverted person to entertain an extrovert. One area of common ground is B&N. I did feel a twinge of guilt buying more books when I just made a killing with a gift certificate, but... hey, it was my birthday. :D


EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE by Carla Cassidy

The following two, I'm not sure about. I asked the customer service lady to recommend something in the lines of Evanovich...we'll see how they compare. They do look fun.



I think I need to let my credit card breathe for a while. The poor thing is plum tuckered out not to mention, my tbr pile is gaining on my read pile. I do enjoy how they look on the bookshelf though.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A surprise

Don't you love it when you whittle down your to-do list? What a feeling.

On another note...I got a nice surprise today--a B&N gift certificate. So, I spent the day browsing for new authors. This is what I found:


A TOUCH OF MINX by Suzanne Enoch

I'M WATCHING YOU by Karen Rose

PARLOR GAMES by Jess Michaels, Julia Templeton, and Leda Swann


What a nice way to end the day!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Ugh! I have the day off, my laundry is caught up, and I can't motivate myself to write. Not fun. It's not like I don't know what happens in this chapter. The bones are there, I just need to flesh them out.

Last night I was up very late trying to put out an emotional fire. Maybe that has something to do with my slump. I hope that's all it is. plan...big breath, clear head, go read for a while, maybe I need a few hours to relax. Yeah, that should help, maybe a mini nap, too. Shhh, quiet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The Wild Rose Press wants you to have a SONY eReader!

All this summer (June 11 – August 31), every time you purchase a title by any of these sponsoring authors (see list below), you will be eligible to enter our drawing to win a SONY eReader. The drawing will be held on Tuesday evening, September 2, 2008 at our weekly chat (9:00 p.m. eastern). (You do not need to be present in the chat room to win).

When you purchase any title from these authors simply email your order number to: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Make sure you have a current email address and/or include your contact information so we can find you if you win.

You may enter as many times this summer as you wish. If you purchase more than one title in the same order, feel free to send two emails and include the order twice. We will verify that you did indeed purchase more than one title.

The following are the sponsoring authors for this wonderful contest. Please look for their author information on our web site and enjoy some fabulous reads this summer from these participating authors:

Jules Bennett

Donna L. Bolk

Laurel Bradley

Rachel Brimble

Pam Champagne

Lynda Coker

Christine Columbus

Sandra Cormier

Amy Corwin

Sharon Cullen

Donna Dalton

K.M. Daughters

Debbie Doggett

CarolAnn Erhardt

Valerie Everhart

Cindy Green

Kathleen Grieve

Larry Hammersley

Stacy Dawn

Sharon Horton

Tara Haff

Anna Kathryn Lanier

Marly Mathews

Nicole McCaffrey

Devin McKee

Sandy Wichersham McWhorter

Donna Michaels

Stacey Joy Netzel

AnneMarie Novark

Cindy Spencer Pape

PL Parker

Katie Reus

Jane Richardson

Jennifer Robins

Donna Marie Rogers

Emma Sanders

Kathleen Scott

Robin Shope

Misty Simon

Carol A. Spradling (make sure you go to Jen's blog for a second contest!)

Debra St. John

Lily Stone

Browyn Storm

Beth Trissel

Leanne Tyler

Brenda Weaver

Nita Wick

Teri Wilson

For information about the Sony eReader click here

For questions on this contest, please contact LisaDawn MacDonald at, Martha K at, or Rhonda Penders at Please put the words SONY eReader contest question in your subject line.

Good luck!

*No purchase necessary to win the SONY eReader. If you do not purchase a title, you may enter the contest by mailing a post card to The Wild Rose Press, Sony eReader Contest, P.O. Box 708, Adams Basin, NY 14410. Please include your name, email and contact information. In addition, you must write down three titles from any of the participating authors. Postcard entrants will be added to the names of email entrants and a winning entry will be drawn on September 2, 2008.

Friday, June 13, 2008


After dinner, my husband asked if I wanted to go to B&N. Oh, yeah. Let's go. Once I got there, I couldn't find anything that interested me. Maybe I have depleted the latest selections. I know my bookshelf at home is starting to rival B&N.

I did manage to pick up two new authors and one author who I promised a second chance. I think I have enough to get me through the summer. So, if you can think of anything I may have overlooked, let me know what it is. I'm always on the lookout for new authors.


There has been a lot of talk lately about 'bad books' and harsh reviews, mainly at the Bookends blog. I bring this up because I review many books and for the first time, I feel so badly for an author's work that I won't post a review for her. What bothers me is the reason I bought the book. It was written by a Best Selling Author printed under a hugely successful publishing house.

Had I read an honest review prior to purchase, I would have avoided this book. That doesn't mean I would have avoided this author, but I would have been more selective of her work.

I do not feel any malice toward the author or publishing house and will probably look through her work to see if I can find the book that made her a best selling author.

While it is important to keep everything in perspective as to what one categorizes as good or bad, we need to have the means in which to base that decision. It is my experience that a variety of opinions is the best way to make that conclusion.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What book are you?

You're To Kill a Mockingbird!

by Harper Lee

Perceived as a revolutionary and groundbreaking person, you have
changed the minds of many people. While questioning the authority around you, you've
also taken a significant amount of flack. But you've had the admirable guts to
persevere. There's a weird guy in the neighborhood using dubious means to protect you,
but you're pretty sure it's worth it in the end. In the end, it remains unclear to you
whether finches and mockingbirds get along in real life.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Top 10!!!

COST OF FREEDOM is on the top 10 best sellers list at The Wild Rose Press!!! SQUEEEEEEE

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

DANGER'S KISS by Sarah McKerrigan

Desiree of Canterbury is a cheat, distractingly charming, but still a cheat. Nicholas Grimshaw is the shire-reeve of Kent. Sworn to enforce the law, by any means necessary, he is also Desiree's new employer, thanks to a debt of honor. Feared by everyone, he is surprised, and irritated, that Desiree intentionally tries to make his life miserable. Desiree learns there is another side to the tortuous shire-reeve and must convince him she has changed her ways. She has only hours to do it, for she hangs at dawn and Nicholas is her executioner.

Let me start by saying, if you have any preconceived ideas of historicals, romance novels, predictable titles, you are dead wrong with this book.

Ms McKerrigan does a brilliant job with the characters in this book. More than equally matched, Nicholas and Desiree are a wonderful complement to each other. One thing that I loved is that the characters were thinkers. The author doesn't resort to standard solutions to solve their problems. Very refreshing. I never knew what was going to happen next.

There were believability issues with a few details toward the end, but it wasn't enough to spoil my feeling for the book.

I loved the point of view approach Ms McKerrigan used in this book. By using this method, I felt like I knew each character's thoughts and emotion without feeling the de-je-vue of a repeated scene. And it was all done without head hopping.

The pace of this my my. Top dead center! Whenever a story slows down, I skim to the dialogue until the action picks back up. Not here. I read all of it. Although there is action throughout the book, during the quieter scenes, they were so well done, I wanted them to continue forever.

This was an excellent read and an author to look for.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

LAIRD OF THE MIST by Paula Quinn

Kate Campbell's clan is a sworn enemy to the outlawed MacGregor's. When she ends up under their protection, she learns that her suspicions about her uncle and her mistrust of the MacGregor clan laird are intertwined. To be caught with a MacGregor will be her death, but to leave them, will be her sanity.

Paula Quinn does a wonderful job of bringing the MacGregor saga to life. The characters are real and personable. I got a feel for who they were and rooted for their success. The MacGregor story is one I would love to know more about.

Her writing style and plotting keeps the pages turning with minor characters that make you smile. I loved the scene where poor Jamie is taught a lesson by the more worldly Brodie and Angus. Perhaps the castle should have thicker walls.

The one thing that stood out to me was a slight heaviness throughout the book. This hindered the emotion that Ms Quinn was trying to establish. I never warmed up to Kate's brother, Robert or despised Duncan as much as I should have.

Overall, Ms Quinn is a very good storyteller and from what I can tell, she is an author that will get better with each book.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Branching out

I have been asked to be a regular contributor to the UNUSUAL HISTORICALS blog. My posts will be in a rotation with the other authors and should appear every other month. I hope you will stop by and see my revelations of what life in 1700s America was like.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Beacon Hill socialite, Isadora Peabody doesn't fit in with Boston society. Swan captain Ryan Calhoun, although from a good family, doesn't hold with society as a whole. Being friends with the owner of the Swan has its advantages. Isadora is permitted to sail on the Swan as its interpreter and to record all actions of its captain.

After much thought, I'm still trying to decide what my thoughts are concerning this book. When I saw the cover and read the blurb, I expected a lighthearted read with comical moments. I got that, but the book also had scattered attempts at depth.

The plot was good, although I could definitely feel a modern day bias. Toward the end of the book, there was a large section that appeared to be included to add pages and set up a sequel. This part of the storyline had been touched on earlier but only in passing.

The characters ran hot and cold. Isadora fluctuated between that of a woman coming into her own and being overly childish. This, I could almost understand. Ryan was garish and very unpleasant, yet showed sputters of charm. I never warmed up to his character, but I did come close. I didn't understand why he was this way. Whenever it seemed like the two characters were growing in character, they would revert back to old habits.

Ms Wiggs' writing is very good. She has an easy style that takes you right into the scene. She tells enough description to place you comfortably in the setting without bogging you down. Some of her lines are fantastic. I laughed out loud a few times and reread some passages because they were too good for one read through.

While I can't decide on my feelings toward the book, this author is one I will definitely read again.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I love it when friends from different parts of your life get together. It's interesting to see how everyone will interact. Tonight at the chat, everyone seemed to act like old friends instead of new acquaintances. It was so much fun. And congratulations to Jerrica Knight-Catania for winning a copy of Cost of Freedom.

Thank you everyone for coming over to say hello. We'll have to do it again, but earlier. I can't ask Nina to get up at 3am again. Sorry, Nina. You ROCK!


LIVE CHAT tonight at Romance Book Junction from 9:00pm-10:00pm eastern time.

I hope you'll stop by to say hello and try to win a digital copy of Cost of Freedom.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

SHADOW DANCE by Julie Garwood

SHADOW DANCE started off with an ancient mystery concerning a Buchanan and MacKenna family feud. That's enough for me. I got comfortable and readied myself for a good read. Ms Garwood had my attention...but then lost it. Somehow the plot skidded all over the place and never came together. Once the professor, who informed the main character about the feud, died, so did any follow up to this story line. The pacing was very slow, which surprised me since the back cover promoted this book as a suspense. I expected cliff hanger chapters and edge-of-my-seat reading. Instead, I tried to get through this book on several occasions but ended up flipping the pages, hoping to find more information about the mystery. What I found were pages that dragged and never captured my attention.


Cost of Freedom débuted at #1 in its genre and #5 for all historicals!!!

THANK YOU everyone for your support!


Other than a touch up here and there, here are the photos of my office. The sad thing is, the walls look so much better in person than how they photographed.

No humidity yet.

What a beautiful day. We put the top down on the Jeep, I grabbed my hat and sunglasses (gotta keep covered in Florida), and off we went to B&N. A raspberry black tea, a piece of key lime cheesecake, and new books to browse through, it sounds ideal to me. I discovered two new authors and picked up a third book by an author that had been recommended to me a long time ago.




Friday, May 30, 2008


Surreal. There's no other way to describe it. I am overwhelmed with the outpourring of kindness and support from everyone. When I first started writing, I noticed that writers were very supportive of each other. A few years have passed, (s) and this observation still holds true.

Granted, our pride can take a beating from time to time, but rarely do I believe any negative comments were meant as malicious. And I have a feeling that even those are no longer seen as an issue.

So many of you have posted announcements on your blogs heralding my debut release. I am overwhelmed. Thank you so much. I am very touched.

I hope you won't mind if I single out one person in particular. Dr. Jennifer Hendren, (VBG) you have been my most honest critic, my biggest supporter, and my most vocal cheerleader, not to mention a great friend and favorite author. You'll never know how grateful I am to have shared this entire experience with you. I cannot wait to stand in the middle of B&N and tell everyone that your books are a must read (and then follow them to the register so they don't leave without them.) THANK YOU!

You guys are phenomenal. My sleeves are rolled up, and I'm ready to help all of you! Who's first?!


Cost of Freedom is released TODAY!!! Purchase your copy here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stuck in mud as thick as Georgia clay

Okay, I admit it, it doesn't matter if I'm reading them or writing them, I prefer scenes with dialogue. For me, it keeps the story moving and keeps the pages turning. I know, I know, we need the details. You do know what they say about details, don't you?!

Why am I telling you this? Because... 1. I need a break from my current scene, 2. it helps to vent. (s) Plus, this blog was set up to give an inside view on my writing experience. Don't let those smiling faces on the back of book covers fool you. It isn't all cheery days filled with sunshine.

I know that everyone has their areas of specialty. Descriptive, one character scenes is not mine. I have a friend who does this beautifully *cough* Claire. Every time I read one of her scenes, I sit back and am amazed. How does she do it?

I have taken scenes from well known authors, okay, one author in particular, and studied them to see if I can see what it is they do. There has to be a formula, right? Nope. Writing is an art. grrr. Please don't remind me of craft--not a fan.

So, let's see where I am. I have internals, always good. I have sensory, nice. I have a progressive order of events. I tossed out a full page that was muddier than the Georgia clay my heroine is tromping through. Hmm, how long does she need to be at this particular place before she has interaction with a fellow character, thus bringing in *cue the Hallelujah Chorus* DIALOGUE? Oh happy day. Light has broken through the gray clouds. Woohoo. See, venting is good. (s)

KISS OF THE HIGHLANDER by Karen Marie Moning

When Gwen Cassidy, literally, stumbles upon a sleeping Drustan MacKeltar, she has a hard time convincing him that five hundred years have past since he last closed his eyes. The last thing he remembers is being informed of his brother's death. With Gwen's help, he is certain he can return in time to prevent this event from occurring. Being a Druid, it is within his power to pass through the stones, however it is forbidden to do so for personal gain and to defy the edict is done at a great cost.

Ms Moning does a great job of pulling you into the story from page one. Gwen Cassidy makes no bones about her reason for being in Scotland and when she and Drustan meet, not only do you know what will happen between them, you can't wait to get there.

The plot is simple and straight forward, which adds to the pace of the story. Ms Moning does a wonderful job of letting the story unfold with enough surprises and twists that you are never bored with what could be a predictable story line.

One thing that I loved were the secondary characters. They were vibrant and interesting. When Drustan threatens to fire Nell, I laughed out loud at her response. Nell and Silvan were strong enough to be endearing but never annoying.

The only eye rolling moment for me was when it seemed that all the MacKeltar births were twins. If this was explained, I missed it.

To be honest, I put off reading this book for quite a while. The reason being, I read the third book concerning the MacKeltar family first and didn't see how all the pieces fit. From what I have recently learned, Ms Moning has several books in the Highlander Series and they are capable of standing alone. Since (to my knowledge) all but three deal with unrelated characters, this shouldn't be a problem. But, with the three books that deal with the MacKeltar family, I would have enjoyed them more if read in order.

Overall, I really enjoyed Kiss of the Highlander (and reread and enjoyed Spell of the Highlander.) Ms Moning is an author that goes on my buy list.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Live Chat

Have you ever wondered what my fascination with the 1700s is? Come and find out. On Tuesday night, June 3rd, from 9:00pm-10:00pm eastern time, I will be chatting live at Romance Book Junction. I hope you will stop by to say hello and try to win a digital copy of Cost of Freedom.

I'll see you there!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Hi everyone,

My debut novel, COST OF FREEDOM is due for release on May 30. My friend, Jen Hendren, has posted a contest for an ebook giveaway on her blog. If you'd like to participate and have a chance to win a free ebook of COST OF FREEDOM, please go to Jen's blog.

I hope to see you there and good luck!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

THE MURDER GAME by Beverly Barton

Special Agent Nicole Baxter would like to keep as much distance between herself and private investigator Griffin Powell as possible. It should be easy to do. They live in different states, socialize in different circles, and neither of them like anything about the other. But when someone calls her with a revelation about a serial killer, she is willing to listen. The caller will give one clue to her and one to Griffin. If she plans on ending The Murder Game before the caller has a chance to capture his next victim, she will have to work with the most arrogant and self-promoting man in the business.

THE MURDER GAME is riveting from the first page. A few chapters into the book, I became aware that this book is a sequel. It didn't matter. Ms Barton was able to handle the back story in a way that I didn't feel cheated or confused. She sporadically dropped in just enough information to fill in the gaps but allowed me to stay focused on the present story. about nail-biting. I couldn't believe what was happening. About one hundred pages from the end, Ms Barton pulled the biggest surprise of all. My mouth hung open for a good twenty pages (in a good way). I kept thinking, are you kidding me? How is this possible? This was no sucker punch, simply good story-telling. I never saw it coming, but should have. All of the clues were there.

The only problem I had was when Ms Barton would jump forward in time without a scene break. This was infrequent but enough to mention. And toward the end of the book, a few spots, not many, felt a little Mary Sueish to me.

The characters in this book were fabulous. I was right there with them, feeling every emotion, and there were plenty to share. If you like a good thriller, that isn't gory, (okay, a little, tiny bit) you need to read this book. There are so many twists and turns, you'll feel like you are getting a workout. I did.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I don't normally do these, but this is too cute.

To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice. !

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks . Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. Skip down the hall Rather Than Walk and see how many looks you get.

7. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

8. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is 'To Go'.

9. Sing Along At The Opera.

10. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You have a headache.

11. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream 'I Won! I Won!'

12. When Leaving the Zoo, Start Running towards the Parking lot, Yelling 'Run For Your Lives! They're Loose!'

13. Tell Your Children Over Dinner, 'Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.'

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Running errands

While out running errands, I had to stop at B&N. How could I not? At the customer service lady's suggestion, I picked up:

Dark Rival by Brenda Joyce
Hidden Secrets by Cait London
The Charm School by Susan Wiggs

I'm doing well at finding a variety of authors. Every author needs to be read at least once, and I'm trying to do my part.

Friday, May 16, 2008


I've been tagged by Precie with a miscellaneous meme (blogless called it an Interrogation Meme).

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

A Meme about Various Things

What were you doing ten years ago?
Hmm, ten years ago, I had two young children and was at their beck and call. Actually, this was the best time in my life. I was a home school mom who made sure my children were exposed to all of the arts and life experiences I could find. This was their time and I have no regrets. Now, it's my time. (s)

What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?
Read more of "The Murder Game"
Try to catch up on any loose ends.

What are some snacks you enjoy?
chips and dip
fresh fruit

What would you do if you were a billionaire?
Travel and write. Could you imagine, picking up on a whim and going anywhere you want?

What are three of your bad habits?
Lacking confidence
Pigeon-holing people
Leaving used towels in the bathroom

What are five places where you have lived?
New Smyrna Beach, FL
Bainbridge, Ohio
Ormond Beach, FL

What are five jobs you have had?
Executive assistant
Substitute teacher
Administrative assistant

What were the last five books you read?
Outrageous by Christina Dodd
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
To Catch A Highlander by Karen Hawkins
Take Me if You Can by Karen Kendall
Two For the Dough by Janet Evanovich

What are five web sites you visit daily (in no particular order)?
My forum
Writers Forum
Historical Fiction forum

Okay, I tag: Susan, Jane, Jenny, Nina, and Julie

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

OUTRAGEOUS by Christina Dodd

In OUTRAGEOUS, Marian is protecting 'her son' as well as a massive secret. Griffith is sent to deliver a message to her but finds himself unwilling to leave. When a new king is crowned, Griffith and Marian have to pledge their fealty, but will it leave them on opposite sides of the monarchy?

This is the first book I've read by this author and I'm not sure what my thoughts are concerning her work. I found the beginning of the book confusing and difficult to become part of. The characters were a bit stiff, but this could be due to the author's attempt at authenticity. The story is set in the 1400s, after all. Everytime I thought I would stop reading, Ms Dodd managed to bring in something that grabbed my attention. For this reason, I will give this author another try.

I'm aware that Ms Dodd writes historical as well as contemporary. Although I will try another of her historicals, I will also read one of her contemporary works.

My overall thoughts...undecided, but willing to try again.

Sunday, May 11, 2008



Friday, May 9, 2008


I was just offered a contract for Bound by Honor!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld

With three months until Tally Youngblood turns sixteen, she sneaks into the pretties world to find her best friend. He is glad to see her but shocked that she is there. Uglies and pretties never mingle. She will return after her surgery to make her pretty and then they will resume their friendship. Emergency sirens and spotlights speed her exit from the perfect society. While waiting for her birthday, she meets Shay who shows her a world of blissful imperfections. Shay invites Tally to stay as she is and escape with her to a world where appearance is never seen as ugly.

I have to admit, I held off reading this book because I thought it would be a new version of an old Twilight Zone episode. Although the initial concept is there, it does not follow the same plot line. UGLIES explores the depth of the pretty-making-process and the unseen damage that is within the realm of acceptable failure.

Mr. Westerfeld's writing is superb. The reader is swept into his world as if it were their own. The pace and timing are spot on with no sluggish moments and the tension builds perfectly.

Although UGLIES is set in a futuristic world, the setting is not far removed from reality. There is never a distanced and cold feeling, except when Tally jumps into an icy river. The characters are believable and enjoyable and portrayed as intelligent teenagers who still face the awkward transition into adulthood.

All elements for a good story are here and told in an enjoyable fashion. Scott Westerfeld has easily become my favorite YA author.

Monday, May 5, 2008

New office

I have been busy converting a bedroom into an office. This weekend, I tackled Venetian plaster. This is very time consuming and I still have another coat to apply, but I'm sure it will look great.

On a positive note...Having searched every furniture store in the greater Daytona area, I found my desk. What do you think?

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I am about halfway through my reading frenzy and have a question. When reading back covers, how do you know if an historical is regency? Does anyone know?

Sunday, April 27, 2008


When Sophia MacFarlane's father loses the family estate at the gaming tables, she takes matter into her own hands to win it back.

I really looked forward to this book, mainly because of the setting and time period. As I read, I liked the concept, I liked what seemed to be ahead in the story, but it seemed to be a long time in coming. The characters were one dimensional and I started skimming at one of the climactic scenes.

Overall, I was disappointed.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sharing Friday

Sharing Friday seems to be contagious. I'm joining Susan, Helene, and Jen. This is how it 200 words from your latest wip but remember, it's just for fun and no crits.

Here's a small snip from McNight.

The silver fox slid to the end of his seat, arms perched on the desk edge. Cole was certain there was a hissing sound as he prepared to speak. The man’s tongue slipped between his lips, wetting them. Without realizing it, Cole glanced down to see if it was forked.

“Did she say how she found you?” he asked.

“It wasn’t mentioned.”

“I don’t suppose you know where she was going?”

Cole pushed himself up from the chair. He had cursed the strong-willed woman with every step and briar patch he had encountered, especially when blisters had rubbed his feet raw and forced him to walk barefoot. Her destination was not of any interest unless he could be assured of ample time alone with her. Thoughts of a sound thrashing for his unwarranted misery had fueled most of his trip.

“No,” Cole snapped and limped toward the desk. Sitting down had been a serious mistake. His entire body protested his insistence on renewed movement. At least, he had had the forethought to grab his boots before standing. “I don’t know where she is. Just give me my assignment and a horse that doesn’t belong to someone else?”

Foxy laughed and handed him a folded paper. “Isabella Foster is your next assignment. You need to find her and bring her in.”

Monday, April 21, 2008

I've been tagged

Tag! I'm It!

I've been tagged! Sarita Leone tagged me to play a cyber-game and this one seems like fun. :)

The rules:

a. Link to the person who tagged you.
b. Post the rules on your blog.
c. Write six random things about yourself.
d. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
e. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Hmm, I think all of my secrets are out, let me think... okay, six random facts about me:

1. I have never developed a taste for coffee. It doesn't matter how you truss it up, I can't stand it. Each time I've tried it, I've had to drink a full glass of water to get the taste out of my mouth.

2. At the back of this wallflowers aspirations, tucked under a pile of old clothes is a desire to act.

3. I played the clarinet in grade school and middle school.

4. I make lasagna and spaghetti noodles from scratch.

5. I am related, by marriage, to the Hatfields of the Hatfields and McCoy fame. I was even given the grand tour of the sites and told their side of the story in great detail by a relative.

6. I have green eyes. (I couldn't think of anything else. *shrug*)

I tag:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

TAKE ME IF YOU CAN by Karen Kendall

Avy Hunt is an art recovery agent whose new assignment is to retrieve the Sword of Alexander from Sir Liam James, a high-end art thief. With a fat commission and her reputation on the line, Avy crosses more than one moral line in her quest for the muti-million dollar art piece. A cryptic message from a trusted source shatters her common sense and leaves her basic instincts in question. The lack of which means death in her profession. Still, only one thing is clear. She'll bring in the sword no matter what.

This is the first book I've read by this author and WOW, what a great read. Never have I been gripped so early in a book. This book has everything and holds nothing back. To be honest, this author's style has a certain agent's fingerprints all over it. I was surprised to discover this person was not her agent. Anyway...

Miss Kendall has a succinct style of writing but not in a way that leaves you feeling cheated. You are left very satisfied. The characters are very nicely drawn, the story is plausible, her research is spot on, and the tension is high. The only complaint I have is there were a few chapters featuring Gwen that didn't seem to fit with the story, but they were entertaining and didn't distract, so...

Overall, you gotta read this book!

Friday, April 18, 2008

New read

I know when I've found an author I love. Fifty pages is generally my litmus test. This is the point where I decide how much further I'm willing to go with an author. One hundred pages is where I draw the line.

When an author has me seriously considering a job change that will take me into the world she's created within the first twenty-five pages--WOW, I'm hooked, big time.

I'll be back with a full review soon. I love finding new authors (to me) that are fabulous.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A little bit of everything

I haven't written much today but seem to have accomplished a lot. I read more of The Spymaster's Lady and finished tweaking my discussion board, please come take a look. I hope it will pick up after my release date.

I did start a new wip a few weeks ago, tentatively titled, McKnight. Do three chapters constitute a start? I really need to get going on this. Maybe a word counter in the side bar will help motivate me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why I’m Giving It Away.

Jane Richardson is a friend of mine and is newly published with The Wild Rose Press. Most new authors have varying thoughts of how publication will affect their lives. Jane is different. Instead of wanting success to change her life, she wants her success to change others. This is why.

A few years ago I became friends with a girl when I worked in the theatre. She had Type 1 diabetes, and over the course of our first few weeks together, she told me a little about it. Specifically, she told me about her first symptoms that led to a friend of hers recommending she visit her doctor right away.

I’m glad I listened carefully to what she said. It never occurred to me that several years down the line, I’d be seeing exactly the same symptoms in my son.

The first signs that something was going awry with Alexander were the emotional ones. He’d fly off the handle at the slightest little thing. We couldn’t understand why. Was it something we were doing wrong as parents? Was there some kind of bullying happening at school? We spoke to his teachers, who were already seeing his tempers vary to extremes. My little boy was on the edge of being branded a ‘difficult child’ in school. Then we came to the summer break, and with it, still the temper tantrums, often followed often by exhaustion. Summer went on, and then over the course of the final few weeks, other symptoms started to appear – the raging thirst, and the need to drink what seemed like gallons of water, followed by endless visits to the loo. We went to a movie – he visited the loo immediately before, during, and right after the show. Major alarm bells started to ring, as I remembered my friend’s symptoms. I made notes. Over the course of three days, my son drank an average of three litres of water a day and visited the loo thirty-three times. Armed with this information, we visited the doctor the next day. His words were, “You know what it is already, don’t you, Mum?”

Yes, I did. My son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

His life - our lives – changed in that moment. I’d heard my friend’s story, but I didn’t really understand what diabetes was all about. Now I do! Put simply, as I’m not a medical person, it occurs when your body stops producing its own insulin, which is the hormone that regulates your energy levels. No-one fully knows what causes diabetes, but it certainly isn’t caused by ‘eating too much sugar,’ as I’ve heard people say. The body’s blood sugar levels have to be regularly checked, which might be where the confusion arises. In order to do this, my son (and others like him) pricks his finger with a machine containing a sterile lancet, and he applies a drop of blood to a test strip attached to a meter that translates the information into figures. We use those figures to determine if he’s within the optimal blood glucose range, and also to establish what insulin he needs to take. This is balanced and calculated along with the food he eats at every meal or every snack. By doing this, we hope to prevent major, harmful drops or gains in his energy levels – the ‘hypos’ and ‘hypers’ you might have heard about.

I’ve mentioned insulin a couple of times. Alexander injects himself with insulin four times a day. Yes, I said he injects himself! He began to do his own injections about nine moths after diagnosis. Up till then, I’d done it, or his father had. Giving your own child an injection is not easy; neither is watching them inject themselves. But if it didn’t happen...well. You can’t think about the consequences of that too much. You just get on and do it. I should add – insulin is not a cure for diabetes. At this time of writing, there is no cure for diabetes, and it can have far-reaching and potentially harmful consequences, including damage to the eyes, heart and kidneys.

You’d think that by maintaining a routine of testing, eating and exercising well, and keeping up the insulin injections, everything would be perfect. That’s not always the case. Sadly and frustratingly, diabetes isn’t always easy to control.

My son is a very bright boy. He loves theory and reasoning, and can understand most things that can be explained and proved. He knows how his body works, and he knows what he has to do to stay well. If he asks a question, we can usually find the answer somewhere. But there are two questions we can’t answer for him – why this has happened to him, and how things might change for him in the future. Right now, all the signs point to the fact that my son will not outgrow diabetes. It’s a life-long condition, and may involve all kinds of complications further down the line.

But this could change, and research is happening all the time to find a cure. Even in the few years Alexander has been diagnosed, things are moving along. I can’t take the diabetes away and have it instead of him, though like most parents in this position, I’d do that in a heartbeat. But what I can do is help the organisations working towards a cure.

That’s why I’m going to double and donate every penny I raise from the sale of my contemporary love story ‘A Different Kind of Honesty,’ to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. If you buy the book, not only will you get a jolly good read out of it - - but you’ll be helping raise funds for diabetes research. You can read the blurb and an excerpt at The Wild Rose Press website, here. It’s currently available as an e-book, and the print format will be available in October. There’s another excerpt at my website, too.

I’m also lending my support to Brenda Novak’s wonderful on-line auction for diabetes research! I’ll be donating a book and a basket of organic aromatherapy products to that, and she has some stunning goodies to bid for! Please do take a look.

So that’s it. If you’d like to know more about me, please visit my website. I’m also running a contest to celebrate the release of my book; all the details are at the site. And if you want to drop me a line, please do. I’d love to hear from you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


If you like Italian men and English women, and who doesn't, you must read Jane Richardson's A DIFFERENT KIND OF HONESTY. To kick-off her debut novel, she is holding a contest at her website, and talk about a killer prize. Go take a look. I can't decide which is my favorite.

I also want to mention, every penny Jane makes from the sale of her book will be doubled and donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Thank you Jane for your generosity and good luck to all who enter.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

An interesting time at B&N

Okay, I went to Barnes and Noble to look around and while there, I discovered two things.

First, I am reminded of how small the writing world is. I was looking through an aisle display of books, listening to a woman give me a detailed list of who was good and who wasn't and why she thought this way. This woman may have favorites but let me tell you, she reads the gamut on authors. She was a treasure of information.

Anyway, she pointed out one book and when I turned it over to read the back cover, I almost dropped it. This author is on my Facebook and I had no idea she was an author. Much to my embarrassment, I also learned that she's no small potatoes. Nice to know we befriended each other before I became aware of who she was.

My personal critic continued to advise me. She thrust another book in my hand and said, "This author is fabulous. Start with this one." She tapped the front cover. "Especially if you like gardening."

Ummm, I'm definitely an indoor girl and not fond of the author being regaled. Okay, to be honest, I've not read this author, but I've heard a lot about her. From what I've heard, the author tends to leave a "love her" or "hate her" taste in readers' mouths, and I know where I'd fall.

Trying to be fair, I thought, this is the second time this author has been praised as a must read. I haven't given her a fair chance. At least, read the back and see if the story sounds interesting. I flipped it over. *blink, blink* I stared at an entire glossy, back cover of the author's image. I checked to see if there was a blurb on the first or last few pages. Nothing. Hmm, this spoke volumes to me and nothing flattering. I have to wonder, is she that good that people will purchase her books on her name alone? Is she not interested in new readers?

I nicely thanked the woman for her time, waited for her to leave, and returned the blurbless book to the shelf. Maybe I was right in my thinking after all?

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I have been reading a lot lately. It is soooo nice. One thing that I have tried to do is go outside of my reading comfort zone and read something from every genre. Although the idea made me a little nervous, I actually enjoyed it. Because of this exposure, I have seen a variety of things. Some authors have really stretched the limits of Literature 101. My Lit teachers would probably turn inside out with some things that were done. (I was taught by literary purists.) Still, I enjoyed seeing the novelties each author brought to their work.

I have a few books left on my tbr pile, but I plan to go to B&N in a week or so for someone else. While there, I thought I'd restock my supply. Hey, I barely, if at all, read while writing. This is my fix before I jump back in and disappear into the writing world. So...any suggestions out there that are a must read?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

TWO FOR THE DOUGH by Janet Evanovich

In Janet Evanovich's TWO FOR THE DOUGH, Stephanie Plumb is staking out funeral homes and discovering detached body parts. Her latest bounty: Kenny Mancuso, Joe Morelli's cousin. She'll have to decide if Joe's loyalties are to his family or to the law.

I liked seeing the characters once more and couldn't wait to get to know them better. But by the time I finished the book, I didn't feel like I knew them any more than when I started reading. There was limited action and suspense and when the third body part showed up, I rolled my eyes and put down the book. From listening to other readers, I'm aware that there is a love triangle with the main characters but at this point in the series, I didn't feel any chemistry between Joe and Stephanie.

Oh, well. I did give the series a try with two books.

Ellis Island

My daughter is in New York for the week, visiting a friend and playing tourist. I just got a text from her telling me she is on her way to Ellis Island and wanted to double check our family name. I hate to sound like a prissy-girl, but I got choked up.

As an historical author, historical events and settings steel me. I'm sure this won't make sense but...when I walk through historical places, everything around me changes. To prevent you from thinking I'm really weird, I'll not go into detail. Then again, maybe it's just my imagination.

Anyway, to think that she will be in the very place where most of our family was at one time, wow, emotional.

Monday, March 31, 2008

BLACK by Ted Dekker

Thomas Hunter lives in two worlds, but he has no idea which is real and which is dream related. In Ted Dekker's BLACK, new earth is the product of earth after a global catastrophe. In new earth, animals talk, reason, and interact with all species. While transitioning between the two worlds, Thomas tries to prevent the destruction of the first earth.

Having loved Mr. Dekker's other work, I couldn't wait to read this series. However, I could only make it to the middle of the book and had to stop. For me, Thomas' endless pursuit of proof dragged on way to long. Come on, halfway into the story and no one believes you? (The sister doesn't count.) At this point in the story, I want to be riveted.

Mr. Dekker's writing style is great, but I'm disappointed with the way the story floundered.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

SOUL IN HIS EYES by Christine London

In SOUL IN HIS EYES by Christine London, actor Erik Bartholomew receives hundreds of fan letters, but one from Christine Rose intrigues him. In her letter, she talks to Erik the man, not the actor. Erik and Christine sense a connection and begin a ‘letter affair’.

Miss London has created characters that are as real and endearing as your best friend. Although I was surprised with the speed and depth of Christine and Erik’s relationship, I was in there with them, rooting for it to flourish. The beginning of the book is very detailed but hits a quicker pace as the story progresses. A few times, I thought the story would go in a predictable way, but I was pleasantly surprised with the author’s direction.

This was an enjoyable story.


Congratulations to Jeanne Foster for winning a copy of COST OF FREEDOM on the Unusual Historicals website.

Friday, March 28, 2008

FOX AND HOUND by Amber Leigh Williams

Jewel thief, Todd Orso has penetrated the Louvre’s security systems and is less than a hair’s breath away from the Hortensia diamond when the gem is stolen from beneath his fingertips. He spends the next three years in prison thinking of the green-eyed thief who stole his diamond. In FOX AND HOUND by Amber Leigh Williams, museum thieves put the thrill of ‘the game’ on hold while they seek revenge against a master thief who played them.

Miss Williams does a wonderfully job of taking the reader into the world of high-risk jewel thieves Celestia Armstrong and Todd Orso. Her style of story telling is brisk and clean, giving enough details to place you in the scene without bogging down with wordiness or excessive description. While head hopping was present throughout the book, it wasn’t jarring. The play-by-play scenes did tell the action more than show but not so much that it interfered with the story.

I look forward to reading more from this author.