Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Cover

Today I received the cover art for my May Harlequin Romantic Suspense THE MILLIONAIRE COWBOYS's SECRET.  My trend seems to be for hero only covers.

So here it is.  What do you think?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Childhood and Longings

My friend Anna Adams has a beautiful post on her blog this morning.  It made me think of how we - or most of us, I'm guessing - form a love for the kind of place we grew up. 

My childhood memories were in the Catskill Mountains.  I grew up in a two story house high on a hill, surrounded by acres of woods.  We ran wild in those forests, climbed tree houses, explored streams, and visited an old rock quarry we called the frog pond.  We brought home buckets of tadpoles, caught frogs. released them.  The neighbor dogs roamed wild too, and the parents called the pets and children to dinner using various means.  One neighbor blew a trumpet.  Another rang a huge iron bells.  My Dad would just step outside and holler our names. 

In the winter, the snow would blow and gust and I loved that time best of all.  We'd sled down our hill, build snow forts and have snowball fights.  There was a pond - Wheeler's Pond - nearby that always froze over and all the kids would grab their ice skates and head over there to skate on the uneven ice.  I loved waking in up in the morning to white light and just knowing school would be cancelled and we'd have a play day.

I also loved gaudy autumn, for that first crisp morning after summer, and the leaves painting a colorful canopy across the rolling hills.  Red and orange and yellow, so beautiful.  We'd rake them into huge piles, then run and jump and roll in them. 

Summers were short - at least compared to the endless blast of heat here in Texas.  Like kids everywhere, we played in the sprinklers and ran barefoot.  We drank iced tea and ate outside on the back porch.  I climbed my treehouse a lot and spent hours there reading a good book because if I read in the house my mother would chase me outside to play. 

Spring, still chilly, but rain instead of snow.  The ladyslippers would poke their delicate heads out of the ground and the butterflies would return.  And the birds. 

I too, like Anna, peruse real estate sites occasionally and check to see if homes in my old neighborhood go up for sale.  I too have entertained the idea of moving back there in an attempt to recapture the joy of being a child.  But since that's not possible, like my friend I'll just celebrate the joy of my life now.  Except in summer.  Then I only long for escape.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


The one word title of this post sums it up for me.  Better.  Life has finally settled down, my husband feels better and doesn't appear to be freaking out so much, and the book is actually taking shape and is (so far) fun to write.  I've even been making my page goals every day (or word goals, as it is.)

I've been trying to figure this out, but it looks like my 25th book for Harlequin comes out this year.  I'd published 10 with other publishers, so it will be my 35th published work - and I'm still learning stuff.  Currently reading Donald Maass's newest craft book, plus I have Scrivener for Dummies (I know) to read.

And... and... I finally found a Unitarian church nearby that I'd really like to attend.  I've been wanting to do that for a few years now, but for various reasons (laziness being one of them), put it off.  But now my husband has expressed a desire to possibly attend church, so this might be a good one to start with.  I'm a former Catholic and he's a former Pentacostal, so we've never really found anything sort of in the middle. Shrug.  I may bring it up again and see what he thinks.

So almost everything is going well.  Better.  Except my fitness.  Yep, ole lazy me has lapsed again.  I'm trying to get back into it here at home - I have almost all the equipment I need.  Got. To. Get. Motivated.

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Writing No Matter What

I truly admire people who can manage to write no matter what's going on around them.  People who make their deadlines by writing in doctor's office waiting rooms or hospital rooms.  People who are obviously much more focused and dedicated than me.

But I'm trying.  Even when I can't concentrate and my head and heart hurts and I feel beaten down.  I'm grateful for all that I have and sad over all that I've lost or stand to lose soon. 

I want to lose myself in my character's world and lives and escape my worries and petty fears. 

So here I go.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Keeping Life Interesting

Like I posted yesterday, I've started a new story.  This is always a kind of nerve-wracking time for me, as my editor hasn't approved the synopsis yet.  I always worry that I'll get a few chapters in and she'll email me to say "No.  Come up with something else."  So far, that hasn't happened, but one never knows.

I'm reading Writing 21st Century Fiction (when I can) by Donald Maass.  This is my craft book for this quarter.  I've also ordered Scrivener for Dummies, because every other writer I know seems to love that software, and I don't understand it.  And I'm STILL trying to get used to typing on this damn new ergonomic keyboard.  Grrr.

Plus I'm reading my Rita books.  6 new to me authors.  For those of you reading this who don't know, every year The Romance Writers of America has a contest, kind of like the Grammys of romance writing.  Published authors judge other author's books, only in a category the judging author hasn't entered.  The winner is announced in a big ceremony at the annual covention, which is in Atlanta this year. 

Plus writing this new story.  The characters are still relative strangers to me, and that makes it interesting. 

So far, life has been a bit crazy.  I really hope my husband feels better soon.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


New year, new book.  Yep, despite all the health hoopla going on around here, I've started writing a new book.  It's actually due April 1, so I'd better get on it.  I sent in the synopsis already and I'm looking forward to getting to know the characters.

It's chily here, though we're supposed to have a brief warmup.  I'm trying like heck to get used to this new ergonomic keyboard I just bought.  The space bar is hard to move and it's wearing out my thumb. 

But I've started the new book.  It's a Harlequin Romantic Suspense and I'm excited about it. 

Now if life will just settle back down, all will be good.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Life Happens

It must seem like I've fallen off the face of the earth.  I posted last on Friday, January 4th.  That weekend, I finished up my synopsis and emailed it to Anna Adams for her to critique.  Saturday, my husband was feeling horrible, so he went to our family doctor as a walk-in (they do a half-day of walkins on Saturday).  A bunch of blood work was run and he came home. 

By Monday, he felt worse.  Again he went to the doctor as a walk-in.  I stayed home to work. Anna had emailed me her critique of my synopsis and I'd started to work on revising it when my phone rang.  It was my husband who told me the doctor was calling an ambulance to take him to the hospital.  Then the doctor came on the phone and said Lonnie was in A-Fib and had a heart rate of 188.

Long story short, the next week was a round of hospital visits.  They tried to get his heart back into rhythm and slowed down with medication, but finally conceeded he would have to have it shocked back (called a Cardio-version.)  They did this on Thursday and it worked!  Finally, he came home.

We were both so exhausted on Friday, but we had dropped of prescriptions to be filled and he needed them.  One of the meds, a blood thinner, was denied by the insurance company.  It was expansive and Warfarin was a much cheaper alternative.  After phone calls with the Cardiologists, a prescription was called in for this.  Lonnie took it Friday and Saturday.  Sunday morning he woke up covered in a red, itchy rash.

More phone calls.  He stopped taking the meds and started taking Benadryl.  This morning we left at 7:30 to go to the doctor again.  They had a few samples of the new med and I've got another call in to the Cardiologist to get started on trying to get an exception approval from the insurance company for it.  So far, all is calm. 

I emailed the finally revised synopsis to my editor this morning and am going to start writing the book since it's due 4-1.   Hopefully, life will settle back down and Lonnie will feel better.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Not-Resolutions

I read a lot of blogs and am active on Facebook and occasionally Twitter.  Just about everyone is posting their resolutions for 2013.  I don't normally do resolutions, and if I do they're so vague and non-specific you have to wonder what's the point?

But here's what I resolve to do in 2013 (and yes, some of them are vague!)

Try to train and run a 5.k .  Stop laughing.  Yes, you.  So what if my entire family doubles over with laughter when I say this.  So what if I injured my tendon and can barely wear high heels.  I want to try.  I bought the Couch to 5k app for my I-phone and I'm going to give it a shot.  If my tendon starts hurting, I'll stop.  But at least I want to try.  (Purposely vague, for a reason.)

Try more new music.  Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love music.  And going to concerts.  I've been trying to listen to more Country music as that's a genre I'm not all that familiar with.  And this year I want to attend at least one, super-fabulous, concert.

Exercise more.  Again, purposely vague.  But I need to get up off my behind and reclaim my muscle definition and up my endurance.  Again.

Eat better.  Again, vague.  But I firmly believe you lose weight by eating properly and you get fit in the gym.  So there. 

Get more in touch with my spiritual side.  My leanings are more toward the esoteric.  I need to re-read my Edgar Cayce books, my Gina Cerminara, and try to learn something new every couple of months.

Walk my dogs more.  They love it.  It's good for them.  It's good for me.  'Nuff said.

Try more new recipes.  I love to cook.  Sometimes I'm good at it.  Other times, I'm not.  But I need to venture out from the tried and true and make a few new dishes.  Healthy, of course.

Work on my craft.  I need to get back to reading at least one craft-related writing book each quarter.  Ok, that's pretty specific.  Right now I just started "Writing 21st Century Fiction" by Donald Maass. 

Get out more.  I've become a sort of recluse.  Working from home, I don't interact much with other people.  Maybe I should try attending my local Romance Writers Chapter meetings.  Or something. 

Anyway, that's all I can think of.  For now.  I'm sure there's more.