Saturday, December 29, 2012

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot...

It's hard to believe another year has nearly hung up its hat and said goodbye. I was hoping my newest historical romance, IN THE ARMS OF AN EARL, would be a 2012 release, but it's just as well it will be released sometime in 2013. I recently turned in the final revision, and hope to have the release date soon!

What are your resolutions for the New Year? Do you plan to keep them, or forget about most of them, like I did? This year will be different. I'm going to volunteer a few times a month at my son's elementary school, and have taken on a new blogging position at Historical Hussies - more on that to follow! Of course, I will keep this blog going and hope that some of my new readers will take the time to introduce themselves. Authors write for you, remember that! If we don't hear your praise or criticism, we are just throwing the books out there!

Wherever you are, I wish a happy and bright 2013 for all. Thank you for supporting me and reading my books for the past few years. I promise to continue to write more of them for you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hello Crews Lake Middle School!

I am happy to be here at the Great American Teach In, and I hope you all think about writing down all the great stories inside your heads. Never give up on your dreams. You can be whatever you want to be!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cool Book Trailer for Delilah Marvelle's New Book!

I tried to make a book trailer, which is really like a mini-movie/Powerpoint presentation, but it has me stumped! So I was amazed and inspired by a fellow author's fabulous book trailer for her upcoming January release, Forever A Lord. You can check it out here:

Forever A Lord Book Trailer

Do readers want book trailers? How do you decide to buy a book? Do you choose by author, cover, or subject matter? All or some of the above? I guess I choose by author, generally, and then by the subject. For instance, I love "marriage of convenience" stories and stories with a vengeance theme. So I will choose those regardless of the author or cover. Let me know what you think!

Warm thoughts and prayers to those affected by the recent Hurricane Sandy. I hope my northern friends are all safe or else recovering!

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Friend's New Book and Giveaway!

With Halloween around the corner, why not read a paranormal book? My dear friend, Juli, author of the new The Artist's Inheritance, is a guest over at Child of Yden and is giving away some swag to a lucky commenter! Check it out!

Juli's spooky giveaways

I love autumn. Of course, here in Florida, it's sometimes hard to tell what season it is! All the trees and grass are still green, and were it not for one single climbing plant in my backyard that turns red this time of year, I would have no clue if it were June or October!

Do you have any favorite autumn traditions? Is it crisp and cool where you live, or warm and sunny like it is here? I'd love for you to share. Happy Halloween, and happy reading!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tarnished Gaslamps talking about my book...

If you'd like to check out a free, long excerpt from my novella, Mistletoe and Montana, come over to the Tarnished Gaslamps blog! The blogger over there features a new book every week.

Mistletoe and Montana at Tarnished Gaslamps blog

A reader asked me if I've ever been to Montana, and the answer is, sadly, not yet! But the wonderful thing about imagination is you can take yourself anywhere you want. I generally have a feeling about a place from looking at pictures or reading articles. In researching Montana, I relied on visitor's guides and websites, and movies that had been filmed there. I've been to Yosemite National Park in the snow and have a sense of icy pine trees and crisply cold flowing rivers and the feeling of sinking knee deep until your jeans are soaked through!
I've never been on a snow mobile like my characters, however, but have ridden behind my husband when he had a motorcycle, and figured it can't be much different hanging onto a waist in front of you and feeling icy air blast your face!
If only we could travel to everyplace we wanted. What incredible research that would be! I have a work in progress set in Norway and have been planning a dream trip to Scandinavia. I'm hoping for our 20th anniversary, which will be close to my 50th birthday! Wow - writing that makes it almost surreal.I wrote my first book more than 3 decades ago. I hope to keep writing until the very end.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My New Book Cover!

I am so excited to share my beautiful new cover for In the Arms of an Earl, which will release sometime early next year. This was probably a difficult cover for the artist to create, because my hero, Frederick, is unique - he is an amputee, missing his left hand.

Other than Mr. Rochester of Jane Eyre, I can't think of one literary hero who is missing a limb! Oh, sure, you'll always have a battle-scarred Viking with a sexy scar on his face, or those deep "psychological" wounds are always a hit, but very few heroes exist where they end in the book the same way they began.

I don't know what compelled me to write a hero with one hand - but I'm glad I did. Maybe it's because there are so many veterans in my family and I wanted to honor their sacrifice. Or maybe it's because of one too many newscasts of young men and women coming home with their legs blown off from IED's. Whatever the reason, I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Here's an excerpt to tickle your imagination!

I pity Mr. Parker that his kiss was not more…inspiring and memorable.”
She didn’t know if he was teasing but laughed a little despite her remembered shame. “If his was the ideal of what a kiss ought to be, I don’t think I’ve missed much.”
He continued to hold her hand. The thrum of his pulse raced from his fingers to hers.
“And how was this infamous kiss performed?”
Evening was upon them, and the fading sunlight gave her cover from his gaze. “It was...all over the place. His lips felt like a scurrying mouse, and I was the cheese.”
His rich laugh filled the air. “Show me.”
Without hesitation, she lifted his hand to her lips and imitated the kiss as best she could, though the first touch of his skin against her mouth jolted her senses. Suddenly embarrassed, she released his hand and twisted her fingers in her skirt.
“It was like that.”
The amused look left his eyes.
“This is how it should have been,” he murmured.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Got pictures? Not anymore!

There has been an astonishing amount of blogspeak lately with authors being sued or threatened by photographers for using their copyrighted photos. This is nearly always done without any harmful intent by the author, but it results in nasty lawyer fees. To this end, I am not going to post anymore pictures on my blog unless I took them or if I am positive they are in the public domain. I just wanted to give a heads up to my readers, who may wonder where all the nice pictures have gone!

Monday, July 16, 2012

FREE Excerpt from my new book, Mistletoe & Montana

     Joely emerged from the closet with a sweatshirt held in front of her to shield the fact she was only wearing a pair of bikini panties and the shirt she’d worn beneath her sweater the day before.
     “I was looking for a sweatshirt. Hope you don’t mind.”
     It only took a moment for his gaze to scorch her body, but when he averted his eyes, she felt like she’d just walked too close to a flame.
     “That’s okay. Take whatever you want.” He looked like he wanted to say something more, but then walked out of the bedroom. “I’m going to make some hot chocolate for the kids,” he called. She pulled on the sweatshirt and rushed back to her room to step into her jeans and pull on her boots.
He was in the kitchen, and this time, knew better than to interfere. She perched on a stool while he brought milk to a slow boil and added cocoa powder.
     “Wow, you make it right,” she said.
     “Thanks.” A slow smirk spread across his face. “I know you’re waiting to say something.”
     “No, I’m not.” She was all innocence and smiles.
     “Go on and ask me about her.”
     Her heartbeat jumped, but she pretended she was interested in the salt and pepper shakers instead. “Who? Mrs. Gomez?”
     “Yeah, right.” He got four mugs out of a cabinet and set them in front of her. “I saw your face last night when Molly brought her up. It’s okay. You can ask. I ask you about Matt all the time.”
He’d asked once, and that was after the first story of their dating broke on a cable entertainment show. Ben had shown remarkable calm and restraint, considering their divorce had only finalized a month before. It was only fair that he have a turn in being the one in the spotlight.
     “Okay. Who is Chrissy?”
     “I met her when I went up to the university two years ago to speak at graduation.”
      She wondered if her face blanched. “Is she a student?” It wasn’t possible so much jealousy could fill her until it threatened to explode. All the insecurities of dating the most popular jock in the state, if not the southwest, came back as fresh as when she was a senior in high school.
     “God, no! What do you think I am, a cradle robber?” He flushed a little. “She’s a professor. In the English department. You’d probably like her.”
     “I doubt it,” she said without thinking, then laughed in surprise at the force of her own feelings. Fortunately, he laughed, too. “Is it serious?”
      He shrugged, and poured the hot chocolate into the mugs so deliberately she almost expected to hear him make a wedding announcement.
     “Not anymore. She took a job teaching in London.”
     Not anymore. She sipped her drink too quickly, scalding her throat in the process. “The kids met her, apparently?”
     “She came by over the summer. To say goodbye.” He picked up two of the mugs and started walking out of the kitchen. “Come outside. I’ll let you throw a snowball at me.”
     “Aw, you don’t have to be so nice,” she said drily, but picked up the other mugs and followed him outdoors.

Mistletoe and Montana can be found exclusively in the Amazon Kindle Store!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cool Summer Reading - My New Novella!

I wanted to write some shorter stories to kill time between the big book releases, and have succeeded with my first, a Christmas story called MISTLETOE AND MONTANA! I tend to write contemporary novels that deal with reunions of some kind or another, and forgiveness and looking forward to the future are key themes. In M&M, I was inspired by Ashton Kutcher leaving Demi Moore. I always thought she was better off with Bruce, and got the idea for a story based on the idea of her going back to Bruce. Of course, my hero, Ben, is a former football star, and my heroine, Joely, isn't a big actress, but that's where the inspiration came from.
This is my first foray into "Indie Publishing" and I'm very excited to have done the cover, editing, and complete packaging on my own. So if you enjoy heartwarming, sweet romances, this one's for you. I'd love to know what you think!
Mistletoe & Montana

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

IN THE ARMS OF AN EARL - new romance in 2013!

I was so happy and excited to sign a contract with The Wild Rose Press for my new regency-set historical romance. The release date is TBA but looks like 2013. In the meantime, here's a little bit of info about my new story.

Are you tired of the perfect "alpha" heroes who look and act the same? Tall, dark and handsome gets old after a while, so my new hero, Frederick Blakeney, is different. How? He's missing his left hand, which was wounded in the War of 1812. Unfortunately, our handsome Frederick is also a musical prodigy, so his injury has left him emotionally battered. Enter shy, withdrawn Ella, whose love of music helps Frederick find what he's been missing in life.

I haven't read many novels beyond Jane Eyre where the hero is scarred with something more than superficial, and it was challenging to create a hero who is both sexy and troubled, intriguing and unique.

What gave me the idea to write what I hope will be a new breed of hero? I was at Busch Gardens a few years ago and saw a handsome, sexy man with blue eyes and that trademark shaved blonde hair that told me he was a soldier. He was missing both legs, but I could see from his smiles and laughter that he was enjoying life. I realized it's not having all one's limbs that makes a man a man. And the same should go for literary heroes, too.

It's especially poignant that I'm posting this on the 4th of July. Won't you thank a soldier today? And remember all of the real heroes, abroad and at home, who fight for us every day.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spring is in the Air - here in Florida, anyway!

My deepest sympathy for the victims of the latest tornadoes sweeping through the midwest! It's amazing what nature can do. We're safe on the Gulf Coast in Florida, as the high winds tend to be inland - skipping over us completely. This has nothing to do with writing, but I just wanted everyone to take a moment and appreciate what we have in our lives.

On a brighter note, I joined a brand spanking new RWA chapter - it's called the Sunshine State Romance Authors. Great group of writers of all genres, ages, backgrounds, and experience. Our emblem is a mermaid! For those of you unfamiliar with this part of Florida, we have Weeki Wachee Springs which is the home of live mermaids! Not really - they are beautiful girls who are able to swim and dance underwater. Here's a link to their site - it's one of the original tourist draws in Florida!

I believe in mermaids!

I hope everyone is busy getting ready for spring and warmer weather. It feels like summer here - in the low 80s or high 70s most of the time. Whenever I hear about snow in other parts of the country, I have to remember that it's still winter for some people. I even have my garden planted and some of the tomato plants have little green tomatoes! Okay, I cheated - we bought them with some fruit on the vine already.

Read any good books lately? If it's still cold where you live, cuddle up by a frosty window under a warm blanket and discover a new gem or revisit an old friend. Jane Eyre is my all time favorite for dark and bleary days, or any other gothic novel. Tell us what you've been reading, or what you're doing to get ready for spring!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Romance on Valentine's Day and Every Day!

People think it must be easy for a romance author to write about something as obvious as Valentine's Day, but I guess it's as difficult for writers as it is for everyone else. I mean, what can I write about the ultimate holiday that celebrates love in all its wonderful forms? So to celebrate this day of hearts and flowers, I've clipped a love scene from one of my current projects to give you a glimpse of love in Regency England! This is a scene between Mary Bennet (the middle sister from Pride and Prejudice) and her fiance, Frederick, who happens to be drop dead gorgeous and an earl, to boot! They're playing the piano together in the middle of the night. It's a piece she wrote about him.

     A log on the hearth collapsed with the muffled sound of rustling autumn leaves. He’d stoked the fire earlier, but it was almost dying. She wondered if she should light a few lamps–perhaps all of them, and some candles, besides, but then decided against it. There was a magical quality in the air, hovering around them. Light would only disturb the moment.
     “This part rather hangs in the end,” he said suddenly, his eyes focused on the page while his fingers continued to work through her notes. She blinked.
     “Does it?”
     He nodded, seemingly unaware of her tumultuous feelings. “Tell me what you saw when you wrote this. In your head, I mean. Is this Everhill?” He played a few chords, and then looked at her expectantly.
     She stifled a laugh. “I do not remember what I saw in my mind. I was just thinking of…” Being lost in your arms, of running my fingers through your hair…She gulped. “It was just you.”
     “Just me?”
     His quiet voice matched the silent darkness all around them. The fire crackled in the hearth, then seemed to go silent, as if the inanimate room waited for her reply.
     “Just you.” Her response had been a throaty whisper. She took a deep breath as if she were preparing to swim across a lake. Her left hand slipped off the keyboard and linked with her right, which remained in her lap.
     She felt one of them should look away first, and quickly. Something was about to happen, and she didn’t know if she should try to stop it, or even how she could.
     His eyes glowed in the dim room, burning flames of their own. He moved closer to her on the bench, taking the last eighth of an inch. Heat emanated from his body until she felt his warmth through her dressing gown and nightgown, and finally, to her bare skin. She hadn’t realized he’d taken her hand until he pressed it to his lips.
     The pressure of his mouth against her palm increased to a defined kiss. This was no repeat of mocking Jeremy’s attempt. Her breath seemed trapped in her lungs, and she arched toward him. He curved her fingers around his cheek, the rasp of his whiskers grazing her skin. She longed to touch him of her own accord, to stroke his silky-looking hair and the straight slope of his nose, but her hand was captive.
     Unable to bear not being in his arms any longer, she slid her free hand up his arm, feeling the muscles contract until she reached his shoulder. He slipped his injured arm around her back and drew her close, releasing her hand in another instant to tilt her chin as his head dipped down.
     She had never anticipated a kiss before, yet instinctively knew what to do. She pressed her hand to his chest, her fingertips inadvertently slipping between his shirt buttons so that she felt his heated bare skin. His breath fanned her cheek with short, quick puffs, and his heartbeat pounded against her palm.
     The tips of their noses touched, and then his head turned slightly. The feather touch of his mouth against hers sparked something deep inside her, and she murmured his name. That action parted her lips, and it was all he needed. His lips were gentle but firm, tasting and teasing her until she kissed him back, her head reeling with the rapid onslaught of sensations his kiss aroused.

Hope that puts everyone in the mood for your own personal love story! May it be filled with hugs and kisses, candy hearts and roses! (And someone else doing the dishes for a change.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Plotting A New Novel, Jane Austen Style!

Well, I finally finished and submitted a Regency historical romance, book 1 of hopefully 3 in a series, and am now working on book 2! This one stars Georgiana Darcy, the famous Mr. Darcy's younger sister. I love immersing myself in the Regency period and am excited to work on this new book. Usually, when I finish a book, there's a little sense of loss - like the baby bird has flown the nest! But sticking with the same background story (Pride and Prejudice) and familiar characters makes it feel like I'm with an old friend again.

Who is your favorite Jane Austen character? Are you fond of matchmaker Emma? Sensible Eleanor Dashwood? The Bennet sisters? What is it about her books that have inspired readers and authors for nearly 200 years?