Showing posts from 2016

A Ghost of an Idea

“I have endeavored in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humor with themselves, with each other, with the season or with me. May it haunt their house pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.”  Charles Dickens-December 1843
People respond to suffering in different ways.  Moved by the plight of children working in the Cornish tin mines, Charles Dickens gave a series of speeches imploring audiences to fight ignorance with educational reform. He then considered writing an inexpensive political pamphlet, but opted instead for writing fiction finishing the novella in six weeks.  Published on December 19, 1843, the first run of 6,000 copies of A Christmas Carol sold out by Christmas Eve.
It always amazes me what other creative endeavors are inspired by a single story.  Less than two months after publication, there were at least eight theatrical versions in production.  Scrooge’s tale of redemption has been portrayed in a variety of s…

Author Interview-Jill Archer

How did you become a writer?
I’ve been a lifelong reader so, at the outset, I had that love of books and the written word that every writer must have. When I reached the point in my life when I decided I wanted to try writing a novel, I just started writing. Those first scenes weren’t even close to a novel, but you have to start somewhere. Over a number of years, I took workshops, online classes, attended conferences, and read at least a dozen books on novel structure, character development, worldbuilding, etc. When I read other authors’ books, I started paying more attention to how they were written. I kept writing. Eventually, many years later, I was able to write a manuscript that was good enough to attract the attention of several agents. Leaving the practice of law to write about it (albeit with an interesting twist) was risky, but it paid off.
Who are some of your favorite romance characters?
Celia Bowen and Marco Alistair (Night Circus) Claire and Jamie Fraser (Outlander) Ramses…

Lessons From the Dance Floor

Some writers seem to be everywhere, doing blog tours, leaving clever comments on writing loops and making appearances on all conceivable forms of social media sort of like the popular girl who is always on the dance floor. The gals on the sidelines wonder if they need a shorter skirt, higher heels or darker lipstick to be noticed. Writers watch others cut a broad swath on the Internet and worry about how much blogging, tweeting and commenting is needed to attract readers.
You don’t have to be everywhere, but you do need to be seen. One night at Salsa my instructor noticed me pouting at a remote table.  “You need to be closer to the action,” he said nodding toward the crowd at the bar. I moved to a more populated area of the club and my evening improved considerably.  If maintaining your own blog is too much for you, consider being part of a group blog or look for guest posting opportunities at other author blogs.

Watch the other dancers for ideas, but ultimately you need to find your…

On the Road Again

I'm visiting the Roses of Prose today and sharing an excerpt from Ladies Man.
Hope to see you there!

Got Ghosts?

One of the things I like most about Halloween is ghost stories and Northern Nevada has some chilling stories! Most people associate ghosts with old houses or graveyards. Apparently ghosts can reside anywhere there are strong feelings or intense memories.  I'm thrilled to be at Brenda Whiteside's blog today chatting about a sighting not far from my current office.

Wishing all of you a Happy Halloween! Hope to see you there!

The Vampire (1957)

Claiming that he found the secret a dying Dr. Campbell hands a vial of pills to Dr. Paul Beecher who slips the pills into his pocket.  When his young daughter accidentally gives him one of the pills during a migraine, the kind family doctor finds himself swept up in horrifying events beyond his control. Can the good doctor stop the madness in time?

Although the film has several flashes of iconic horror scenes, a mysterious old house, creepy laboratory with bats, lovely woman fleeing in terror, vampire fans expecting the suave elegance of Bella Lugosi will be kept waiting.  Despite a number of bodies with the tell-tale fang marks in the neck, the title monster’s transformation and storyline is more The Wolf Man than Dracula.  Those horror fans that love their monsters whether they’re fanged, furry or with fins will enjoy The Vampire even without the cape and the smooth accent. Vampire purists may prefer to stick to the classic  Dracula or even Fright Night (the 1985 original or the 20…

Best of the West

In celebration of the release of Ladies Man, the production team shares what they consider the best of the West. They worked with me on Package Deal and Hot Flash and I'm thrilled to work with them again.
Stevie DeInk-Formatting
Personally, I'm pretty fond of the scenery throughout the West-not to mention how varied it is. You've got the stark beauty of the desert, the coast across California, even thick forests up in Washington. The weather can be a bit crazy sometimes, but there is always a gorgeous spot somewhere around the corner.
In addition to formatting, Stevie does cover design. Featured is one of her covers.

Harris Channing-Cover Design Harris is an author in her own right as well as designer.
When asked what I love about the West, I had to stop and think.  As a Southern girl, it pains me to say that the furthest west I’ve ever been is Louisiana.  So, I had to go deeper into things I like about the West. And what intrigues me is the history. So many great things happen…

Indie Author Day

“Writers aren’t exactly people…they’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
I believe Fitzgerald’s quote to be especially true for indie published writers. Not only do you have a cast of characters in your head vying for attention, as an indie writer you are the CEO, publicist, finance director and tech support of your own business.  Even if you hire out for some of the heavy lifting jobs (like editing), the success or failure of your enterprise rests squarely on your shoulders. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the inaugural IndieAuthor Day taking place in libraries across the country on October 8th with a live webcast scheduled for 2:00PM EST. 
 My local library, Washoe County Library-Spanish Springs, will have their event on Sunday, October 9th from 2:00-4:00PM PST. The Spanish Springs event will host about a dozen local writers (including yours truly).  Authors will have their books available for purchase and there will be an author Q&A from 2…

Ladies Man-Available as a Pre-Order from Amazon

The release date is set for October 27th, but I'm excited to report that Ladies Man is available as a pre-order on Amazon. My second title in the Rhythm & Romance series and it's all about West Coast Swing.

Ladies Man
Clark Stevens has always had a way with women, but his teenage daughter despises him.  When his daughter comes to live with him fulltime, he enlists co-worker, Julie Wahl, to coach him on parenting skills.
As a single mom and paralegal, Julie Wahl, has successfully balanced family, work and swing dancing. After heartbreak on the dance floor, the last thing Julie needs is an office romance.  But she can hardly say no to a colleague in need, especially one with dark brown eyes and a killer grin.
Didn't Harris Channing do an amazing job with the cover! More in the weeks to follow.

Dancing to Australia

Did you know an Italian study discovered that recovering heart surgery patients were happier taking waltz classes than those who cycled or ran the treadmill? I know I'd rather be on the dance floor than anywhere else.

Quick update: I've been busy with the final edits on the 2nd title in the Rhythm & Romance series. Harris Channing just sent me the cover and it's gorgeous! I hope to release "Ladies Man" later this Fall.

Today I'm guest posting at Louise Lyndon's blog about a certain cowboy who first invited me onto the dance floor. My sister Wild Rose author is based in Melbourne, Australia and I'm thrilled to be her guest. Hope to see you there!

Midnight Mysteries-Laura (1944)

I imagine between the schedule and facing the dark side of humanity on a daily basis that it would be difficult for a NYC detective to meet that someone special.  Under her portrait’s mesmerizing gaze while reading her diary, Detective Mark McPherson falls for a beautiful, quick-witted woman during a murder investigation. Unfortunately, the lovely Laura Hunt happens to be the victim.
The true star of the movie is the dialogue.  Laura’s mentor, newspaper columnist, Waldo Lydecker, has a rapier wit and he’s fond of skewering the unwary.  Writers will be intrigued by Lydecker’s writing desk, a typewriter perched over a spa-sized bathtub.
“I’m not kind. I’m vicious it’s the secret of my charm.”  Waldo Lydecker
“In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any subject so worthy of my attention.” Waldo Lydecker
McPherson: [Regarding the list of suspects] “You know you’re on this list too.” Lydecker: “Good. It would insult me to be overlooked.”
“I can afford …

Author Interview-Jenna Bennett

What inspired you to become a writer? I’ve always been a writer. My first grade teacher told my parents – and all the other parents in the room – that “this one will probably grow up to be an author,” just before she read my story out loud at one of the parent-teacher meetings. Growing up, writing stories was a way to live vicariously through the characters, who were all prettier, more popular, and much more exciting than me. I never considered writing as a possible career, though, so I did a lot of other things. Tour guide, bank teller, actress, waitress, proof reader, bed and breakfast reservationist, real estate agent, stay-at-home mom... until 2005, when I met historical suspense author Tasha Alexander. Her first book was being released that year, and she told me, “if I can do it, you can do it.” So I did it. And the rest is history, pretty much.
Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?) I’m partial to Eve Dallas and Roarke, in JD Robb’s (Nora Roberts’) In Deat…

Author Interview-Rachel Leigh Smith

What inspired you to become a writer? I can’t put my finger on any one thing. Writing was something I always enjoyed, and that my parents encouraged me to pursue. Then in 2007, I decided I wanted to get a little more serious and learn how to write a novel. So I did. I finished my first one in the winter of 2011, and I just published my fifth novel.
Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?) How much time do we have? :D Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series! He’s magnificent. I’m also a huge Psy-Changeling fan, and Sherri’s The League. I have such a Dark-Hunter problem that I own both of the coloring books out right now.
Tell me what inspired this story. My Name Is A’yen arrived in a dream, after a pretty traumatic couple of years and surviving an abusive marriage. On the night of what would’ve been my third anniversary, I dreamed about a humanoid alien walking through the forest saying the same word over and over and over. I woke up the next morning, got o…

Midnight Mysteries-One Body Too Many (1944)

Eager beaver insurance salesman, Albert Tuttle, thinks he’s landed a dream appointment with eccentric millionaire, Cyrus Rutherford.  He arrives at the Rutherford estate only to find his hot prospect is stone cold dead with a house full of conniving relatives, suspicious servants and a slippery lawyer.  As stipulated in Rutherford’s will, none of the potential heirs may leave the premises until the next morning.  It could be the opportunity of a lifetime for Tuttle…if he lives through the night.
One Body Too Many is the typical creepy mansion flick complete with secret rooms and hidden passages as well as a comic twist.  While likeable Tuttle is hardly the typical stoic, square-jawed hero he stammers, stumbles and scrambles from one situation to the next.  Though the large cast makes it tough to distinguish the cut-throat relatives from one another, the flick is well-worth a watch.
Fun facts:
Director Frank McDonald worked on the railroad prior to his directing career. He directed mor…

Care Instructions Motherhood & Writing

Write, mother, sleep. Repeat as needed.
Shondra Rhimes
The creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal has shared some inspiring comments regarding writing and motherhood, but this is one of my favorites.  Too often mothers and writers embark on a frantic search for the right combination of habit, attitude and magic that will keep their priorities aloft without all of them crashing down on their heads. Unfortunately due to life’s ever-changing nature, what worked like a charm today may be worthless tomorrow.
That doesn’t mean to stop striving, but you can ditch trying to be perfect.Sometimes it is best to keep moving forward and embrace the silly sticky moments.  Instead of aiming on an impossible ideal, focus on being consistent which works well for both real kids and literary babies.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Ladies Who Lunch

I don’t know when it became fashionable in the corporate world to skip lunch. I recall a late afternoon meeting in which a C-Suite darling bragged she had made it through the entire day on an apple and a single cup of coffee.  Had that been me, I’m not saying there would have been bloodshed, but there would have been serious bruising.
Besides magic can happen when sharing lunch with a like-minded colleague especially if fresh tortilla chips are on the table. A while back during lunch at Q’doba, I told Regina Duke about two of the stories I had sent to an editor for a romance anthology. She quickly brought me to my senses.
“Get them back from the editor and publish them yourself. You don’t need outside validation,” she insisted. I could hardly argue with retired college professor and USA Best Selling Author especially since my mouth was full. After our lunch I hurried home to retrieve my two stories from the editor and to write what would be the third story in Hot Flash.
A couple of n…

Author Interview-JM Stewart

What inspired you to become a writer? A dream, actually. I had a dream one night and a single image stuck with me. It seemed to have a story and I was intrigued.
Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?) Oh, this one’s easy. Jamie and Claire, from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Jamie is just swoon worthy and I like that Claire is such a strong character.
Tell me what inspired this story. Hahaha. I’d always wanted to try my hand at writing erotic romance. I read a lot of it. One day, I thought, “Why not?” This was my first attempt. I wrote this book originally for me and me alone and I followed the muse. I think I chose a billionaire theme just because it was popular and I’d never done one before. I wanted to see if I could. lol
What is one of your favorite romantic locales? Hmm. That’s a tough one. I’ve never been anywhere outside of the US and nowhere I’d particular call romantic. But for the sake of the question…Paris, I suppose. Or Italy. Or Greece. They’re all so be…

Midnight Mysteries-The House on Telegraph Hill

There are so many amazing classic thrillers out there, I decided to add a new category, Midnight Mysteries. Enjoy! 
The House on Telegraph Hill (1951)
To endure the horrors of the concentration camp, Karin and Victoria dream of a future where Karin is reunited with her son who she sent as an infant to live with her wealthy aunt, Sophie, in San Francisco. Despite Victoria’s vigilant care, Karin perishes.  Victoria leaves the heartbreak of war-torn Poland behind when she assumes Karin’s identity and finds love and an affluent new life in San Francisco.
But anything can happen in a Victorian house with a beautiful blonde governess with a murderous gleam in her eye.  Would the kindly, late Aunt Sophie approve of an imposter mothering her beloved grand-nephew? Even in the land of the free, Victoria doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust.
The film opens with a panoramic view of San Francisco filmed from the top of Coit Tower. Most of the film was shot on location and the City is truly…

Undercover at Stanalei Fletcher's Blog

Did you know that the original title of  Ian Fleming's "Moonraker" was "Mondays Are Hell"?

While I'm not thrilled with Mondays, I love spies and novels of intrigue. That's why I'm excited to chatting about Package Deal at fellow Wild Rose Press author Stanalei's Fletcher's blog today.  For more intrigue about Stanalei  and her latest release, Dead Reckoning check out the following posts: Mariposa's MusingsCreate on the Side

Hope to see you there!

Author Interview-Stanalei Fletcher

What inspired you to become a writer? I think I was inspired to become a writer by reading Alistair MacLean. I love his stories of espionage and intrigue. He’d offer a love interest for the protagonist, but I couldn’t help wanting just a little more romance from the couple before the story ended. I figure the only way I was going to get that ending was to write the book myself. Thus, I stored away the idea of writing stories until I had the time and ability to really focus on making it a career. Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?) My two favorite romance characters are Jack O’Neill and Samantha Carter from the original Stargate series. They danced around the attraction in so many episodes that I started to dream up my own FanFiction stories just to get them together. Tell me what inspired this story. I’m not 100% sure where the inspiration for Dead Reckoning came from, but I do remember when Hurricane Katrina struck, that I had an idea for a character who’d lost he…

Dancing over to Joanne Guidoccio's Blog

Did you know you can burn up to 306 calories per hour while dancing? Just imagine an hour of county, line, disco or salsa dancing would burn off that grande latte you had earlier. As if that were not reason enough, today I'm chatting about Package Deal and the Top 10 Reason's You Should be Dancing at Joanne Guidoccio's blog. Hope to see you there!

Author Interview-Joanne Guidoccio

What inspired you to become a writer? From an early age, I loved curling up with a book and losing myself in the stories. In high school, I looked forward to English class and dreamed of writing the great Canadian novel. Instead, I followed the conventional advice of the times and pursued a career in teaching. But, in my heart of hearts, I knew that someday I would resurrect that writing dream. When I took advantage of early retirement in 2008, I decided to devote my second act to writing.
Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own)? My favorite authors include Ann Patchett, Ann Lamott, Jane Green, Maeve Binchy, Gail Bowen, Louise Penny, and Adriana Trigiani. The protagonists in these novels are older and wiser, having encountered many bumps on the road to romantic love and personal fulfillment. One of my favorite quotes comes from Maeve Binchy: “I don't have ugly ducklings turning into swans in my stories. I have ugly ducklings turning intoconfident ducks.”
Tell me wh…