Monday, September 18, 2017

It’s HAUNTED HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR time!!


Join me and other “bump-in-the-night” authors in the Haunted Halloween Spooktacular hosted by Bewitching Blog Tours. From September 18 – October 31, I’ll be mysteriously appearing at a different blog stop every day (like magic!) to offer chances to win a $10 Amazon gift card, as well as a main tour prize of a Kindle Fire! Better than candy, right! Get those treat bags ready to go door-to-door along this route:

September 18 - 
Mello and June, It's a Book Thang!

September 20 - 
Books, Dreams, Life

September 21 - 
Ramblings of a Book Nerd

September 22 - 
Silver Dagger Scriptorium

September 25 - 
Reads 2 Love 

September 26 - 
The Book Junkie Reads 

September 27 - 
WHY I Read

October 26 - Full Moon Bites

October 27 - Butterfly-o-Meter Books

October 27 - Paranormal Romance and More

October 30 - Dark Treasury

October 31 - The Reader's Handbook


What could be better than sweet, satisfying non-caloric treats for Halloween? This year, I’m passing out dark, dangerous and delicious bites in three different flavors of yummy with my “House of Terriot” shapeshifter series, with the latest tasty nibble, PRINCE OF FOOLS, book 3, releasing on October 23!! 


A dark prince to her Cinderella barmaid . . .

Rico . . . Prince in the shapeshifter House of Terriot

Reckless, hotheaded Rico Terriot seeks purpose and a sense of pride training the resentful guardians of New Orleans to defend a city besieged by a deadly outside force. Torn between his desire for his brother’s mate and the woman tied to the child of another, protecting their future happiness means denying his own on a dangerous path to redemption.

One night of stolen pleasure he didn’t remember and she couldn’t forget…

Amber . . . a single mother hiding a terrible past

Rico Terriot was the stuff of dreams . . . lately all of hers. But there’s no happily-ever-after for someone living in the shadows, protecting dangerous secrets that threaten her and her daughter. Dare she believe in a fairytale prince when he comes to her rescue, not knowing the price he’ll pay for making her troubles his own? From world’s so far apart, is love strong enough to hold them together . . . and keep them alive?

“5 Captivating Stars (or Hearts)! A stunningly raw, heart racing story that held me in a trance from cover to cover! Intense and seductive paranormal romance/suspense at its best – PRINCE OF FOOLS is another Page Burning, Must Read by an author that delivers every single time!” – Cross My Heart Reviews

Stock your candy drawer early by preordering!

And to help me enjoy my favorite time of year, don’t leave without taking a chance at winning my $10 Amazon gift card:


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have a frightfully good time, and watch for a special Facebook HHS author event in October!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

WeWriWa: Small Packages, Window on a Creative World and a Spooktacular Tour!


Soon-to-be released PRINCE OF FOOLS, book 3 in my “House of Terriot” shapeshifter series offers more than just one heroine. Amber’s 12-year old daughter Evie is caught between the wary barmaid and her reckless Terriot prince. Her determination to keep them together . . . and alive . . . provides a poignant catalyst, as seen in today’s 8-10 line sneak peek:


Evangeline was terrified beyond clear thought. She’d tried to be brave for Rico, but now that he’d lapsed into unconsciousness, she didn’t have to pretend anymore. Worry over her mother was a gnawing ache in her belly. The image of her uncle, stretched out like a scene from a horror movie she wasn’t supposed to watch, haunted her, but worse, was the dread that Rico would die before help arrived.

She didn’t know what to do for him. Vulnerably quickened tears her fright couldn’t force. After placing her jacket over him, she sat on the floor, hugging his forearm, cheek pillowed on his bare skin, it’s comforting warmth giving her something to hold onto. 

She kept the light off and the blinds closed, but the door’s puny lock wouldn’t keep out anyone determined. When the knob rattled, she snatched up the heavy industrial flash light she’d found in the supply cupboard, wondering if she could actually use it as a weapon.

To save Rico, she could.

Kids and dogs, always scene stealers, and this gutsy girl is no exception in hers with either or both the wary parties, upping the stakes and the emotions. She makes this dark and dangerous love story into a triangle rather than just a pairing by bringing out the protective instincts in her mother and the tender heart in her wannabe dad-to-be. Can't wait to get back into it with the final edits.


To begin the countdown to release day on October 23, I'm participating in the Haunted Halloween Spooktacular blog hop sponsored by Bewitching Blog Tours which starts tomorrow, hosting authors who write 'beyond the veil' with ghoulies and ghosties and creatures of the night. The tour offers a Kindle Fire as its grand prize, and I'm ponying up chances for a $10 Amazon gift card with daily stops from Sept. 18 to Oct. 31. Check back here tomorrow for a list of participating blogs and don't be afraid to take chances!

After a trip to the range where Michigan State University trains its shooting and archery teams with my Mid-Michigan writer group yesterday for a talk on firearms (it's good to be chapter program chair!), followed by my son's birthday, I'm hoping to devote my remaining weekend to quiet at home endeavors like visiting your posts. I've managed to be out of town 2 out of 4 weekends for three months in a row and this homebody needs a rest. Though I must say, last weekend's writers retreat to a riverside haven of creativity did get me going on PRINCE OF DREAMS, my next and final "HoT" book. I got my characters fleshed out and a good jump on the plotline, as well as a little vitamin D therapy when not riveted to the goings on in Florida. As the saying goes: My Weekend WAS Booked!


Happy Weekend and Happy Writing!!



Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

WeWriWa: Every Picture Doesn't Tell YOUR Story!


If you're like me, you develop a full 3D picture in your imagination of the characters you read about. And when that cover or movie treatment doesn't match up to what you've envisioned, you're incensed, to say the least! That's not MY hero! Who is this . . . this imposter? This poor substitute? So, in picking up where last week's excerpt from my to be rereleased Texas historical, TEMPTATION'S TRAIL, left off, picture our tired, desperate heroine's indignation in this 8-10 line tease.

"There's been some mistake," she murmured faintly as she started to rise, then his hand closed around her wrist, not in a painful or aggressive grasp, just a firm, controlling circle of rough, dry fingers that made her stiffened all over as he spoke, softly, with a steel-threaded quiet. 

"I've just ridden a hundred miles for the promise of pay. I'm thirsty, I'm hungry, I'm tired, and right now I'm getting more than a little annoyed, so you just sit yourself back down." 

Dropping into the chair without so much as a whimper, Amanda wasn't cowed by the command, just properly cautious as she demanded, "Who are you and how did you get that letter I posted in care of the Texas Rangers." 

"They sent it to me," he drawled, one corner of his mouth crooking up wryly as he tapped a dirty forefinger on the cover of her dime novel, "cuz you wanted the heroic Harmon Bass bad enough to offer up a thousand dollars, and here I am to collect." 

She studied him candidly for a moment, the violent shock wearing off, returning her usual brash spirit as she said, "Please don't take this the wrong way, but I don't plan to offer up that money to just anyone and if you could read, you'd know perfectly well that you are nothing like Harmon Bass." She sized up his insignificant appearance with a clear eye and a cool word, clarifying, "Why, you're too young, you don't carry a gun, you don't dress like any gentleman I've ever seen, you let yourself be pushed around by a stranger, and you're shor . . . not tall." 

"No, ma'am," he claimed calmly in the face of her fierce blush, "tall, I'm not, but I can read, and I can tell the difference betwixt fact and fiction, so if you were counting on some steely­eyed, quick-fingered fool like the one in that there book, and like our dear departed neighbor, then no, I'm not what you want. I'm no gun-handy hero, but in your letter you said you needed a tracker, and ma'am, I'm the best there is." He said that with a quiet modesty, as a piece of fact and not a point of bravado, but it still didn't convince her until he added, softer still, "And I need the money."


Sometimes what you wish for . . . isn't what you need. What word pictures were you particularly disappointed in when they became flesh? Or which hit the mark (Hello, Rhett Butler!)?

I can't WAIT to get back into this story full-time! But until then, I'm enjoying the PR build up for my current soon-to-be-released PRINCE OF FOOLS and especially, this first review snippet!


“5 Captivating Stars (or Hearts)! A stunningly raw, heart racing story that held me in a trance from cover to cover! Intense and seductive paranormal romance/suspense at its best – PRINCE OF FOOLS is another Page Burning, Must Read by an author that delivers every single time!” – Cross My Heart Reviews

I'm off again to recover from a looooong weekend and day after tending to son until he could get four wisdom teeth/molars extracted. Why is it always over a holiday weekend? Anyway, I'm at a three FULL day Write-In with a dozen author friends trying to get into the figurative saddle with my next WIP, PRINCE OF DREAMS. So far, so good!!

Happy September! And Happy Writing to my Warrior friends!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG: Surprise! Thinking Outside Your Box


You never know what you can do until you try. Our monthly Insecure Writers Support Group topic concerns ways you’ve surprised yourself. For me, that’s easy. Since I’m OCD, any step outside my comfort zone is a tremendous achievement (this from someone who NEVER deviates from a set path. Really. Never!). I don’t like change. I’m wary of new things. It took me two years to be talked into trying social media on the Internet (Heck, it took me wrist surgery to convince me to move from writing my first drafts long hand to using a word processor!).

I started out in publishing decades ago writing historical romance under the pen name Dana Ransom (and a couple of regencies as Lauren Giddings). It was what I enjoyed, what I knew and was content with. Then when meeting with my editor at a conference, while we were discussing the next book in my Texas series, he mentioned out of the blue that vampire romance was going to be the next big thing and wondered if I’d consider writing them. Vampire romance? I was taken aback. No, never, I assured him, and we continued our conversation. I went from that meeting to my hotel room to take off my shoes to give my aching feet a rest. Stretched out on the bed, eyes closed, I mused, “Vampire romance," with a dismissive sniff. But I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. I’d loved reading spooky stuff as a teen and was a creature feature fan. But vampire . . . romance?

My thoughts started weaving. What about a vampire historical romance? I could do that! I couldn’t imagine a vampire western but a vampire regency, now that had potential. Fog-draped London streets, a mysterious wealthy man seeking a cure for a blood disease . . . My imagination spun a wider web. A family of vampires moving through different eras . . . I grabbed for the hotel notepad and started scribbling. A half hour later, I called my editor. Imagine his surprise when I said I had an outline for not just one but THREE vampire books in a series, did he want to meet and discuss? He stammered for me to have the proposal to him as soon as possible. It was on his desk when he got back from the conference. Those three books evolved into my “Touched by Midnight” series of nine books which were recently rereleased by BellBridge Books. From there, I went on to my ten book “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series and am just getting ready to release the third book in its spin-off “House of Terriot” series. All because I asked myself, “What if…?” and “Why not?”

Stepping outside your personal box is scary business but also rewarding in and of itself. Taking a chance that forces you to stretch as a writer, to reach beyond what you know to what could be possible. I took another leap of faith by venturing into self-publishing to augment my traditional publications. Who knew I’d find that so exciting as I look forward to starting up the self-promo machine again for my next title, PRINCE OF FOOLS, “House of Terriot” Book 3, now available for pre-order.



“5 Captivating Stars (or Hearts)! A stunningly raw, heart racing story that held me in a trance from cover to cover! Intense and seductive paranormal romance/suspense at its best – PRINCE OF FOOLS is another Page Burning, Must Read by an author that delivers every single time!” – Cross My Heart Reviews

What risks have you been willing to take – or have let pass you by only to regret it? Don’t be afraid to spread your wings, fellow IWSGers! Fly high!! 


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. 

The awesome co-hosts for the September 6th posting of the IWSG will be Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Saturday, September 2, 2017

WeWriWa: Romance with a Past . . .

I had a wonderful time this past week being part of writer pal Rosanne Bittner's Pre-release Facebook event that included two other western historical authors. I started out writing historicals as Dana Ransom before moving into contemporary and paranormal, and have managed to get the rights back to a large number of them with a plan to begin rereleasing a five book western series next year. This was just the push I needed.


In preparing the posts for my half-hour FB slot, I culled excerpts from the first book of my Bass Family Texas Saga, TEMPTATION'S TRAIL and thought I'd share one with you for my 8-10 line offering. I truly had forgotten how much I loved this book and am raring to get back into getting it ready to format, along with the other four titles . . . and to finishing the rest of a sixth book I'd started writing for the series some 20 years ago. So hunker down, sit a spell and kick back this slice of the West (Texas, that is!) 

"He's dead," she whispered, the words trembling from her lips. 

A disinterested glance canting down toward the sprawled figure, the slight, insignificant fellow affirmed, "Yes, ma'am, he most certainly is, so I don't guess he'll mind me borrowing his chair." 

Using a dusty toe to nudge the shiny boot from its resting place upon the seat, the soft-spoken cowboy drew the chair around and sat facing a stunned Amanda as her mind reeled in shock. At the next table, the men went back to their cards and drinks, the shootist setting his yet-smoking pistol next to his pile of tattered chips while noisy talk and laughter resuming throughout the room, no one the least bit bothered by the crumpled form on the floor or by the identity of the corpse. No one seemed to care that a life had been taken cruelly, even callously, or that the deadly deed brought all her hopes to ruin. 

"Isn't someone going to do something?" she demanded in a strained sort of panic. 

"Out here, we pretty much mind our own business and aren't too interested in them who don't mind theirs." 

The enormity of it made her stutter stupidly, "T-that man just k-killed Harmon Bass, the legend." 

Attention turning back to the corpse, the cowboy drawled, "Now, I don't rightly know who that fellow is, but I know who he's not. If you be Miss Duncan then you'd be looking for me."


In honor of those brave, indomitable folk who've been in our thoughts and prayers this week, I'll be continuing with Texas snippets this month while waiting to get my PRINCE OF FOOLS edits back.

Hope you're enjoying the Holiday Weekend. Here's what I have planned . . .



Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

WeWriWa: The Future’s Not Set . . . Not Yet!


I’m in that limbo between waiting for edits on one book and planning to start another, so I thought I’d share a little more about my next hero and heroine with the rest of a scene from UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS in which the two meet . . . and stars align. 

A shiver of heat coursed through him when her fingertip traced lightly along the creases of his palm as she read, “I see a good heart, a long life, and a very healthy libido, everything but your name.” 

Her gaze flirting with his while he told her, she added, “Well, Kip Terriot, Mademoiselle Phe will answer all if you’ll let me draw you.” She dragged out an artist’s pad and pushed him into one of her folding chairs, the tip of her pen scratching over the surface of the paper without her glancing down at it. 

In answer to her husky prompt of, “Your question?”, he tried to ignore his attraction to the artist while explaining his interest in the van, to which she shrugged and replied, “Oh, sure, I see it all the time. The a-hole driver blocks in my pick-up so I’ve had to report him more than once.” She set down the tablet to rummage in a huge crocheted bag that lounged at her feet like an old hound, pulling out a card and scribbling on the back saying, “Here’s his plate number . . . and my phone number. I’m Phe, Ophelia Brady, but you can call me anytime . . . if you have any other questions.” 

She picked up the pad and turned it to show him the lines capturing his profile, the curve of his ear, hollow of his throat, but all the attention went to his eyes and lips, then, as she stripped the drawing off the pad and quickly rolled it into a tube, she pointed the end toward one of the alleys leading off the Square, saying, “Third door, top floor.” 

Kip took the sketch with a quiet, “Thank you for the information and the picture . . . and the future.” 

“Oh, that future isn’t set,” she promised with a wink, “not yet.” 

I’m setting aside more plotting (hahahaha, like that’s going to happen!) while heading out of state for an annual lakeside Legal Secretaries Gone Wild Weekend with three of my former co-workers, one of which happens to be my d-i-l! Sunscreen, check, bathing suit, check, but no computer so I’ll be checking in with everyone’s posts on Monday.

If you’d like to read more about my “in the veil” transition period between heroes, you might enjoy my Friday’s post at Paranormal Romantics on It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye.

Here’s me and Grandguy from last weekend’s Double Digit Birthday celebration, all glassy-eyed from too much fun wishing you Happy Back to School and Happy Reading!



Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

WeWriWa: Stay With Me!


As promised, here’s the last part of the scene between Amber and Rico in PRINCE OF FOOLS. She needs to keep him at arm’s length for both their safety, forcing him to sacrifice everything he desires . . . if she says the word. But can she? His last petition to her was, “Just don’t push me away.”


Her shaking hands covered his, squeezing until they grew numb. "I don't want to hurt you."

"The truth won't hurt me,” he said, adding with a gruff little laugh, "well, it'll sting a bit, but I need to hear it. If you really want me gone, you tell me now, and I'm gone. I'll head home tonight, 'cuz I'm not strong enough to stay here in the same city with you and keep my distance. Tell me what you want. Do I stay or go?"

Rico waited, not daring to breathe, balancing the way he had on that post as a boy, at the end of his endurance with so much at stake, knowing he'd have to abide by whatever she said, no matter how difficult, no matter who else he had to let down.

Finally, when there wasn't a scrap of air in his lungs, he heard her whisper, "Stay."



FINALLY! And yes, finally PRINCE OF FOOLS is up for pre-order on Amazon (with Nook, Kobo and iBook to follow as well as the trade paper!). If you need an extra push, here’s the book blurb to tease you . . .


PRINCE OF FOOLS
“House of Terriot” Book 3

A dark prince to her Cinderella barmaid . . .

Rico . . . Prince in the shapeshifter House of Terriot

Reckless, hotheaded Rico Terriot seeks purpose and a sense of pride training the resentful guardians of New Orleans to defend a city besieged by a deadly outside force. Torn between his desire for his brother’s mate and the woman tied to the child of another, protecting their future happiness means denying his own on a dangerous path to redemption.

One night of stolen pleasure he didn’t remember and she couldn’t forget…

Amber . . . a single mother hiding a terrible past

Rico Terriot was the stuff of dreams . . . lately all of hers. But there’s no happily-ever-after for someone living in the shadows, protecting dangerous secrets that threaten her and her daughter. Dare she believe in a fairytale prince when he comes to her rescue, not knowing the price he’ll pay for making her troubles his own? From world’s so far apart, is love strong enough to hold them together . . . and keep them alive?

Woo Hoo! That says it all. And I’m going to be saying an awful lot more this weekend speaking at our Mid-Michigan RWA chapter meeting in my old hometown and celebrating my grandguy’s 10th birthday! Friends and family. It doesn’t get much better!

Happy Weekend! And don’t go peeking through your fingers tomorrow!



Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

WeWriWa: Let's Stay Together . . . and a Pre-Order Announcement!


Let's start off with a continuation of last week's emotional scene from PRINCE OF FOOLS . . . then, to the Big Announcement!

Things are bad all over for poor Rico as he tries to convince Amber to believe in him, the way no one else ever has before. He's finally made the commitment in his own heart and mind that she and her daughter are his future. But she seems less certain it's a road they can travel together, not with all the ugly stuff she has packed in her past baggage. Last week's excerpt ended with Rico claiming, "Ammy, you don't have to carry whatever this is alone.”


“I may not be smart, but I can lift heavy things. Trust me to help you carry whatever this is. Please, please, let me help you."

A sob escaped, "I can't."

"Yes, you can. I'm right here, where I'll always be for you and Evie, and nothing, nothing will change that. I'm your guy. I will fight for you, I'll protect you, you know I will. If it's something you can't talk about just yet, I'll wait until you can. Just don't push me away."

So, what do you think she's going to do?? The rest of the scene will play out next week.

Now, the ANNOUNCEMENT!

PRINCE OF FOOLS will be up for Pre-Order on Kindle at any minute. SQUEEE! Yes, I still have some revisions to finish, but you can be first in line when October 23 rolls around to have this HOT ("House of Terriot"!) cover set Fire to your e-reader screen:



How's your August shaping up on the keyboard, fellow Weekend Warriors?



Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

WeWriWa: Don't Go Breaking My Heart . . . Release Date Announcement!


It's getting down to the panic wire regarding PRINCE OF FOOLS now that I've set an October 23, 2017 release date. I know, it sounds so faaaaar away but when you start blocking out the time for BETA reads (now reading!), final revisions, professional editing, cover, format, proofing, setting up PR events, October is knocking on the door! So, to make my life easier and multitask, I'm taking one of my favorite scenes and breaking it down into 8-10 line bits over the next three Sundays, accompanied by tunes I'm considering for my playlist. Have a read and take a listen...

"What did I do?" His voice, so low and broken, brought tears to her eyes with his vow, "I can make it right, there has to be some way."

"There's nothing." Amber swallowed hard through the words, barely recognizing them as her own, telling him, "Please, Frederick, don't make this more difficult for either of us."

His brow bumped the back of her head, uneven breaths scorching her neck as he whispered, "Then tell me you don't want me, tell me you don't love me, and I'll leave you alone. You'll never see me again. Tell me, if that's what you really want."

She couldn't force those lies through the tightness in her throat, not with him standing up against her, supplying that heat she'd longed for. As the silence stretched out, his shivery exhale stirred her hair and his hands came up to rub her forearms, a slow, gentle friction.

"Ammy, you don't have to carry whatever this is alone.”



What do you think? (I'm still loudly singing along here at work while typing this up in the absence of attorneys or clients! Sic: Friday). Hopefully, I'll be keyboard deep this coming week in my final draft to get it to my eagle eye editor.

How's your weekend shaping up?


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IWSG: Pet Peeves - A Horse of a Different Color


Today we insecure folk address not our own perceived failings, but look toward the objects of our own annoyances - our pet peeves when reading/writing/editing. I have to look no farther than a multiple NY Times bestseller who in her sexy western historical changed the heroine's horse from a stallion to a gelding, from a roan to a horse of a different color all while galloping the span of two chapters. And then unzipped the hero decades before that convenient access was invented.

Inaccuracy, thy name is my pet peeve!

When I wrote my first published novel back in the mid-'80s, it was a historical in Regency garb, printed by a major New York house (with a 2nd printing, no less). Avenues for research were the local library, and deets were scarce. There were no special interest loops, no blogs devoted to topics, no Google Search. You were on your own to thumb through musty tomes in hopes of catching errors before they reached reader's always discerning eyes. Your one saving grace was that your editor or copy editor would pick up the slack in spotting erroneous gaffs. But I didn't and they didn't, and I was slammed by a nameless judge in my first major contest. Lesson freaking learned. Accuracy matters.

Whether in historicals, paranormals, contemporaries or eroticas, facts is facts, and it's our job as authors to get them right . . . and keep them consistent. Earmark factoids and questions while doing that first draft and look them up before you go on to the next (and news flash: Wikipedia isn't always right). Keep a running log of details involving characters (and horses) for names, colors, etc., of weather conditions, time of day, distance time lines, all those nitpicky details that some OCD reader (not mentioning any names) will immediately spot and not be able to get over.

But it's hard to fix something that's wrong when you don't know something's wrong. Read extensively in your genre/era, not just fiction but non-fiction, too. Search out those unique tidbits of setting and dialogue and fact. Ask someone familiar with the genre to BETA read, and ALWAYS have your work professionally edited before it gets released to sniff out those miraculous (and annoying) changes of sex and hue . . . unless its Sci-Fi/paranormal and could believably happen.

Writing and editing is more than gerunds and Oxford commas. The devil is in the details . . . so get them right.

So what's your on the page pet peeve?



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.



The awesome co-hosts for the August 2nd posting of the IWSG will be Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!


Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, July 23, 2017

WeWriWa: Mixed Emotions


No one likes going for a rebound (unless they're playing basketball). It's that uncertain, awkward stage between heartbreak and desperate loneliness that leads to some pretty bad decisions, the kind that fuel the opening scenes of PRINCE OF FOOLS. He's lost the woman he loves to his brother, she's there to pick up the pieces, telling herself that she's okay with being second string, second choice. Riiiiiight. Like that's going to end well. While I'm finishing my first read through and moving on to that second pass to revise, here's a glimpse of my characters stumbling through the motions . . . starting with that morning-after moment of regret.


A picture on an unfamiliar nightstand, the girl he recognized, but not the room, not the bed where covers tangled about his naked form.

Oh, holy hell, he’d gotten drunk and pity-f-ed by Amber James!

Covering his face with his hands, he repressed a groan of horror then peeked between his fingers, spotting his clothes on the foot of the bed, cleaned and neatly folded, and hoped maybe he was wrong, that she’d simply let him crash and sleep off his misery . . . until he inhaled. No mistaking the rich aroma of well-enjoyed sex lingering on every inch of him.

What had he done? He screwed someone’s mom! 

Amber . . . she’d hate him, or worse, expect something from him that he couldn’t give. Hurting her was the last thing he wanted, the last thing she deserved after all she’d done for him and his family.

What the hell was wrong with him that he had to go out of his way to so effortlessly mess everything up?

The Prince of Fools.


While I'm visiting your sites (I apologize for not showing up last Sunday - houseful of company followed by busy first full week back at work, but THANK YOU for your awesome comments!), enjoy another, less painful take on dealing with heartache. Rico and Amber should have taken this advice as their friendship tumbles toward relationship.


Happy Writing, All!!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

WeWriWa: Draft One . . . and Done!


Ahhhhhhhhh! That feeling when you write that last sentence, sit back and go “Damn, that’s good!” The euphoria lasts about as long as it takes to realize you’ve got edits and the trimming of 10K words ahead of you. But for the moment, it’s pure heaven.

As I’m sharing this clip from one of the final chapters of PRINCE OF FOOLS, the third book in my “House of Terriot” shapeshifter foursome, I’ve already started my first complete read through and . . . so far, so good. I think I’ve cut about 20 words! A long way to go . . . but the journey is the best part of reaching the destination.


“What’s wrong?” 

Rico kissed her to postpone his answer, pouring all the emotion dammed up in his chest into the tender union of lips and tongues and breaths. Perfect. She was perfect, fitting him, completing him in every possible way, fulfilling every dream and desire he’d ever imagined, bringing out in him every strong, brave and noble instinct that had been percolating since the first time he’d seen mother and child together and recognized the family he’d longed for all his life. This moment was flawless, the one he’d hold fiercely to sustain him in the days and nights to come. 

They cuddled on the cold, celestially drenched patio, stars in their eyes as the strange new entwining of their souls relaxed and released them. Rico nudged into Amber’s palm as she stroked his cheek, turning his face from the dark sky toward his own personal heaven. The intensity of her gaze allowed for no escaping her demand. 

“Rico, talk to me.” 

“My brothers and I are going back to New Orleans tonight . . . alone.”


I’ve got critique group company all weekend, but I’ll sneak away to visit everyone’s snippets before heading back to the work office tomorrow after three looooong weekends and a partial vacay (working in the home office, of course!). Looking forward to some good reads! Then it’s knuckle down to plan promos and set a release date time.

Happy writing!!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

WeWriWa: Proud to be a Grrrrl!


I spent the long holiday weekend enjoying two highly entertaining and vastly different movies with the same message: It ain’t easy being a girl so you might as well come out swinging. On the surface, Wonder Woman and Hidden Figures don’t seem to have much in common, a comic book Amazon and a trio of real life women in the ‘60s, but both celebrate strength when faced with overwhelming odds – a strength of body, of mind, of will and character (and bladder!) that had audiences cheering “You go, girl!”


It’s no secret that I love a strong heroine in my books. At first glance, Amber James, single mom, working as a bartender for shapeshifters (there’s that grrrrrr factor!) to make ends meet seems quietly determined to stay under the radar and simply survive. But when her greatest fear rears up from the past to threaten daughter and her love, she shows that superhero moxie in today's excerpt.


Rico was . . . gone, most likely dead if they could be believed, and no one else would notice her absence, not in time to save them. Amber forced down the flood of anxious, weepy emotions, refusing to let them weaken her, just as she’d defied her fear of Brady in his office, by focusing on Evie. 

They were safe for the moment, a moment she hoped would be long enough to provide a way out, because Brady, like her father, would be looking for an opportunity to crush her, his placating lies buying him time to formulate a suitable and probably long dreamed of revenge for emasculating him all those years ago. A man didn’t get over that kind of personal insult, his hatred of her equal or greater than her terror at being helpless within his grip again, but she still held the upper hand, if she could hang onto her nerve long enough to play it. 

She didn’t have to wait long. 

The door burst open, startling her into a defense pose as an enraged Brady shoved his man aside to close himself in the room with her, a room suddenly a hundred times smaller and less cozy. Though fright leapt in her chest, Amber forced her posture to relax as she regarded him coolly, smile remote and taunting. 

“You think this is a game,” he raged, holding himself in place with difficulty, big, brutal hands working at his sides as if eager to feel her neck between them, "that you can trick me with information that's coded.” 

“And without that code, useless to you. You’ll get the code when my family is out of your reach.”


I'm finishing the last few scenes of PRINCE OF FOOLS, (had that finale epiphany while doing my eye makeup on Friday morning before work and wished I had a super power to stop time so I could get it all written down right then!) and once they're done, it's editing time. I'm so looking forward to this first page to last read through. Glad I offered to only work two half days this week while my attorneys are out of the office. My super power is creating time when there is none. Shazzam! Now, to use it wisely . . .

And if you haven't, see those movies!!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG: Know Your Tribe!


July’s Insecure Writers’ Support Group topic has to do with “What is the one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?” The total tonnage of what I’ve learned in my 30-year career is somewhat staggering (and not all of it is still relevant), but there’s no quibbling over this one. Know your tribe. Your peeps. Whose got your back. Where like minds collect and spark. Where seldom is heard a disingenuous word.

Your tribe. Who are they? Writers. True. All we wordsmiths have basics of creativity and discipline in common, but that’s a dang big group to relate to on a daily basis. So, narrow it down. Fiction writers>romance writers>paranormal authors. Where do I find them? Nationally: RWA, Ninc, etc. Locally: Mid-Michigan RWA and more recently Capital City Writers. Personally . . . now this is where things get focused. I belong to a fabulous local chapter of writers who are active, supportive, enthusiastic, and fun to hang out with. Our meetings, and better yet, our write-ins and Retreat, are dynamic places to meet and mingle with like hearts and minds. But my personal tribe takes it down another notch: to those I commune with, sharing the good, bad and ugly, first just as critique partners, and now, more like sisters . . . for over 20 years!! The stuff we’ve gone through! Rejections (both professional and personal), successes (again, both professional and personal), through sickness and in health, through the highs and lows and sometimes endless plateaus. We’ve got each other’s backs and best interests! We don’t all write or create the same way, on the same level, in the same genre, but we share with the same respect and trust. I am blessed by my tribe.



Find your tribe, and let them support you with knowledge, with encouragement, with enthusiasm that can lift you from the lowest ruts. Give as well as receive. That’s the true benefit. Have more than one tribe. I have a fantastic cheering section in my Weekend Writing Warriors online group that forces me to produce . . . something, every week, that I connect with even though I’ll probably never meet all of them face to face. And what about our wonderful IWSG? It’s that CONNECTION that matters, that keeps you from getting lost in the sometimes disheartening and lonely job that we do.

Find your tribe and find your strength.

Happy July! Happy Writing!



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.


The awesome co-hosts for the July 5th posting of the IWSG will be Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!


Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, July 2, 2017

WeWriWa: It's All In the Cards . . .


Last week, I had the phenomenal opportunity to be a guest on Arwen Lynch's "Tarot By Arwen" You Tube site. I'm such a groupie of hers! To launch her new book on using the Tarot to aid in developing plot and characters, she's doing author video readings to answer those questions in regards to their WIPs. Cool, right! As a Tarot dabbler, I jumped at the chance, and had her do a background check reading on Ophelia Brady, Kip Terriot's love interest in PRINCE OF DREAMS, Book 4 in my "House of Terriot" series, which is still very much on the drawing board. WOW! Did the reading ever fill in the blanks and give me a positive direction! So for today's 8-10 lines, I'm giving you a glimpse of Ophelia and Kip's first meeting in UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS. FYI, Kip is the youngest of the Terriot princes who is more at home on the computer keyboard than in the boots on the ground conflict his family is drawn into in New Orleans.

Kip trotted down to the Square where shops were closed and the street vendors still packing up had nothing to share, making him almost ready to give up when he approached a girl in Bohemian garb standing on an overturned crate taking down some nice sketches from the fence around the inner park. When he called out to her, she yelled back over her shoulder, “Sorry, closed for the night, but your face and your fortune can be first in line tomorrow.”

That’s when he noticed a card table draped with sparkly scarves holding various crystals, now cold candles, a large deck of strange cards, a battered cash box and a sign in the same bold pen and ink style as her portraits proclaiming “Mademoiselle Ophelia Sees All.” He hoped so.

She stepped down off the crate, turned, looking up, way up, and smiled with a flirtatious, “But for yours, I’ll make an exception.”

Kip grinned because she was damned cute with her heart-shaped face, upturned nose, sassy red lips, and curvy figure all wrapped up in bangles and colorful flowing fabrics - definitely more pixie than voodoo queen.

“I was wondering if I might ask you some questions, ma’am, if you have the time.”

“Ma’am?” she challenged, making him blush. “I can’t be more than a minute older than you. Let me see your hand.”

You can check out my character card reading with its Q&A on writing, on YouTube (and remember, I am by NO means a video star wannabe!) 


I've got a loooong weekend continuing into Monday and Tuesday, and am using it to finish the first draft of PRINCE OF FOOLS, and to introduce our new 7-week old kitten Keanu to his surroundings and feline roommates. (Maybe Ed's blogging partner can give me some insights from the furry side). Here's his adorable face. C'mon, a collective Awwww!



Happy Just-starting-to-heat-up Summer! And a safe and glorious 4th of July!!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

WeWriWa: The Love that Launched a Dozen Books - On Sale!


When it's good, it's very, very good. When it's bad, it's heartbreaking. That's when you know you've fallen for a fictional couple. When Max and Cee Cee appeared on my computer page almost ten years ago, I knew I was in for four books to tell their story, starting with MASKED BY MOONLIGHT. Fans were rabid for more but my publisher wanted to branch out with secondary characters from the "By Moonlight" world with the "Shadows" books. It wasn't until I decided to self-publish that I returned to my first fiction love, that between my shapeshifter bad boy and his NOPD detective in REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT. But it had been a looong time since they'd shared main pages and new readers didn't know them very well so, in keeping with where the plot had taken them, I brought my fav couple back . . . to fall in love all over again when she rescues him from the hands of their enemies only to find out they'd stolen his memories. Here's a sneak peek . . . (for the rest of the scene, skip over to Paranormal Romantics where I'm also posting today.)


The soft mist upon her face woke Cee Cee from uneasy dreams, dreams of faceless Chosen minions pursuing her through a labyrinth of hospital corridors as she pushed a gurney that held Max Savoie beneath the drape of a sheet. Just as she managed to angle them inside the safety of an elevator and close the doors upon their enemies, she pulled the sheet back to reveal, not her lover, but a mannequin with features molded to look like his.

She sat up with a gasp to glance about, heart still pounding. His scent quieted her fears, that unmistakable fragrance of masculine heat and bonding pheromones, as unique as any fingerprint.

Turning toward the open doors that let in the refreshing weather along with the cool wash of rain, she could just make out the silhouette of a figure at the porch rail. Pulse stumbling then kicking up a notch as she detailed his long lines and lonely pose, Cee Cee slipped out of bed, wearing just an oversized Saints T-shirt, and crossed the moisture-peppered floor to stand in the doorway, letting herself fill up with the sight of him. His white shirt, damp and nearly transparent, molded to the muscles beneath it. Black hair plastered to his head, as sleek as the sheets on their bed. He didn’t move but she knew he was aware of her because he now breathed through parted lips.

Nor did he attempt to evade her when her right hand covered his where it rested on the railing, fingers slowly spreading, inviting hers between them.


Now for the good part! REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT is only $1.99 through June 30 as part of my "From Midnight to Moonlight" price slashing tour! What a great way to jump into a great series (or two)! And . . . BONUS . . . I'm giving away a $10 Amazon gift card for some lucky tour goer. Follow this LINK to find out more. 


And if the excerpt wasn't enough to convince you, enjoy this sexy visual of REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT.



Happy Beginning of Summer and Happy Reading! Now, to see what my WeWriWa pals have been working on . . .


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.