Sunday, September 24, 2017

WeWriWa: From Split Infinitives to Split Lips


Corrections are done on PRINCE OF FOOLS (cue fireworks!) Now it’s final read through time then off to formatting. So far . . . so good! I’m going to hate to let this one go. It’s been a surprise (in a good way!) from page-one to page-end both with characters and situations, and never seemed as hard as it should have been for a third book out of four. Except for keeping track of ages and time . . . it’s always math! I’m sharing a pivotal scene that changes everything between the hero and heroine, and will finish it next week.


He pressed to his swelling jaw the cold cloth Amber had brought from the small bathroom then let her take it from him to efficiently mop away the blood as if he were her child. That’s probably how she viewed him through those really lovely dark eyes . . . large, expressive eyes fringed with a feathering of thick lashes . . . eyes that saw right through him. 

“So,” she began, making him wince as she wiped his torn lip, “what are you going to do now?” 

A shrug and a flippant, “Squander what I have left then crawl home on my belly to beg for Cale’s forgiveness.” 

“A noble plan.” 

Squinting his good eye at her sarcasm, Rico drawled, “It’s not like I have any marketable skills. 

“You sell yourself short when your name alone could open any number of doors here in New Orleans.” 

“I’m tired of riding on my name,” he growled, snatching the cloth from her and tossing it aside, “and I’m tired of being that unreliable nothing in a family of somebodies.” 

“The only one who can change that opinion is you, if you really want to.” 

He shook his head and laughed, “You don’t know me, always looking for something in me that’s not there, and why is that?”

Time for this big, not so dumb guy to grow up, you think? Especially after a practical shove from the heroine in the next excerpt . . . stay tuned.

PRINCE OF FOOLS is up from pre-order. I never get tired of sharing the cover . . .


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

PRINCE OF FOOLS is on the Haunted Halloween Spooktacular Tour. Check out the schedule and go for a $50 gift card!


Back to reading . . . as soon as I see what you’ve been up to.




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.

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.