Wednesday, June 3, 2020

IWSG: Putting the Insecure in IWSG!

I’ve got a secret. It’s deep and dark and one I’ve carried since the first of my 68 books was published back in 1987.

Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for June is: Writers have secrets – What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

The funny thing about my secret is I never had a problem with it until I was published. I’ve always been a writer. I’ve never wanted to do anything else. I scribbled through notebooks of lined paper, have boxes of trial and errors someplace in the basement, and even told my mother when she insisted I go to college that, yes, I’d go but all I’d still want to be was an author.

Getting that first contract was the proudest moment of my life. That was back when I didn’t know another writer lived in the state of Michigan and had never met one in the wild. I had a local news reporter come to my house for an interview and had my picture taken with my two young sons posing with a stack of my two first releases that came out in the same month. It was a full- page article on the front of the Entertainment section! But all I took from reading the article was “Church-going housewife writes romance novels – oh, how cute and . . . naughty.” That headline might well have been “Baptist Writes Smut!” My now ex was horrified and hoped no one saw it - until he was teased mercilessly at work. His family never, EVER spoke about my writing (except for my nieces and nephews and my mom and sisters!). What should have been my proudest accomplishment felt more like a walk of shame. Something I should hide.

Everyone knows a romance writer’s cross to bear is the snickers (and not the yummy kind!). “When are you going to write a ‘real’ book?” “Oh, a love story. How sweet!” “I don’t read THOSE kinds of books.” When in a pack of writers, it’s easy to blow off those jibes but when circulating in a crowd of strangers it became my dirty little secret NOT to share.When meeting new people outside the industry, I never passed out bookmarks, never spoke of new releases or boasted of my backlist. The question of “What do you do?” was always answered, “I’m a stay at home mom”, “I work for an attorney,” not “I’m the award-winning author of 68 published novels!”

I must admit, my friends, my employers and especially my critique group never let me get away with cringing modesty, especially when one of the attorneys (now a judge!) read portions of my love scenes over the intercom at the office with such good-natured relish, I had to laugh and stop taking myself so seriously (and his wife and my fellow assistants grabbed up all my new releases!).

Thirty years later, I’m proud to say I’m in semi-recovery. I still shy from book signings and can’t make myself chase down strangers waving a copy of my newest release. But I DO, when asked what I do, admit that I’m a published author - of books. Yes, romance in general but in particular– historical, contemporary suspense, paranormal, a horror movie adaptation and screenplays, and self-help for writers chap books. I’m a writer. That’s what I do. I’m not rich, I’m not famous, but I’m happy doing what I love to do.

The secret is out!

So, this is me – boldly promoting my first four-book boxed set The House of Terriot, a mini-series from the soon to be 15-book By Moonlight dark shapeshifter series.


And when RISE BY MOONLIGHT comes out in July, it will be Book 70! All-in-all, not bad for a stay-at-home mom turned retired legal assistant!

I’ve told you mine. What’s YOUR secret?

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 June 3rd posting of the IWSG will be Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, May 31, 2020

WeWriWa – Running wild with “The House of Terriot” 4-Book Boxed Set! #NewReleasee #BookDeal #WeWriWa

Sometimes you just gotta shake off the weight of everyday things and let your hair down. Of course, when you’re a shapeshifter running with the pack, that takes on a whole different meaning. Especially when those friends are princes in the House of Terriot, the dark, deadly and delicious heroes from my just released 4-book boxed set! Trust has to be earned, as in this scene from Rise by Moonlight, the next and final book in my By Moonlight series that follows on the heels of The House of Terriot boxed set.

They were impressive, all taut flesh pulled over muscles hard as violently hewn rock, each ruggedly beautiful physique marred with harsh imperfections caused by unimaginable things. They moved almost eerily in sync, not speaking as they breathed in the wildness of the dawn before jogging across the yard. 

“Go ahead.”

Max gave a start and glanced her way. 

“Go with them. You know you want to.” When he hesitated, she gave him a nudging, “You can work any day, but how often do you get to play outside with your friends? Hurry before they get too far ahead.”

They’d disappeared into the thick woods by the time Max slipped out through the French doors, leaving his designer suit coat, linen shirt, tie and Italian loafers trailing behind him. 

To run.

I’m in the final stretch of revisions, so while I’m getting Rise by Moonlight into shape for a release in July (!), I’m giving readers a chance to run with the wild boy brothers of my new House of Terriot 4-book boxed set that leads up to the events in the concluding book of the series. Even after proof-reading all four books several times (until my eyes crossed!), I confess, I still love each and every one of them!

Here’s a little reminder of why . . .

So, when I say, “Is it H.o.T. in here or is it just me?” No, it’s them!
I’m hoping one of things busting out all over this Spring isn’t the seams of my summer clothes! How ‘bout you? What are your plans when you’re finally allowed to run wild (but responsibly!)?

Happy Spring and Happy Writing, fellow 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, May 24, 2020

WeWriWa: Terriot Princes are in The House! with a #Sale Too H.o.T. to Handle

To celebrate my mid-week birthday (a BIG one!), who better to be dancing at my party than the Princes in the House of Terriot! Never ones to miss a good time or a chance to strut their stuff, here they are, grooving and moving in PRINCE OF DREAMS, one of the four books included in my new HOUSE OF TERRIOT boxed set.

The Rolling Stones blasted from mega speakers tucked into industrial rafters. For such a cavernous space, only one group gathered at tables by the bar where four men in gorgeous grey suits were putting on a show. And what a show, dancing for them on the explicit edge of needing to accept money from the spectators! Her appreciative study stumbled then held fast because one of the movers and shakers was Christopher Terriot! 

His brothers shared the same brutally handsome looks and diamonds in the ears. A powerful air of danger swirled about them like an exotic cologne, but it had been more than that. With the unblinking intensity of their stares, the almost predatory body postures and unnatural stillness, a violent energy rippled from them like an approaching tsunami. She couldn’t shake the uncomfortable press closing in around her, one of suffocating threat. The diamonds, the flash, the suits, the eddies of danger. Her intuitive nature had urged her to run for her life . . . while she could.

Dark, dangerous, and delicious . . . and on SALE! My HOUSE OF TERRIOT foursome officially debuts on my birthday, May 27th but is now available for pre-order.


Still in the party mood and looking for something else to sink your teeth into? My dark vampire romance, MIDNIGHT CRUSADER, the final book in my Touched by Midnight series, is on SALE through the 31st for only $0.99!


Though there won’t be the usual parades or huge family picnics, remember to fly your flags tomorrow if you’re here in the U.S. to honor those who gave all for the freedoms we enjoy and can’t wait to return to after our restrictions are lifted. Until then . . . Stay Safe and Stay at Home! Me, weather permitting, I’ll be (wo)manning the grill!

Happy Writing, fellow 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, May 17, 2020

WeWriWa: Cover Reveal and a Heck of a Deal!

Wow! Feast your eyes on this gorgeous cover! Going slightly stir crazy in quarantine while waiting for Beta reads on RISE BY MOONLIGHT, I decided to put together my first boxed set in anticipation of that final book in my By Moonlight dark shapeshifter series. Imagine all four hot and hunky Terriot brothers in one sexy $3.99 read! I’m hoping to have it up for preorder by our next visit.

While I’m proofing the HOUSE OF TERRIOT for release at the end of the month, I’ll whet your appetite for another bargain with this yummy S*A*L*E! MIDNIGHT CRUSADER, the final book in my Touched by Midnight vampire romance series is only $0.99 (!) through the end of the month! Here’s a tasty tease from that romance strong enough to survive the passage of centuries . . .

“Tell me what I must do.” 

“You need only survive, young sir. Survive to conquer the years, the centuries, however long it takes for you to seek out her tortured soul.” 

“However long it takes,” Gabriel affirmed, not truly understanding the magnitude of his pledge. 

“Then you will be transformed this very night so you might begin your search in an existence where time holds no meaning.” 

He never saw her physically move. 

One instant, she was staring at him with an almost hypnotic intensity, distracting him from the fact that the three of them were no longer alone in the room. Shadows shifted from within the unnatural stillness to become figures looming just out of the light. 

He heard Rolland’s briefly uttered warning and the rasp of his sword. But Gabriel had no time to react with alarm or instinct.

(Here’s the rest of the scene following our new guidelines) 

The crone was upon him, knocking him flat upon his back. His hands were gripped before they could find sword and dagger in his own defense. And then came the pain, swift and sharp, at his throat, at his wrists and elbows. He tried to cry out, but no sound of protest came neither to mouth nor eventually to mind. 

So, this was death, this slow, chill sinking into dark oblivion. 

He surrendered to the sapping weakness of body even as a part of him clung to the strength of his resolve. 

For Naomi.

Like many of my Midnight books, MIDNIGHT CRUSADER was sparked by my experiences (no, not with vampires!). My first trip to Las Vegas was spent staying at the Excalibur where I got to romantically dine with my fingers while watching handsome knights joist. Now that’s entertainment! And the perfect setting for my lovelorn noble who damns himself in order to follow his love through time. If you’ve read the series, you’ll remember hotty Gabriel from MIDNIGHT MASQUERADE, a true knight in shining armor in search of his own happily-ever-after.

Pardon me while I return to my delicious shapeshifter brothers (after first visiting you!)

Hope you’re having a glorious Spring day!

Happy Writing, fellow 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, May 10, 2020

WeWriWa: Too H.O.T to Handle in the “House of Terriot”

Good things come in four, as in my four brothers from the House of Terriot. First introduced in PRINCE OF SHADOWS from my By Moonlight series, I found the twelve princes of the House simply irresistible. So much so, I decided to give not only their rowdy king his own book, but four of his hunky siblings theirs as well in the House of Terriot four-book spin-off. So, while I’m incorporating Beta comments into my final edit of RISE BY MOONLIGHT, the last book in the By Moonlight series, here’s a scene from RbM after Charlotte encourages Max to ‘go play with his friends’ from the shapeshifter House of Terriot.

No surprise, they left little disturbed in their wake. Cleverly disguising their number by treading in one another’s footsteps, they moved fast and effortlessly through the tangled woods he’d run since childhood. 

Smart, never careless, dangerous opponents, useful friends.

Challenged by that knowledge, he followed at a brisk pace, spending more time studying the ground than his surroundings . . . just as they’d hoped, because somewhere along the path, the steps went from imprinted by many to just one, the slightly uneven impressions of a still recovering Cale.

So where were the others?

Just a whisper of air at his back had Max turning, coming nose-to-nose with Turow Terriot. Before he could react, Colin and Rico flanked him on either side, Kip dropping from an overhead branch to block him from continuing after their king. Their eyes gleamed in the deep morning shadows, their postures still, non-threatening, but forming an impassable barrier.

Had he just made a fatal mistake?

“Those who’ve found themselves in your position rarely live to tell it.”

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Has Max just come too close for comfort with that deadly choice?

Since I’m getting restless in my current isolation on this Mother’s Day in my birthday month not going to Ireland (pooh!), I’ve decided to give myself and my readers a gift to fill some of those empty hours by boxing the four brothers from different mothers H.o.T. books into a set. Just the distraction I needed, designing a strong, stunning cover worthy of these gorgeous guys with the brilliant help of my Virtual Assistant, Florence Price and my critique partner artist on speed dial, Patricia Lazarus of Lazarus Art. Be watching for a reveal and a date for pre-order in next week’s post.

Until then, Stay the Course, Stay Safe and thank your Mama!!

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.