Saturday, July 24, 2021

WeWriWa: A New Project Begins . . .


A new WIP was born while away last week at Lake Michigan with three author friends. In our rented house, without any distractions (excepted for a planned day trip to Lake Michigan and one of its very fine breweries/restaurants), I’d expected to be elbow deep into the story by the time we packed up to return to our daily lives. Here’s me hanging my head with only a Prologue and the first two pages to show for it. And then, a weeklong visit from my grandguy. No way I’ll feel guilty about sitting in a theatre with Vin Diesel and the F&F gang, going to the zoo to feed mosquitoes, spending a day in Lansing’s quaint Old Towne shopping and dining, or even watching Supernatural reruns for the __th time with him. But now, no more excuses. It’s back to work time with this first look at the second book in my as yet unnamed romantic suspense series.

They sprinted along the edge of the road, three young girls with hands laced over their heads against a long overdue downpour. Their laughter mingled with the sound of raindrops pelting dirt as hard as concrete. Bookbags flopped against their backs in time with racing footsteps.

They didn’t hear the vehicle’s approach over the rumbling thunder until it was almost upon them. Startled, the three leapt as one into the dry grasses on the shoulder as a cargo van rattled past, muffler growling like the heavens above. It slowed to a stop just ahead of where they stood frozen as startled fawns. Backup lights flashed on as the vehicle slowly rolled backwards until abreast of them.

When the side window rolled down, a strange man leaned out, the expression on his pale face one of concern.

“Are you girls okay?” he yelled above the storm’s mounting fury. “Didn’t mean to give you a fright.”

Looking forward to your comments to get me excited about this new project! And to seeing 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.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

WeWriWa: Read to Me! . . . AN UNTARNISHED HERO


When I was a preschooler, I was always eager to have my mom read to me. And when she did, a magical story would unfold. That pre-lights out ritual taught me an important lesson: Words and imagination create a doorway to another world, one you can visit any time you open a book.

I was reminded of that lesson while struggling to get through a final edit of my W-I-P. When going over the document, I found that all I was doing was making changes, making it different but not better. With the keyboard in front of me, I couldn’t keep myself from playing with the words on the page. Eager to get on to a new project, I came up with an idea while the family was away for the afternoon. Instead of reading what was on the page, I let my computer read the words to me. I leaned back in my chair, closed my eyes, and let the story unfold while listening. Eureka!! I was finally able to turn off that internal editor and discovered that my work was done. I’d finished the story I wanted others to read. Here’s a snippet . . .

“You are the only woman I will ever love, Willamina Redbone. That’ll be true ‘til the day I die.”

His abrupt confession wiped the playfulness from her mood. For a long moment, she studied his expression, seeking some chink in his sincerity. Finding none, she swallowed hard then gripped his face between her palms to challenge, “Prove it to me, Jim,” and hauled him down to her lips.

Their kiss expressed everything recent conversations hadn’t touched upon: The tortured longing, the aching loneliness, the desperation of need and lust and fear easing down to pure, heart-stripping devotion. Pausing only when they grabbed for breath, they leaned brow to brow, eyes closed.

“Need more convincing?” he whispered, voice low and gruff.

“Yes, I do, for as long as you can keep the conversation going.”

His eyes opened, stare locking on hers. “Even if it takes ‘til daybreak?”

“Even if.”

“Well then,” he drawled, “I’d best get started.”

About that new project . . .

I am so excited to be escaping for a 5-day keyboard retreat with three writer friends a stone’s throw from the shores of Lake Michigan. We’ve rented a two-story house with a patio and grill and lots of separate writing spaces. Of course, our Michigan weather has decided to turn cold and wet but that will keep us working instead of lingering at the lake. And if those clouds break, meandering along the shoreline, listening to the waves, is a wonderful balm to the imagination. Hopefully, I’ll have new words to share in the near future! As well as pictures.

Sorry to have missed the last few weekends. I’ve been out of town and out of time. But now I’m ready to settle in and get work done. I can’t wait to 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.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

IWSG: When They Pry my Cold Dead Fingers from the Keys!


Our Insecure Writers Support Group’s optional question for July is thought provoking: “What would make you quit writing?”

All of the road blocks that come to mind, I’ve already run into during my 30+ years as a published author (not to mention those that came before that first contract). To name a few of those Things That Want to Make You Quit:
  • Rejections – Check.
  • Stalled projects – Check.
  • Lose agent – Double check.
  • Line you write for closes – Multiple checks.
  • Genre you write for tanks – Multiple checks, which is why I’ve written in so many of them.
  • New baby – Check. Book 3 due same day as son two, and both were early!
  • Young kids at home – Double check. I wrote while they napped or were playing outside within earshot. Mom’s with kids can hear through walls!
  • Lose editor – Check.
  • Return to the work force (after 15 years of mom duty) – Check. Got up at 4:30 a.m. to get my pages in before the drive to my law offices where working the desk gave me plenty of new ideas!
  • Divorce (after 24 years), sale of house and move into apartment – Check. Stressful but still doable.
  • Surgery – Check. Carpal tunnel and two knee replacements.
  • Lack of motivation – Check. Rx of sleep in, take a day or two off for whining, reading, binge watching, and relaxation then schedule a back to work date. Ideas swarming by then.
  • Well of ideas runs dry – Naw! Never happen. All I have to do is look in my old idea file and I have enough storylines, series ideas, and character sketches to last two lifetimes.
  • Technology – Check. My first books were written long hand then typed on a manual typewriter using correction ribbon! Eight books were saved on 5¼ “ disks! To reissue my first 20+ books, I’d have to have them professionally scanned. This old dog hates learning new tricks . . . but I do them.
  • Self-publishing – Check. Thank goodness for my virtual assistant who handles conversions and my critique partner who is a phenomenal cover artist! I do love doing the promo!
  • Lack of advances – Check. Going from five figure advances and multibook contracts to self-publishing really hit the savings account hard but it didn’t seem to make a difference to those stories that needed telling.
I’ve come to terms with all of the above and they don’t deter me from sitting down at the keyboard. The one thing that I have a hard time getting past that takes some of the joy out of what I do has four letters – F-R-E-E. Working hard to produce the best possible product only to have the market flooded with an endless supply of horribly written, unedited dreck may someday be this writer’s final straw. When readers sniff at paying $0.99 for a book that should have sold for $6.99+ and say why pay when they can get books for free? . . . sigh! That’s a hard one to swallow. Readers who don’t value a professionally written book might be that bridge too far.

Here’s hoping a discerning audience will never become a thing of the past!


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 7th posting of the IWSG will be Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, June 13, 2021

#WeWriWa: A Matter of Timing . . . An Untarnished Hero


Some heroes are forged by sheer determination. Jimmy Redbone is one of them in my Texas-set WIP, An Untarnished Hero. As a U.S. Marshal, he’s faced down crushing odds without a blink and he’s not about to let something as trivial as an injury keep him from protecting his wife and their future together in this week’s WWW excerpt.

It wasn’t fact, it was instinct that brought him here to the ranch and into the saddle. He was a hunter who understood his prey. Darkness and discomfort wouldn’t prevent his enemy from scouting this unforgiving terrain in search of a vantage point for both revenge and reward. Angel Soto wouldn’t place either thing in the hands of another. Neither would he. It was personal for Soto, not professional. For Jimmy, it was both.

He’d been a minute too late in the barn, a second too slow in that alley. Here, he was just days or even hours ahead of the one man who could strip everything from him. And by God, he’d be prepared and on time for that reunion.

Yep, still editing. Must get back to the basics of BICHOK (Butt in Chair, Hands on Keys)! I’m even more motivated now that a storyline for the next hero in this romantic suspense series has snuck up on me during revisions with a built-in opportunity to link back to one of my older historical series. Zayn Bass needs his own chance to make a name for himself in his family of legends.

Another thing that’s distracted me from the business at hand is exciting international news. Ireland has opened for vaccinated visitors! After three postponements since 2019, I’m like . . . flying high!



This girl has her packing list and passport ready to go!

But for now, my plan is to travel from this desktop to the one on the other side of my office where those revisions wait on my laptop. What are your plans, 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, June 6, 2021

#WeWriWa: A Fool’s Errand? . . . An Untarnished Hero

With the need to assure her safety more important than the injuries he’s hiding from her, Marshal Jimmy Redbone pushes the limits of his endurance to protect the woman he loves . . . no matter what the cost in today’s excerpt from my Texas-set romantic suspense. A fool’s errand or a hero’s obligation?

What damned fool thought a twilight ride in unfamiliar country would be a good idea with his perforated innards barely held together?

Oh, yeah, that damned fool was him.

About forty-five minutes into his scouting trip, the recklessness of his move was unavoidable. And nearly unbearable. The ride from their neighbor Roscoe Barrett’s had been on mostly flat surfaces, not up and over rocky hills that had him lurching in the saddle, teeth gritted to hold back curses and groans. But Jimmy knew he wouldn’t rest until he’d surveyed the perimeter for anything amiss. Not that he wouldn’t miss anything smaller than a city bus among the scrub-studded ridges and seemingly bottomless gorges. At least July had enough sense to pick his way cautiously to keep from breaking his own legs, never mind his foolish rider’s neck.

But the need to punish and protect overcame physical obstacles.

I’ve finally started my final edit, with the hope of having it completed before the end of the month so I can attend a weeklong Rest & Writing escape where I plan to start the next book in the series. I’ve already been on the patio for a brief coffee and cats moment, so now it’s down to keyboarding business, since it’s already creeping up on 90-degrees before 10:00 AM. In Michigan, that’s too hot to even think of going outside because of the humidity that comes with it. The only things that thrive out there today are my cactus gardens. They’re taunting, “Bring on the Heat!”


With the rise in temperature comes indoor binge watching. I’ve already devoured Mare of Easttown, City on a Hill, Pennyworth, A Handmaid’s Tale, The Son, and Halston, and am anxiously awaiting the return of Lupin (a fantastic French import!)and Bosch along with the premier of Loki. I’m mentally writing off sedentary time spent as a expense . . . my excuse and I’m sticking to it! What have you been binging? And more importantly, what have you been 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.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

#IWSG: Letting that Draft Breathe

Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for June is a breath of fresh air:

June 2 question - For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?


In a perfect world, letting the first draft breathe like a fine wine would be a given. But the only thing that comes into play for me regarding timing is how MUCH of it I have available. I’ve always been a pretty clean first draft writer. I’m lucky to have fantastic BETA readers amongst my critique group who’ll provide a read thru before I go to final, and their allowed timing affects mine. But the biggest influence (and curse!) has always been the time line I give myself now that I’m self-pubbing. I have a (sometimes bad) habit of picking a release date and counting backwards to allow for first draft, clean up, BETA reads, and final. In a perfect world, all would run smoothly. But there’s always that unforeseen snag . . . the bane of a writer’s existence . . . that’s out of your control.

When I started writing, decades ago, the first books I wrote for Zebra went from typewriter first draft to final publisher edit to publication, so right from the start, I had hard and fast editing rules: First draft – 3 months, one week to marinate before on to read thru/first edit – two weeks, then to editor. Second drafts were for clean up and minor expansion, not major rewrites. There just wasn’t time. It wasn’t until I started self-pubbing that I had the luxury of letting words “rest.” I’d always tell myself to give it a month, or at least two weeks. But I never had the discipline to stay away that long. Ahhh, that siren’s call of my characters . . .

The BIG exception was the final book of 15 in my “By Moonlight” dark paranormal shapeshifter series. With ten years between Book 1 and Book 15, there were a ton of things to be knitted together to keep the whole from unraveling. I had to put together a list of plot dangles then create an elaborate timeline in which to link them all - an effort that took longer than writing the first draft! For the first time, I had to push a release date back, and in retrospect, I wish I’d taken another few weeks.

Of course the number of books written gives you a better handle on your own process, so you can cinch up that editing belt if you need to. That belt was pretty darn tight when I returned to the work force fifteen years after being a stay-at-home mom, but now my time is my own as a retiree, and is my own worst enemy as I putz along with my current Texas-set romantic suspense. Those first draft edits are sitting across the room but instead of compelling me, I’m finding it all too easy to put on headphones to binge watch Netflix. I’m blaming isolation brain. But really, there’s no excuse. Now that I’ve admitted that to everyone, it’s play computer off, work laptop on. Time to gitter done!

Right after I see what you’ve been up to . . .


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 2nd posting of the IWSG will be J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, May 30, 2021

#WeWriWa: Truth or Consequences . . . An Untarnished Hero


Consequences . . . the pesky result of taking a hard stance. But in the case of our hero in my WIP, the risk is worth the result . . . or so he believes in this scene where he’s trying to find a place to fit into the life his estranged wife has returned to . . . without him.

“Matteo can find plenty for you to do.”

His side glance, a teasing bright break-of-day blue, suggested all sorts of mischief. “Nothing you personally need me to see to?”

“Can’t think of a single thing. Been seeing to them myself for a long while now.” With that clipped declaration, she pushed off the fence and marched back up the house, spine stiffening at the sound of his rumbling chuckle.

Watching her walk away, always a particular delight, couldn’t ease the knot of tension growing in Jimmy’s gut. Maybe Matteo was right. Perhaps he should come clean with his reason for being there. But part of his plan was for everything to look normal at TheCut Above, encouraging that trouble he was here to prevent to sneak up close enough for him to put a very final end to it.

(and the rest of the scene . . .)

But dangling the woman he loved as bait came a far second to keeping her safe from the threat sure to come . . . fast and hard from any unexpected direction. Him not being up to par was worrisome. But being a minute too late and a second too slow was not going to happen again. He knew what was out there, waiting to threaten his future at the cost of those here on this ranch. He had to be ready, without distraction, without mercy or hesitation. The next soul planted in the lovingly tended family cemetery, if he had any say, would be from old age, not his poor judgment or failure to act to the full limit of the law. And perhaps, this time, beyond it.

To hell with the consequences.

I wonder how that’s going to work out for him? While he’s trying to figure it out, I’ve been enjoying my final edit through AUH, smoothing out the bumps and raising the stakes. And I’ve even come up with a way to spin this book into a series by introducing a new character at the end!

Little by little, I’ve been taking baby steps outside my pandemic bubble, this time with a trip to the mall and dinner afterwards to celebrate my birthday. First stop – bookstore!! Then my favorite clothing store to actually try things on. Pleased to report no COVID damage to my regular size – in fact, things are a bit looser! But after taking no prisoners in my first forage into the real world of shopping in a year and a half (!), it’s still a case of I can get all dressed up and have no place to go other than a series of friend gatherings in the upcoming months. Still I’m planning to hit the gym to tone up this old sedentary bod starting tomorrow and am busy making playlists to put on my phone – if I can figure out how to do that.

After returning home like a band of pillaging pirates with all our mall bounty and leftovers, I find this lovely surprise waiting for me from my wonderful D-i-L:


I’ve decided that getting a year older is okay with me!

But I haven’t forgotten to appreciate the past and those who gave all so we could have so much.


Have a wonderful Memorial Day, hopefully with your families this year, but if not in person, then at least in your heart and in your memories!


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 23, 2021

#WeWriWa: A Dream Come True? . . . SWEET TEXAS DREAMS


If only life mirrored the fantasy found in books . . . Young Becca Bass, the sheltered youngest daughter of West Texas tracker Harmon Bass, has grown up surrounded by the daring do of others, but the idea of heroics simply terrifies her . . . until a handsome stranger shows up at the front steps needing to hire her father.

Her mother had always told her patience would bring her heart’s desire, but never had Becca Bass expected it to be delivered up to her front door.

“I’m looking for Harmon Bass and was told I could find him here.”

It took Becca a moment to remember how to speak, so lost was she in the staring. They didn’t get many visitors out in the emptiness of West Texas where their house nestled in against the foothills of the Chisos, but that alone wasn’t the reason for the fluttery tempo bumping within the cage of her ribs. It wasn’t any one thing that held her mesmerized; it was all of them together. The way the stranger’s shoes refused to let the thick dust conquer their determined shine; the way his beautifully tailored suit held to its arrogant creases; the supple driving gloves that most likely protected smooth hands untouched by hard labor; the fair unlined skin molded to the long angles of his face that spoke of the North as clearly as his crisp diction; the meticulously groomed brown hair trained by a professional barber’s comb instead of a pair of shears on a kitchen stool, and a mouth full of sensual curves that should have smiled more than it probably did and now was pressed with the look of serious business.

As Becca gazed down from the top step of her family’s porch into the sterling gray of his eyes, her every quivering instinct told her that this was the one; the man who lived in the fairytale world her mother described when she spoke of her years in the East, the one who would step from the pages of the love stories she treasured to become everything she desired and couldn’t find here in the sear of West Texas. Here was her dream come true. And all she could do was stare in entranced wonder.

(and a bit more . . .)

“Am I in the right place?” he prompted when she gave no response.

“Oh, yes.” That sighed from her dreamily.

“Is he here? May I speak with him?” There was a slight edge of impatience to his tone, the sign of a man who’d come a long way for a mighty important reason and didn’t fancy wasting any more of his time in the hot sun talking to a calf-struck girl. “Harmon Bass,” he repeated slowly as if to someone who didn’t have a good grasp of the language. “You do know him?”

That made Becca smile. “Everyone around here knows him. He’s my father.”

Unfortunately, the legend he’s looking for has been injured and is unavailable. But instead of sending her dream man away, Becca does the first bold thing she can think of . . . something that just might get the both of them killed! Pretending she can fill her half-Apache father’s moccasins, Becca dons buckskins and convinces New York investment banker Morgan Daniels to follow her into the searing landscape along with his prissy manservant, who thankfully knows how to make a fire. So far. So good, until they catch up with the trouble they’re looking for!

I had a great time writing this final chapter in the published Bass family series (and am thoroughly enjoying rereading it now!). The research it took to bring Becca and her family to take on the New York high society her mother escaped was loads of fun. And dropping the always dangerous and unpredictable Harmon Bass into the middle of it made for some of the series’ best scenes. I didn’t want the adventure to end . . . so I’m picking up the chapters I’d started years ago that follow young Randy Bass and his cousin as they seek trouble and destiny with a convent runaway going home to war-torn Cuba. I’ll share a tease next week.

Hope you’ve found someplace cool to escape the awful humidity that we have here in Michigan. Just rain, already, and get it over with! At least the cats have been entertained by all the whirligigs the trees are shedding that now cover the patio and all my plants.

I’m having a happy birthday week. Enjoy a piece of cake on me! I won’t tell anyone.


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 16, 2021

#WeWriWa: A Father’s Nightmare . . . TEXAS RENEGADE


Nothing could be worse than losing a child, even if that child isn’t yours by blood. Half white, half Apache, Kenitay became Jack Bass’s son when the Texas Ranger married his mother, a former captive of his Apache father’s band. With the era of the Apache fading, Jack takes him to Arizona’s Fort Apache for a chance to see his father one last time before he’s relocated to Florida with others of his tribe. Told to stay put on the porch while Jack tries to make arrangements for the visit, the boy’s curiosity gets the best of him at the sight of his father’s ragged people being herded toward the train. When he takes that first step off the porch for a better look, he leaves behind a family broken by indisputable evidence . . . that he’s been accidentally killed. Until a wary, bitter adult appears on their doorstep thirteen years later.

As Jack walked forward until the two men were eye-to-eye, Kenitay experienced a strange chill looking at him from an equal height as they stared at each other for a few heartbeats. Then, in a tone so gruff it rumbled, Jack said, “Next time I tell you to stay put, goddammit, you stay put!”

Jack’s big hand caught the back of his head to pull Kenitay into an embrace so tight he could barely draw a breath—not that he could manage one through the emotion squeezing his chest. This wasn’t at all the welcome he’d expected . . . but it was the one he’d dreamed of on those lonely nights when the emptiness got so big it seemed to swallow his soul. His stepfather’s grasp, his mother’s tears—he’d pictured it a million times and each time, painful reality cut like a fresh blade. If he was holding onto a lie, if felt so good he couldn’t make himself release it. He soaked up the warmth of his mother’s hug and let his head rest briefly against the familiar comfort of Jack’s shoulder as his spirit wept with the joy of their reunion even as his mind struggled to explain it.

Why the tears thirteen years too late?

(and the rest . . .)

That’s when Jack’s fingers meshed in his hair, pulling his head up and holding him firm so there was no way to avoid his piercing stare.

“You’d better have one powerful good reason for staying away and letting your mama nurse a broken heart.”

That soft accusation was what Kenitay needed to bring scattered emotions in check. He levered back, his features taking on an impassive mask. He couldn’t look at his mother, that would have been too hard. Finally, he asked with a tint of disbelief, “You want a reason from me?”

“Right now,” Jack demanded in a terse voice.

“I don’t owe you anything.”

“After you tore this family in two, I think you do!”

Reconnecting with the father whom he’d believed hadn’t cared enough to look for him, Kenitay grew up amongst a bitter people, a relocated prisoner in Florida. Now, hunted by the law for murder, he’s on the hunt for a fortune in silver and the men responsible for the price on his head. Enter Leisha Bass, daughter of famous tracker Harmon Bass who is Jack’s uncle and perhaps the only man who can help him. But desperate to prove herself in the shadow of her father’s legend, Leisha has her own reasons for taking on that task and sticking close to the enigmatic man who holds a secret that could destroy her.

I fell in love with these characters all over again while rereading this book from 1996 (!). I can’t wait to get it back into document form to tweak and polish, and to find a cover worthy of the original which is one of my favorites from all my books. Now, on to the final (so far!) book of the series . . .

After long days struggling to find the perfect mix of colors, looks, and heights (in a greenhouse, silly, not on a dating app!) I’ve been digging in the dirt to the horror of my fingernails and my abused back to create this year’s patio garden oasis for mornings with coffee and my cats. It’s my favorite chore of the year and when I’m finished . . . ahhhh, perfect! But first, putting the pieces together.


I’m so excited to be going out to lunch with one of my critique partners tomorrow – maskless! It’s like being naked in public (though probably not as horrific). We’ll still be social distancing and be suited up inside until we get to the table, but it’ll be great to see someone’s lips moving when you speak to them! And to know they aren’t making faces at you.

Happy Spring, fellow Warriors! Bloom where you’re planted!


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 9, 2021

#WeWriWa: Hat in Hand . . . WILD TEXAS BRIDE


Continuing through my Texas historical series, reading WILD TEXAS BRIDE reminded me of how impulsive and often painful young love can be. Exciting new emotions can often get confused when expectations and reality don’t go hand in hand. Such is the case when young Sarah Bass, daughter of a famed Texas Ranger and niece of a dime novel legend, sees her first and only crush through new eyes.

One of the bandits strode by her toward the others at the front of the car, his long canvas duster tucked behind an impressive brace of pistols. He was tall, with a swaggering walk . . . a familiar walk, but she wasn’t sure until he turned slightly, and the coat swung away from long, long legs. She didn’t have to see his face because as long as she lived, Sarah would never forget that expansive stretch of denim-hugged limb.

What in heaven’s name was Billy Cooper doing robbing a train?

Surprise subdued her more efficiently than threat. How could she mistake the man who’d given her the spectacular taste of her first kiss, that young Texas Ranger who’d captured a thirteen-year-old’s heart?

What would turn a man from an honorable life’s mission to passing a hat to relieve folks of their valuables? Sarah wondered, frowning as Billy moved from seat to seat with the same charismatic cheerfulness as a tent evangelist, coaxing her fellow passengers to dig deep into their pockets. By the time he reached her seat, she was seething with a confused outrage. Then his dark eyes touched upon hers and she held her breath, waiting for a shock of recognition, but he looked away without pause.

He didn’t remember her!

(and the rest of the scene)

“Your contributions, please,” he drawled amiably, giving his hat a shake to rattle the coins and jewelry he’d already collected.

“And if I don’t please?”

The dark eyes gazing down at her crinkled up at the corners until she could see the creases of his devilish dimples over the edge of the bandana. “Why, I’m sure a little lady as pretty as you would want to be obliging.”

“Not when it comes to sniveling, underhanded, sneak thieves like you, sir.” Grabbing the sleeve of Billy’s coat, she hissed, “Why are you doing this?”

“Man’s gotta eat, ma’am.”

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”

Then his fingertips touched to her mouth, effectively stilling any further argument she thought to give, as they moved gently, rough and warm, along the line of her lips as if to seal them shut. His dark eyes delved straight to her soul.

“You don’t know anything,” he argued quietly, and before she could think of a retort, he was moving down the row of seats with his hat full of stolen treasures.

Will she accept what she sees or believe what she feels? Hopefully the second or it will be an awfully short book. Rereading TEXAS RENEGADE in search of next week’s excerpt then on to the final published book, SWEET TEXAS DREAMS.

Just found the first few chapters I’d written years ago for what was meant to be the final book in the series and am raring to get back into it, especially since all the hard work of research and plotting are already done! Hopefully, I’ll have some progress to report by the time I finish profiling the next two books in the series.

But for now, I’m off to visit your pages before heading to the patio to enjoy the sun and the smell of steaks on the grill.

Happy Trails!


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, May 5, 2021

IWSG: The Best Surprises are Unexpected!


It’s May, a time of flowers blooming, getting a year older (for me), and writing another Insecure Writers Support Group post. This month’s question is a pleasure to answer in recognition of some wonderful people.

Our IWSG May 5th question is “Have any of your readers ever responded to your writing a way that you didn’t expect? If so, did it surprise you?”

My writing career has been full of reader surprises that began with fan letters. Does anyone get those stamped envelopes anymore? Something about those handwritten notes of excitement and praise kept a mom of two young boys at the word processor from the time they napped, which eventually became the time they went to school, until the dog told me that lunch had long since passed. That these people I didn’t know took the time to write a letter or send a card blew me away (and I still have my favorites tucked away with my other valuables). This was before Facebook and Twitter and online writers forums . . . or actually, online anything! Just strangers writing to a stranger because they were somehow touched by a turn of a phrase. Just . . . wow!

When I released the first trio of books in my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series ten years ago, another huge surprise – a fan made me a book trailer (this was waaaay back before they became a thing or had all the cool graphic programs we have now) and set it to music. Come to find out, she was working as an assistant for bigtime bestseller Darynda Jones, who happened to be a fan of my vampire romance series. I’ve enjoyed meeting Darynda several times since then at book events. Small world! Here’s the trailer:


My most cherished reader fan turned writer friend is Sandra Hoover . . . a former IWSG pal! She unashamedly called Max, my hero, her book boyfriend and formed an entire Goodreads Group to share her enthusiasm for him and my shapeshifter books! My “Nancy Gideon By Moonlight” group now boasts close to 500 members who read, support, and help me promote my new releases through a monthly newsletter and a variety of fun and informational forum discussions as well as some great book chat topics. And the wonderful Sandra just surprised me with this gift any bedtime reader would adore – a gorgeous book sleeve with a quote from my “By Moonlight” hero.


And by far my greatest surprises came from two different groups of Michigan writers, one in Mid-Michigan and one in Greater Detroit. When the Detroit chapter invited me as a guest speaker, I was able to sign copies of my latest Dana Ransom historical. One of the attendees surged up to get her copy signed – because her name was Dana. That enthusiastic fan became multi-published author Dana Corbit Nussio. Later, a group of Mid-Michigan writers who carpooled to meetings in other cities when I first joined that RWA group invited me to ride with them. Those brainstorming drives were the highlight of my month because I never talked about my writing, let alone allowed anyone to read my WIPs. When I found out they also meet for critiquing, I self-consciously asked if I could join them. To my surprise, they’d been too afraid to ask me! Hey, even published authors need support, right? The six of us, Detroit Dana and my other five Mid-Michigan pals have now been meeting for critiques for over twenty years!


The best surprises come when you least expect them and, if you’re lucky, make a lasting mark on your work and your life.

Now, I need to uncover your surprises!


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 May 5th posting of the IWSG will be Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, May 2, 2021

WeWriWa: Heaven and Hell . . . TEXAS DESTINY

April showers have brought fragrant May flowers and I’m loving the scent of apple blossoms on my desk, freshly clipped from the tree out back. Breathe in and Ahhhhh! I’ve been doing lots of spring cleaning, reading through my Texas-set historical series, first pubbed back in the ‘90s, in anticipation of finishing the final book I started years ago and never completed.


Today’s WeWriWa clip is from Book 2, TEXAS DESTINY. My honorable Texas Ranger hero, Jack Bass, leads the daring rescue of a female captive living amongst the Apache. Emily Marcus is everything he’s ever desired . . . everything but free to share his future. Here’s a tease.

It was heaven and hell.

The woman in his arms was everything Jack desired – strong, brave, sweet-spirited, and beautiful. Her touch made everything inside him all hot and fluid, like the spring waters at Boquillas. She was the kind of woman a man looked for all his life, and if he was lucky enough to find her, he was smart enough to never let her go. Most of his fellow rangers were happy with the solitary life, content to roll themselves in a blanket under the stars, eat their meals out of a tin, and wash when they started scaring away game. They had no dreams beyond the moment, and most didn’t care if the future lasted fifty years or fifty minutes, but Jack wasn’t like them. He’d come from a solid family background, had seen the love between his mother and Will, between his uncle and Amanda, had held his baby brothers and sister in his arms and had known right then that he wanted children of his own. He wanted the vision Harmon had given him years ago, of looking out over land of his own, a wife and kids beside him, a table to sit at, and the satisfaction of belonging. Heaven was finding the woman to make that dream come true.

Hell was having her belong to someone else.

Now that I have the rights back to the series, I plan to self-pub them AND tie the Bass family into my just finished contemporary romantic suspense through one of the Texas Rangers assisting my hero. What a fun way to expand both those Texas-based series. I love it when a plan comes together. Especially when most of the research is already done!

May is also my birthday month, and I got one heck of a fabulous surprise from the organizer of my Nancy Gideon “By Moonlight” Goodreads Group. If you’re like me, you do a lot of your reading in bed before lights out. Now, my Read-in-Progress can await me in style in this AWESOME bedside book sleeve. See! Perfect, right?! Sandra, you are da bomb!


I’m off to visit your posts and then, weather willing, out to do some grilling. We’re celebrating my household being fully vaccinated!

Happy May, 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, April 18, 2021

WeWriWa: Back in the Saddle . . . Temptation’s Trail

While waiting for the results of BETA reads for my Texas-set romantic suspense, I started thinking about what to do next. I’d been looking ahead at ways to begin a “Cowboys and Lawmen” series set in Texas and came up with a half-dozen contemporary plotline options. Then I started waxing sentimental. Instead of looking ahead, maybe I should also be looking back to where my love of Texas westerns began . . . back to the book that started it all.


Back in the ’90s, I’d never attempted a series, but when I created Harmon Bass, a legendary tracker who answers a naïve young Eastern heiress’s call for help in the lawless Bend of Texas, I couldn’t walk away. She’d thought she’d hired the strapping, elegant hero depicted in her favorite dime novels. Imagine her surprise when confronted with a short, soft-spoken half-breed who went hatless and without a sidearm.

“There’s been some mistake,” she murmured faintly.

As she started to rise, his hand closed around her wrist. It wasn’t a painful or aggressive grasp, just a firm, controlling circle of rough, dry fingers. She 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.”

Amanda dropped into the chair without so much as a whimper to asked, “Who are you?”

“I’m the man you sent for.”

“How did you get that letter I posted in care of the Texas Rangers?”

“They sent it to me.” One corner of his mouth crooked up wryly as he tapped a dirty forefinger on the cover of her dime novel. “You wanted the heroic Harmon Bass bad enough to offer up a thousand dollars, and here I am to collect.”

(and the rest of the scene . . .)

She studied him candidly for a moment as the violent shock wore offer, returning her usual brash spirit. “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t plan to offer up that money to just anyone and I don’t believe for a second that you’re Mr. Bass.”

His amusement had affected the rest of his mouth by then, shaping it into a small smile. “And why’s that, Miss Duncan?”

“If you can 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. “Why, you’re too young, not much more than twenty years old, 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—you’re shor—you’re 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. Whether you like it or not, I’m the man you want. If you were counting on some steely-eyed, 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 paused and said, softer still, “And I need the money.”

While re-reading the original five-books to which I’ve gotten the rights back, I’m researching ways to get them scanned into an editable format since I no longer have the original drafts, and doing one of my other favorite things—playing with cover concepts. I’m also digging up that Book 6 I’d started long, long ago when I had plotlines to bring the historical family up to present day. Suddenly, I have a ton of long-anticipated work to do that will more than fill the rest of 2021! Happy Trails, 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, April 11, 2021

WeWriWa: Take a Bite Out of Life . . . MIDNIGHT KISS $0.99!


Sometimes, what sustains also drains . . . as my naïve heroine discovers when she falls for her father’s mysterious patient who is undergoing secret treatments to cure his “condition.” Word of advice to heroine: Undergoing secret treatments for a “condition” is not something you look for on a dating app! She should have read this week’s excerpt. Here’s a taste . . .

“Where is your father?” Half whisper, half growl, his voice startled her as he demanded, “Get him here, now!”

“What is it? Is there something I—”

“Come no closer.”

Arabella gasped at the sight of him—so pale, in the dimness his flesh seemed almost translucent, lean features drawn into taut relief of highlight and hollow, as if ravaged by a wasting sickness. Wet hair clung sleekly to the contour of his skull from which his eyes burned, just a trick of the light, surely, for in that moment, she could have sworn they blazed like coals beneath the dark slash of his brows. Then he turned his head away, denying her the sight of his misery.

“Leave me, please. I will be fine if you leave me.”

He wouldn’t be fine. She could tell by watching his agitation that something was so dread­fully wrong, he’d come to her father for help . . . but Stuart Howland was not at home.

(And the rest of the scene . . .)

“Please,” she cried out softly, “please tell me what I can do for you.”

For a moment there was silence, then the slow, hissing draw of his breath as he came about to face her. They were quite close, so he had no diffi­culty reaching out to catch her by the upper arms, long fingers biting into tender flesh with hurtful pressure. What kind of illness left such strength in a man’s hands, she wondered somewhat frantically? But she couldn’t move, couldn’t complain, for he was staring down into her eyes and suddenly nothing else existed beyond the pull of his unblinking gaze. An odd lethargy spread through her as she heard him speak, his tone quiet and somehow soothing, seeming to melt her very bones.

“What can you do for me?” he repeated, as if con­sidering the question. His arms bent to compel her forward, until she could feel the force of his rapid breath against her upturned face. There was no warmth to it. Nor was there any sign of weakness or distress in him.

Power . . . she sensed power. It en­gulfed her, swallowing her whole.

“Arabella.”

MIDNIGHT KISS, the first book in my “Touched by Midnight” vampire romance series, has taken on a surprising life of its own over the past decades. First released in 1994 as the first of three (ultimately nine) books that move through the same vampiric family from the Regency era to modern times, it was raised again through Belle Books in 2015 and shows no sign of going gently or quietly into that goodnight. If you like a darkly delicious romance, a bite of the paranormal and a taste of history, sink your teeth into MIDNIGHT KISS for only $0.99 through April 15th! You may find yourself hungry for more . . .



I’m happy to be back with my friends at WeWriWa after a week of wonderful relaxation with a critique partner pal doing final edits on my Texas-set romantic suspense, AN UNTARNISHED HERO. It’s off for BETA reads so I’m somewhat at a loss of what to do next. The search for an agent is foremost on my agenda. Any suggestions . . . ? Looking forward to seeing what’s been playing on your keyboards in this beautiful month of April!


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, April 7, 2021

IWSG: A Risk Worth Taking . . . and a $0.99 SALE!


Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for April is: “Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?”

Though basically a corner-seeking wall flower, I’ve been around too long as a writer to have not taken my share of writing risks. Safe sells but novelty catches the eye of new readers who’d have never looked my way otherwise. Here are just a few of the blind leaps of faith I’ve taking in the past thirty years:

  • My Lauren Giddings’ SWEET TEMPEST (also my first published book) was a sizzling Regency-set historical when proper lords and ladies still slept behind closed doors.
  • The one-of-a-kind two-sided playing card my printer ex-husband created from my design for one of my early Dana Ransom historicals was credited with helping kick off the brand new (in the ’80s!) bookmark craze and won me my first industry award!
  • I forced myself out of my comfort zone to approach the head of my publishing company to ask if there was anything in development that I might submit to and ended up writing out of my traditional genre as one of the launch authors for Zebra/Kensington’s “Lucky In Love” contemporary line.
  • The three books that started my “Touched by Midnight” series were pitched to my editor within an hour of the word vampire being whispered at a writers conference (too soon it seems, as bookstores didn’t know where to shelf them and I often ended up nudged in with horror).
  • My 15-book “By Moonlight” series broke all the rules by continuing with the same hero and heroine beyond more than one book. I don’t know how many times I heard “You can’t do that!” Though regularly practiced in Urban Fantasy, it was unheard of in romance at the time. Now, I’m glad I was deaf in that ear. That series broke many of the rules I’d “grown up” with in publishing including having a say in cover creation and writing my own back cover content, guest blogging on the launch of Simon & Schuster’s interactive publisher site (one of the first, if not the first!), filming a promo for my series while at a conference in New York, and creating one of the early author-made book trailers on a shoestring budget. All cutting edge back then. I’m surprised by how far writers have come since with all the advances in technology.
Hats off to the risk-takers, the rule breakers, the line crossers, the unicorns in the pony corrals who bravely ride the swell of that new wave that now carries so many of our careers! I’m proud to say this dog-paddler was one of them.

Here’s one of those early risks that’s still playing well on the tables . . . MIDNIGHT KISS, the Regency-set Book 1 in my “Touched by Midnight” vampire romance series (in its third incarnation!) is on sale April 1-15 for only $0.99!! Talk about an unexpected life expectancy!





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 April 7th posting of the IWSG will be PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, March 21, 2021

#WeWriWa: The Bed She’d Made . . . An Untarnished Hero


Taking a stand to make a point comes with its own risks. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to defend it if that point is challenged. But what if it’s simply . . . ignored? Which would bring the greatest regret for the heroine in my romantic suspense WIP?

He’d told her with soul baring honesty right from the first that what he saw when he looked at her was everything he’d ever need.

Was that still true?

It was for her. No denying it, no escaping it, no avoiding it. Jimmy Redbone was her past, present, and future . . . and tonight she’d remind him in case he’d forgotten.

Hearing the front door creak open and close below, Willa pressed palms to her belly to stop its quivering. Tonight was only about tonight, a time to reconnect and reawaken all the things that worked so well between them. Tomorrow, they’d sit down for that long overdue conversation to make a path for the future . . . together.

With a deep inhale and shaky gust out, she climbed under the covers and waited.

And waited.

No sounds from below. No bootsteps on the stairs. Nothing.

The house settled into a sigh of silence while she lay on her back, wide-eyed and awake.

Alone in the bed she’d made for herself.

Pride is a funny thing. It clouds what’s really important, what’s ultimately at stake if push comes to shove. My frustrated heroine is spoiling for a fight to confront all the wrongs and fears she’s endured for six long, lonely months. No confrontation means no answers, just a lonely bed and another lonely night with temptation just a floor away. But a reckoning is coming whether she’s ready for it or not.

I’m MORE than ready. I’m just finishing up my last read through before AUH is off to my critique group for BETA reads. While I’m waiting, biting my nails, I’ll be research avenues of publication (EWWW!). I’ve got a long, enjoyable week, staying with one of my critique partners (both of us are fully vaccinated!), to get things figured out and to start deciding on a next project. And maybe an agent/editor . . .

Hope things are brightening up for all of you on these longer, warmer days. I, for one, can’t wait to start basking on the patio.


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, March 14, 2021

#WeWriWa: What Did She Want? W-I-P


Just finished the edit of my contemporary suspense, AN UNTARNISHED HERO and am getting ready for the hard swallow that precedes sending it to BETA readers. While I’m waiting, I need to research markets and whether I want to go the agent route or self-pub. Decisions, decisions. But mine aren’t nearly as critical as those my heroine has to make when her long absent husband returns home without any explanations.

Well, Willa asked herself as she stalked about the bedroom, wrestling blood-stained sheets off their big bed, wasn’t this what she’d wanted? He was here, within arms’ reach, so tempting her sports bra could barely restrain a lunging heart. Injured pride was a small price to pay for the soothing stroke of his voice and low music of his laughter. Dignity too high a fence to put around a body needing the security of his embrace wrapped tight around her.

Linens clutched to her heaving chest, wadded up as tight as her emotions, she paused to slow those jerking breaths.

What was she going to do about Jimmy Redbone, errant husband, and man of her every good or bad dream?

Willa forced an achy inhale, releasing it in a fragile shiver.

What did she want from him, from their relationship moving forward, not looking back? If pride had its way, she’d march down the narrow hall, throw clean linens on one of the extra beds, and toss his sparse clothing into distant dresser drawers. That might soothe the hurt prickling beneath her indignation, but it wouldn’t ease the empty pain of nights alone.

I’ve had such fun taking my sparring yet made for each other couple from tense reconnection to that ultimately satisfying HEA. Now comes the hard part – the business end of writing. It’s like going from music to math . . . Thank goodness it’s a drinking holiday week (not that I indulge in anything stronger than caffeine!). We’ll need it after losing that hour of sleep here in Michigan.


Ahhhh, St. Patrick’s Day! A bittersweet reminder of that longed for vacation to the Emerald Isle, now rescheduled for the fourth COVID extension to three weeks in September. Sigh. This time, I’ll go even if I have to walk . . . well, maybe not ALL the way there. I’ve been teasing myself with packing lists and new travel accessories now that I’m twice vaccinated as well as passported. Those five months will just FLY by . . . but not without me, this time! What dream destinations have you been pining for?

Off to visit your pages!

Go Green, fellow Warriors 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.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

#IWSG: The Reading Spice of Life - Variety!

Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for March is: “Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choices?”


I started picking out books from our local Bookmobile as soon as I was old enough to have a card. My mom’s only codicil was that I could read whatever I could reach (the children’s books being on the lower shelves). Silly Mom. There were step stools! Though I started out with all the Black Stallion books, I quickly branched out to The Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden mysteries. Then a Folklore phase when I devoured the stories and legends from every country I could find. Georgette Heyer Regency romps were followed by Alistair MacLean’s thrillers and Ray Bradbury mindblowers, all the way to Stephen King and Dean Koontz horror and anything suspense. There was never enough time to get between the pages of everything I was dying to read.


Actually, I voraciously read every genre except what I finally started out writing: Romance. I blame Kathleen Woodiwiss for changing that.

Even while writing romance, I enjoy paying homage to the genres I cut my teeth on, adding in action, adventure, suspense and the paranormal. Everything I was tall enough to read and eventually able to add onto my Kindle gets sprinkled into the huge, ever boiling pot of plot ideas, bringing spice, heat, spooky times, and variety to the expected love story in genres from that first historical Regency and western historicals to category suspense, vampires and shapeshifters.

Variety is more than the spice of life. It’s also the spark I look for when I read and what keeps my titles, now entering 70+, interesting enough to keep me at the keyboard.

I can’t wait to find out what motivates you?


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 March 3rd posting of the IWSG will be Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG