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

Sunday, February 28, 2021

#WeWriWa: Last Chance . . . and Last Day for $0.99 S*A*L*E!


Max Savoie and Charlotte Caissie are the “Happily Ever After” couple from my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series. But the love they’ve fought for and struggled to maintain is now threatened by a presence from his past who has stolen away his memory of the enduring love they share. This might be their last chance to recover what they once had. Here’s a clip from REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT . . .


“I’m so used to you getting me. You know me better than I know myself. I don’t have to say a word for you to read between the lines, always been one step ahead, knowing what I want, what I need, just the right things to do or say. I never had a connection like that to anyone else. Not to my father who I thought walked on water, not to Babineau who’s had my back on the street for years, not even Mary Kate who shared all my secrets. None of them understood the things I kept in my closet.”

Silence, then a husky, “What do you have in your closet that you only shared with me?”

She chuckled and gave him a swat. “Not a literal closet, Savoie.”

(and the rest of the scene . . .)

“Oh. Forgive me for thinking naughty thoughts. You tend to inspire them, sha.”

Her arm tightened about him as he lifted her other hand to his lips for a light stroke.

“It’s where we locked away our fears, our darkness, our pain. We’d just started to do some serious housecleaning together when—I lost you.”

“You haven’t lost me, Charlotte. I’m right here.”

“I know you are.” Her voice hitched slightly. “It’s just so hard, Max. So hard to be with you and still feel so far apart. To expect things that aren’t returned. Silly things like a joke that only we understand. Signals that aren’t received. I feel like I’m standing on the outside again, and I know it has to be the same for you. I tend to forget that I’m not the only one frustrated here. I’ve been too focused on my own situation to consider yours. That’s why I’m sorry. I want us to be in this together, not standing apart and alone. I don’t want to lose you, Max. I can’t go through the pain of that again.”

He turned, releasing her hand so his could cup her cheek in his palm. His thumb brushed away the tears that threaded through rain drops. His features were drawn in dramatic plays of light and shadow, his eyes bright, the only splash of vivid color upon that stark palette. He was breathtaking, and hers was gone. She held herself still and left herself open, something she’d never been able to do with anyone but him. She didn’t try to hide to her vulnerability. Or her longing.

“I’m not going anywhere, Charlotte.”




Today is the final day of my $0.99 sale for REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT and for MIDNIGHT REDEEMER from my “Touched by Midnight” vampire romance series – two books for half the price of one! Time to celebrate that gorgeous full moon out there with these paranormal favorites.


Having survived the reroofing of our tri-level house (yes, in the middle of a Michigan winter!) and the necessary shoveling of several hundred pounds of ice and snow (all 12” of it!) from driveway and patio to prepare for it, I’m wishing for a hot tub but am grateful to have a hot pad and a warm cat (or three). And for the arrival of March, that capricious month of winds that blow both warm and cold . . . depending upon the day. But it’s one month closer to spring and five days until my second vaccination. I’ve hauled out my Ireland itinerary for September and am refusing to be discouraged after already postponing it three times. This is obviously the fourth petal on that clover leaf!


Now then, back to the getting close to final edit of my romantic suspense while trying not to choke at the thought of marketing it . . .

Happy Almost 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, February 21, 2021

WeWriWa: Sink Your Teeth Into Midnight Redeemer - $0.99!


I love smart men and women playing dangerous cat and mouse games. But which one is which? Scientist Stacy Kimball is looking for a cure for the blood disease that will eventually kill her, as it did her mother. Gorgeous, reclusive philanthropist Louis Redman could provide the answer. All she needs is a sample of his rare blood type. What Stacy doesn’t know, is they share the same driving interest. He wants her blood, too. Here’s a peek at MIDNIGHT REDEEMER.

Vampire.

Nonsense.

Then, Stacy made herself look beyond the logical. In this case, the impossible could be the only possible answer.

But that led to another question.

How did one go about tracking down a supposed vampire to ask for a sample of his blood?

She had a name: Louis Redman. Redman’s influence on the Powers That Be was like a seducing drug. No one wanted to risk alienating his affection. Well, she wasn’t interested in his affection. She was interested in his blood chemistry.

I loved writing this book because it’s got a bit of everything I like to read: A paranormal love story, a Who Done It mystery, Frankenscience ethics, sneaky government ops, and a return of characters and complications I adored from previous books (You don’t have to have read them to appreciate them here). And a setting that’s almost another character – Seattle! All this for only $0.99 through the end of the month!



Besides this fantastic sale, I’m celebrating the finish of my second edit of my WIP, An Untarnished Hero, which is a return to my contemporary romantic suspense roots and another of my favorite settings, West Texas. My current conundrum is whether to use my own name or return to my Dana Ransom pen name to tie the Texas setting into the planned reissue of a series of historical western romances I’ve gotten the rights back to. To self-pub or go back to a traditional publisher? Things to brood over when the world outside looks like this . . .


I plan to spend the rest of this wintery day visiting your excerpts before our roof comes down – literally, tomorrow. With leaks galore all over the place, we’re hoping to have new shingles to keep the weather out and our heat in. If the roofers can get through a foot of snow . . .

Stay warm and Write On, 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, February 14, 2021

WeWriWa: Who was he? . . . LOVE’S OWN REWARD - $0.99!!


It’s Valentine’s Day, the favorite day of romance writers! Actually, my favorite is payday, but that’s just me! With all thoughts turning to love, I’m featuring the start of an . . . interesting relationship that began with admiration but quickly dissolved into distrust that only an uncomfortable truth can resolve. Here’s that first meeting between scientist Charley and reporter Jess – opposites who shouldn’t but do attract . . .

“You undressed me.”

A very slow, very wide, very sexy smile. “No need to thank me. It was no trouble at all.” He was still grinning when he began to crack eggs into one of her little-used skillets.

Just wait a minute, Charley thought. There’s a man in my kitchen whom I’ve never seen before making me breakfast in his bare feet. He’s talking about filling my prescription and taking off my clothes as if he’s been doing it for years. And I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee when I should be dialing 911! Except she didn’t feel threatened.

(and the rest of the scene . . .)

Whoever he was, he could have done anything he wanted to her while she was knocked out cold. For all she knew, the entire Detroit Lions backfield could have filed through to have carnal congress with her. She’d have no way of knowing. But she didn’t believe he’d taken any unfair advantage. And she didn’t think he meant her any harm. So that left one last question.

Who was he?




LOVE’S OWN REWARD by Dana Ransom, a BelleBooks/BellBridge Classic

Dana Ransom was one of my pen names (along with Lauren Giddings and Rosalyn West) back when I was working with three different NY publishers. Garnering the courage to go up to the head of Zebra/Kensington at an industry party to ask her what they were looking for got me a four-book contemporary deal as a launch author in a brand-new line after writing historicals for them. I adored writing these “Lucky In Love” books and was thrilled to have BelleBooks reprint them. LOVE’S OWN REWARD is on S*A*L*E for just $0.99 through tomorrow.

Don’t forget . . . REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT from my Nancy Gideon “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series is also $0.99 through the end of the month . . . if you like the taste of something a little darker.



I’m spending my Valentine’s Day working the soreness out of my shoulder after the first of my two COVID vaccinations. An hour well spent in the car along with more than hundred fellow Lansing-ites at a drive-thru vaccination site set up in a Michigan State University pavilion that took in six lanes of ten each at a time. What amazing efficiency from the Health Dept and its volunteers! Check out the line behind me in the rearview mirror!


Another three week wait (actually four counting the week after #2) and I can go hug on my grandguy, which is what I wish I could be doing today!

Happy V-Day, fellow warriors! Write On!


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


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

Sunday, February 7, 2021

WeWriWa: In the Line of Duty . . . An Untarnished Hero and a $0.99 S*A*L*E!


So, it’s a month with THREE different sales going on in three different series! Hard to keep an eye on what else is important . . . that work in progress! I’ve finished the first draft of my Texas-set romantic suspense and am digging into round two of the edits. All the surface corrections are finished. Now, it’s time to dig into the meat of the story, fleshing out (pardon the pun!) the scenes, deepening the backstory and picking apart those pesky inconsistencies. So far . . . still loving it. Especially the fun scenes like this one, early one when our estranged married couple are two-stepping around their issues.

“Gun or knife?”

No use sugar coating it. “Knife, in the line.” In a roundabout way that was kind of true.

“So, you decided to use your forced medical leave to . . . do what exactly?” She turned on him then, looking way up with fireworks crackling in her fierce glare. “Check on the long abandoned marital property?”

He angled toward her, letting his gaze do a slow assessing sweep from tousled blonde hair to the impatiently tapping toe of her well-heeled Ropers. What that female could do to a plain denim shirt and Levi’s . . . “Looks to be in mighty fine shape to me.”

That threatening squall blew up in his face. “Look all you like but don’t even think of touching.”

“Yes, ma’am.” A smoldering stare locked with hers. “Not unless invited.”

(and the rest of the scene . . .)

His smile tempting all sort of trouble, he turned to lean his back against the fence as he appraised the rest of the nearby property from neglected house to meticulously tended outbuildings and barn. “Could use another set of hands. Whatever you need, just ask. Injured or not, I’m both willing and able to take on any job.”

I love feisty banter and these two are experts at dancing around what’s really behind their problems – Hers: A family ranch going under, His: A killer released and coming for evens . . . against his wife. We’re still early on in this scene so there’s still hope they’ll get to the real heart of the matter soon . . . in more ways than one.

S*A*L*E*S Galore! Shapeshifter, contemporary romance, and vampire . . . oh my! February has them ALL . . . and for only $0.99. (I was planning to offer Remembered by Moonlight for free all month but . . . Amazon threw in the proprietary monkey wrench. Sigh!) Here’s a look at these Sweethearts of a Deal for February . . .
Baby, it’s cold outside here in Michigan . . . just the time cuddle up to (or sink your teeth into!) a good book . . . while it’s on SALE!

Promo over. Back to edits. Hope you all are staying warm, staying healthy and staying close to the keyboard!

Write on, 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.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

IWSG: Ya Gotta Have Friends . . .


I’m thrilled to co-host the Insecure Writers Support Group this month along with  Louise - Fundy Blue, Jennifer Lane, Mary Aalgaard, Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and that leads me right into our question for February:

“Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?”


I started posting on these first Wednesdays of the month ages ago to meet fellow writers, and that goal has been met over a hundred-fold! Writing is such a solitary occupation . . . then add a pandemic on top of it . . . How else are we going to feed that need to connect with our own except on social sites such as IWSG? When I started out, I confess, I was hoping to sell more books (aren’t we all?!). What I didn’t expect was to find my people. Yes, you are my people. You sit alone in front of a screen making make-believe come to life in the hearts and minds of others. You share the same frustrations, the same goals, the same dreams, and disappointments that I feel. I believe that’s the definition of friends.

When I started writing, I didn’t know anyone else who shared my excitement for the written word. And then, after being invited to speak at a Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America meeting, I found a place to belong and more than that, to learn and grow. I started my blog to further that connection (okay, and to sell books!), but never a real joiner, I didn’t reciprocate as much as I should have. And then I found IWSG. I don’t even remember how, but it was a miraculous discovery that, along with Weekend Writing Warriors, expanded my circle exponentially. I look forward to my blog friends’ posts. I’m thrilled to receive and reply to comments. I love cheering for accomplishment and offering a shoulder to those who’ve suffered setbacks. Because we’ve ALL been there.

I’m excited to host because it means I’m expanding my reach to new friends. I’m going to find fantastic new reads and learn about bold and sometimes scary new journeys into our writing world. This is especially important since the only humans I’ve seen lately are on Zoom and TV.

IWSG is my writer family. And as always, I’ve gotcha!

And because I already warned you about wanting to sell books . . . I’ve got three $0.99 S*A*L*E*S going on this month in different genres/pen names. Maybe one of them will catch your eye . . .


REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT, now just $0.99 through the month of February, is my first indie-pubbed book, a continuation of my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series that just concluded with RISE BY MOONLIGHT, Book #15! This is the perfect spot for a new reader to jump in and get to know the characters that populate this action-packed world as our hero struggles to regain his own lost memory.


LOVE’S OWN REWARD, now only $0.99 from February 1st - 15th, was my first contemporary romance written as Dana Ransom, and a launch book for Zebra/Kensington’s Lucky In Love line back in the ‘90s. It’s been repackaged and rereleased by BelleBooks.


Sink your teeth into MIDNIGHT REDEEMER, part of my “Touched by Midnight” series that follows a centuries-old vampire on his search to reclaim his humanity. It’s only $0.99 from February 16-28!

Something for everyone!


And now, I’ve got posts to visit so I can find something good to read!!


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 January 6th posting of the IWSG will be Louise - Fundy Blue, Jennifer Lane, Mary Aalgaard, Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, January 24, 2021

WeWriWa: A Wounded Hero . . . and a $.99 S*A*L*E!

Coming home to a place you’ve never lived. That’s what it feels like to Jimmy Redbone, hero in my new project, An Untarnished Hero, because the woman he loves lives there. Though the cost to this wounded lawman for making the trip is mighty, so is his need to protect his wife from a danger he knows is coming. Hope you enjoy this new snippet . . .

Defying the bone-weariness dragging on every inch of his six-foot-one frame, Jimmy Redbone stood in the unwelcoming dust of his wife’s greeting, mesmerized by sight of her walking away from him with that prideful snap of her hips. For a whip of a thing, she packed a mighty wallop of arrogance. He’d liked that about her from the first defiant lift of her chin to the steady bore of those soul-scorching dark eyes. Hers was a beautiful spirit, impossible for even the most determined man to control . . . not her grizzly bear of a father or her fool of a husband. And he was here to make sure it wouldn’t be broken.

Slowly, he shook the travel dust from the black Stetson with a thump against his thigh and then, calling up the same iron determination that kept him upright in the saddle for eight grueling miles, turned from one source of misery to tackle the porch steps. He groaned mightily at the effort of mounting each of the four warped risers, his face popping sweat and knees trembling by the time he reached the top. A low growl from the ugly animal crouched there made him pause, but fear of collapse forced him to step around the beast and head for the door under its scrutiny. He slipped another glance toward the barn as he caught his breath, then let it out in a shaky sigh.

( . . . and the rest of the scene . . . ) 

She was right. He shouldn’t have come back, not without naming the reason for their long separation. That answer he’d hold as close to his chest as the worry pounding through it. At least, until truth needed to be told. But for now, it was time to sit down before he fell down.

While I’m hunkering down to my first round of edits for this contemporary romantic suspense, I’ve got lots of things keeping me busy, starting with a $0.99 sale until the end of January for MIDNIGHT KISS, the first book in my “Touched by Midnight” vampire romance series. If you haven’t sunk your teeth into this series yet, what more encouragement do you need? 



I’ll also be doing a giveaway as part of Abbie Roads’ FB Release Party for her new book, CAPTURING FATE. Over 100 authors will be participating, each offering a unique prize on January 29th. Stop in and leave as many comments as you like for a chance to win your choice of one of my books from several different genres! Each author is only posting once. I’m planning mine for 10:00 a.m. EST. 


I’ll be making a BIG book giveaway announcement next week. I know . . . I’m such a tease!

One thing about this isolation is I’ve been diving deep into binge watching series old and new. Bridgerton, The Expanse, Oz, Teen Wolf, and now, North and South. Yes, I’m an eclectic viewer. What have you been tuning in or turning the pages of lately? 


All masked up and nowhere to go! My COVID-19 portrait: greying hair, no makeup, in my writing bunker. Looking forward to that shortest month of the year that brings us ever closer to spring!

Happy 2021! 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, January 10, 2021

WeWriWa: An Untarnished Hero


I grew up watching Westerns with my dad (who was MY hero!). I adored those strong, silent types who stood for good and demolished evil (by the end of each episode!) to rescue the girl, the dog, and the town before riding off into the sunset. Sigh . . . I often wondered what would become of that modern day hero if he stayed put, married the girl, and established roots beside her. How would he adapt to a life so different from the way he’d made his living? Jimmy Redbone, the stoic hero in my new WIP is that guy who, as a U.S. Marshal, dedicates his every waking hour to the service of his badge. Until he meets Willamina Sayers, a rancher’s daughter who’s determined to be that girl who won’t be left behind. Here’s a continued look at our hero’s rather single-dimensional life up until that fateful meeting . . .

During his years of lonely and more than a little dangerous duty, he’d had work associates, not friends. In four days, Jimmy felt closer to ranch foreman, Matteo Ramos than the agents he’d stood beside - some for better than a decade.

He’d lived detail to detail and didn’t own anything permanent except July. With no expensive habits to speak of, everything he made went into the bank. He woke up, showered, picked up his badge and gun and went to work. When on protective duty, he lived from cheap hotel room to rathole motel room on the road with folks who tried to bribe him, seduce him, or escape him while he did his best to keep them alive. He was a shield for the scum of the earth, a babysitter for drug addicts, money launderers and mobsters. Helluva good way for someone like him to make a living. But no way to build a life.

Willamina Sayers had been the exception, he admitted to himself, drawing in a deep, cleansing breath.

I’m so loving this story, having just reached the end of the first draft. What fun I’m having taking some of the shine off that unblemished surface! After angsting over a suitable title since Chapter Four so I can start thinking about promo (I know it’s a way down the road, but it’s never too early to start!), I finally found one that doesn’t show up a dozen times in an Amazon search. What do you think of AN UNTARNISHED HERO

While I take a short breather before starting the first round of revising, I look forward to seeing what you’re up to in your creative endeavors and how the new year is treating you so far.

Happy Not 2020 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.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

IWSG: To Correct and Serve!


Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for the New Year is: Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?

Like most writers, I’m a bookaholic! My TBR list is longer than the days I have left to read (and that’s a long, long time!). I read everything across the board: Thrillers, regencies, YAs, best sellers, romances, mysteries, westerns/historicals, even cereal boxes! As a writer, I’m just finishing the first draft of what will be my 71st published (hopefully!)book. I’m a frequent volunteer to judge published and unpublished contests (please don’t immediately contact me to judge – I am writing!). I find nothing sexier than a well-crafted paragraph (except maybe that Duke in Bridgerton!).

As a reader and a writer, I used to feel it was my obligation to finish what I started, both with manuscripts and with books I started reading. I’d make excuses: It’ll get better, I paid good money for it, someone thought it was good enough to publish so it must be! But when I started working fulltime once my boys were in higher grades, my time grew more valuable and wasting it on something I didn’t enjoy was something I could no longer afford.

My biggest pet peeve: Books that aren’t properly edited. Even the best story can go into my DNF pile if I’m continually pulled out of it by poor grammar, bad formatting, continual typos, and WTFudge! moves by the characters. BETA readers and a professional editor are the final polish ANY manuscript needs before going into the eager hands of readers. 


Of course even the best book can have errors that are out of the author’s hands. Example – my FIRST book on one of the first pages had the word “shirt” with the “r” left out if it! Mind you, this was through a NY publisher!

Throwing an unprepared, unvetted book out into the hands of the public is the biggest mistake an author can make, because once burned, even the most voracious reader is unlikely to return for seconds. And that next great book is what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? 


Hope all my IWSG friends are enjoying a less stressful New Year both on the home front and at the keyboard!!


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 January 6th posting of the IWSG will be Ronel Janse van Vuuren, J Lenni Dorner, Gwen GardnerSandra Cox, and Louise - Fundy Blue!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG