contest

Available Now!!

on April 21, 2015

I am very late to post this, but HIS FIRST AND LAST  is available now! 

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At eighteen, Lorelei Pratchett couldn’t wait to get out of her hometown. Twelve years later, her Hollywood dreams have fizzled and she’s back—temporarily, she thinks. Though she throws herself into saving the old theater and starting a baking business, small towns have long memories, and Lorelei’s wild past still haunts her. It doesn’t help that her ex-boyfriend, Spencer Boyd, is even hotter, smarter, and more distracting than before.

The fiery Lorelei that Spencer knew years ago may have become closed off and cautious, but their chemistry hasn’t faded one bit. Losing her a second time is unthinkable to him, yet Lorelei is convinced she doesn’t belong in Ardent Springs. Somehow, Spencer needs to show her that everything she needs is right here: family, friendship, new beginnings…and a man who’s never stopped loving her.

Warm, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny, His First and Last is an irresistible story of first love and second chances.

And don’t forget to join the Facebook party tomorrow when Rhenna Morgan, Sarah Hegger, and I throw a rip-roaring bash to celebrate the launch of each of our new series. We have prizes and an abundance of HAWT men lined up just for you. Don’t miss out! Did I mention we’re giving away a $100 gift card to one lucky winner?? We are! Enter now through Rafflecopter.

The Gift of Giving

on December 22, 2014

Another Monday in December means another giveaway, but first, the winner of the Vera Bradley tote bag is Linda Lioi Lubbert! Congratulations, Linda. I will be in touch!

Now onto the new prize. This week it’s all about anchors and time. Thanks to the Anchor Island series, the anchor has invaded my life, landing on my clothes and walls, and now it could land on your wrist.

This week, I’m giving away a fabulous anchor themed watch to one lucky commenter, and I’m throwing in an elegant book-themed trinket box along with it. 2014 has been an amazing year for me, and much of that is due to all of you who have read my books. I’m so enjoying giving a little back.

And speaking of giving back, this week we’re going to be philanthropists. To be entered in the contest, leave a comment naming your favorite charities. Include a brief description and even a link if you’d like. Let’s bring attention to some worthy causes during this week of giving.

The contest is for US residents only, and closes Saturday, December 27th, 2014 at midnight. But anyone is welcome to share the charity they believe in.

Don’t forget to make sure you’re entered on the Rafflecopter widget after you comment in order to have your name in the drawing for the prize.

Now one quick note. I’m sending out a special Christmas newsletter this week featuring the opening scene of HIS FIRST AND LAST, the first book in my new Ardent Springs series releasing in April 2015. Here’s the blurb for the book:

At eighteen, Lorelei Pratchett couldn’t wait to get out of her hometown. Twelve years later, her Hollywood dreams have fizzled and she’s back—temporarily, she thinks. Though she throws herself into saving the old theater and starting a baking business, small towns have long memories, and Lorelei’s wild past still haunts her. It doesn’t help that her ex-boyfriend, Spencer Boyd, is even hotter, smarter, and more distracting than before.

The fiery Lorelei that Spencer knew years ago may have become closed off and cautious, but their chemistry hasn’t faded one bit. Losing her a second time is unthinkable to him, yet Lorelei is convinced she doesn’t belong in Ardent Springs. Somehow, Spencer needs to show her that everything she needs is right here: family, friendship, new beginnings…and a man who’s never stopped loving her.

Warm, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny, His First and Last is an irresistible story of first love and second chances.

If you want to read how this story begins, hop over to my home page and make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter today! Now, let’s talk worthy causes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All I Want For Christmas is a Really Cool Tote

on December 15, 2014

We’re into the second week of the big December giveaways, but first we have to announce the winner from last week. *insert drum roll here* And the statement earrings go to Patsy Nelson! Congratulations Patsy. I’ll be contacting you soon to get all the information I need to get these little baubles out to you.

Now we move on to week two, and any faithful reader needs a pretty bag in which to carry her books. And who is known for making pretty bags? Why, Vera Bradley of course.

VB Clementine Tote 

That’s right. Up for grabs this week is this beautiful Vera Bradley tote in the clementine pattern. (It’s even cuter in person!) This contest runs until midnight Saturday night, December 20th, and all you have to do to enter is comment on this blog sharing the story of your worst Christmas present ever. Have you ever gotten something tacky or wacky or just plain strange? Tell us all about it.

Then after you comment, be sure to enter through the Rafflecopter contest form. If you don’t enter through Rafflecopter, you’re not in the official contest, so be sure not to miss that step.

I’ll get us started. One Christmas, during my middle school years, I received a couple eye liner pencils, and socks. That’s it. Nothing more. I then had to sit back and watch my little brother open present after present.

Sigh.

Your turn. Let’s talk crazy presents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let’s Talk Cookies

on December 5, 2014

December is a busy, frantic, magical time, and I say we celebrate all of these things between now and the moment the big ball drops to drag us into a new year. We’re shopping and cooking and working and shoveling snow (in some places, thankfully not in my area.) And, of course, we’re partying. Everything from neighborhood gatherings to fancy corporate events.

This is the first time since 2006 I don’t have a fancy party to get gussied up for. As much as I miss shopping for a party dress, it’s so nice not to have to worry about it. Though, to be fair, I also planned that event every year, so that’s probably why I’m relieved to be off the hook.

However, I do have a holiday party coming up, and it’s a pot luck. I LOVE pot lucks. As a picky eater, I’m almost guaranteed to find something I’ll like. Even if just one or two things. And they’re usually homemade and heart-stopping and oh so good. I plan to take something in the Crock Pot, but I’ll also be taking my buckeyes. 

As an Ohio native, these are a must. Oddly enough, my grandmother made about a dozen different types of cookies when I was growing up, but never buckeyes. I had to get those from a friend’s mom, Mrs. Nankivell. Unfortunately, I’m not the baker either of these ladies were, so I use a shortcut recipe that is so simple it’s a crime.

Melt a bag of peanut butter chips in the microwave, then fold in a can of white frosting. Chill. Roll into balls, Dip in melted chocolate. (I use Ghirardelli.) Let dry on wax paper and voila! Buckeyes. (Picture is from last Christmas.)

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So let’s talk cookies and give stuff away. What was your favorite holiday cookie when you were growing up? Is it still your favorite now? Have a recipe you want to share? Tell us about it or leave a link to the recipe and maybe some of us can get some new ideas.

One lucky commenter will win a $10 Amazon gift card. Contest open through Sunday, Dec 7th, at midnight eastern time. 

The Book That Will Not End

on January 16, 2013

I’ve been working on this story (UP TO THE CHALLENGE Book 2 in Anchor Island series) since last summer and the end is so close, I can see it shining bright and happy in the distance. But that distance is the problem. The more I write, the more the distance seems to grow.

If you aren’t a writer, you’re probably thinking, “Why can’t she just end it if she wants to end it?” Oh, if only it were that easy. You see, the story ends when it ends and I really don’t have much say in that. Sounds strange, I know. I definitely would have considered a statement like that quite loony before undertaking this writing gig myself.

But this is also good. At least for me. You see, I’m not very good at writing endings. Most writers hate the middle, but I love it. That slide into THE END is the one that gives me fits. I tend to pull my punches, get through the ugly black moment as quickly as possible, have them make up, and BOOM we’re done.

You see the problem here. For some readers, that black moment is the best part. That’s the scene they’ve been dying to reach, the pay off for the time they’ve given to the story. You can’t rob the reader of that angst and heartbreak. At least not too many times before they stop bothering with you at all.

So I’m looking at this as progress. It’s taking this long because I’m not pulling punches and rushing. And in the end, the book will be better if I let it fall onto the page how it will. Still 4 or 5 scenes from the end, all riddled with angst and a couple should induce tears if I write them as I imagine them in my head. (One sad tears and the other happy tears.)

I will hit THE END by Sunday. That is my self-imposed deadline. Which is really non-negotiable since my contract-induced deadline is six weeks after that. In the meantime, the cover for my debut novel MEANT TO BE is under construction. I’ve seen a potential version and can I just say, THIS IS SO EXCITING! As I typed to my editor, “It’s a book. With my name on it. Heh.”

Understated much? Do you read for the black moments? The blacker the better? Is the happily-ever-after as satisfying if the heartbreak isn’t dark enough?

PS: Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to be in the drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card. I’m giving away one a month now through May. (Can only win once and card delivered electronically.) Sign up on my Home page.

Running Out of Underwear Would Not Be Good

on January 11, 2013

There seems to be a theme in my life these days. A lessen the Universe is trying to teach me. You see, I’m a planner by nature. As in, I like to organize things. I like to work out the logistics and make sure everything is perfectly in place. Set a schedule and lock in the details. But I do not plan by committee. For one, too many people involved in the process just makes it more complicated. And there will always be that someone who doesn’t like anything the rest of the group decides.

Then there’s the possibility that someone will drop the ball. They’ll say, “I’ll get the forks” but when the time comes, there are no forks. Best to do everything and then nothing falls through the cracks.

At this point, I know what you’re saying. “She’s a control freak.” You say that like it’s a bad thing.

Well, right now, it IS a bad thing. You see, I’m on my first deadline and I’m not handling this with a lot of grace. I wanted to have the rough draft done a week ago. It isn’t done. It’s a week away from being done, but that’s only the rough. That leaves me *checks calendar* six weeks to revise and have this puppy to my editor. *freaks*

*breathes* Totally doable.

But only if I do NOTHING ELSE FOR SIX WEEKS. Clearly, I cannot ditch the day job. That pays for the internet after all. And I would love to be one of those people who can function on four hours of sleep a night. I’m not. I’m old and my body gets very cranky when I don’t get 7 ½ to 8 hours a night. (Case in point, I nearly passed out in my boss’s office earlier this week from lack of sleep and proper nutrition.) Oh yeah, and I need to eat.

The rest must be delegated. A completely foreign concept to me, but learn it I must. Kiddo will be getting a crash course in what it takes to run this household. (You’d think it would be easy with such a tiny space and only 2 people.) Laundry, care and feeding of pets (including dog walks), and a significant amount of food prep is about to fall on my teenager.

You think I’m crazy now? Check back in 7 weeks. This is not going to be pretty. Do you delegate? Are you good with letting things go? Should I buy new underwear now so I don’t have to worry about doing laundry?

PS: Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter (on the Home page) to be in the drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card at the end of the month.

Quick, What’s Another Word For Thesaurus?

on September 23, 2011

EDITING TO ADD: The entry (mentioned below) is UP. Check out Secrets & Second Chances.

I’ve been confronted with a depressing reality this week. Everything I’ve written in the last four years has been rough draft. Even the work I *thought* I’d revised is still rough. Bumpy, choppy, hairy, rocky, unshorn. (I’ll explain this overload further down.)

You see, this week I took a crazy pill (or it might have been that turkey burger) and decided to enter the Mills & Boon New Voices 2011 competition. I know what you’re thinking.

“What was she thinking?”

Trust me, I’ve asked myself this same question. Still waiting for the answer.

I didn’t want to use the current WIP because that would be too easy. (Okay, there are other reasons.) That left another story I started a couple of months ago and set aside. The inkling of an idea that has floated around in my mind for a few years.

Fortunately, I had the rough draft of chapter one done. Unfortunately, I had to revise it into something I wouldn’t be embarrassed to post. This meant finding all the right words. The powerful verbs. The fresh metaphors. The most descriptive descriptors.

I’ve spent three nights and most of a day revising less than 2200 words. Why did it take so long? Because I had to check the thesaurus four times per sentence to find the right words. (Slight exaggeration. Slight.)

I’m not looking for words I don’t know. I’ve been speaking English for nearly forty years. I’m educated. I’ve been a reader for more than thirty years. But for some reason, my brain gets halfway through a sentence and it’s IRK…. speed bump.

The word is right there. I know what it means, how it would sound. It’s perfect for what I want to say. And yet the word escapes me. It’s official. My brain is a colander. Tiny holes allow everything I need to slip through while disturbing memories and 80s song lyrics never go anywhere.

I’m now considering adapting my “vomit it out” first draft policy to include more editing along the way. Because at this rate, editing an entire MS could take me years.