Friday, June 29, 2012

Real book or a Kindle?

I don't own a Kindle.  Please stop gasping.  I really don't.  I have many many friends who have them and think I'm totally and completely insane for not having the coolest thing in the world.  But I love books. I love the feel of them.  I love turning the pages. I love every little thing about books.  Kindles seem so, oh I don't know.  Cold?  Empty?  Weird?  I must confess here, that I am a techno-phobe.  I just started texting 2 years ago.  I know.  Bizarre.  You're learning way too much about me.  Things that are slightly horrifying even.  But please have compassion on me.  I have a very old-fashioned soul and Kindles and I-Pads are just one more thing to add to my list of gadgest that I have to have because everyone else has them. I usually ignore that list.  At least I try to.  But as an author, I'm not sure if I should.  I've heard over and over that E-Books will take over and real books will end up in the garbage dump with all those VHS tapes you still have boxed up in your garage.  Can this be true?  Everytime I go to Amazon to check something out or buy something, I see nothing but the word KINDLE everywhere I look.  It's annoying, but at the same time, Holy Cow!  It's really seriously taking over.  The traditional printing process of books is on its way out.  I guess.  Does that make anyone else sad?  Or am I being too old fashioned here?  The Kindle and E-book revolution has opened the door to thousands and thousands of writers who can now publish their books without the hassle of a publisher.  And their books are being read.  A lot.  By all of those Kindle owning people.  Let me know your thoughts!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I got the preliminary cover of my new book Do Over yesterday. . . . . . . . . . . . Oh my heck.  You know when it's Christmas time and the biggest box at the back of the tree has your name on it and you're like, this is my year.  I am going to get the most amazing (fill in the blank with your dream present) and you open it and it's a crock pot or something like that.  No, let's change it to toaster.  Crock pots are actually kind of cool.  But yeah.  That kind of dissapointment.  I'm not trying to slam anyone.  I have the greatest respect for artists and their talent.  I will say this though.  A large hammer took up the entire cover.  I wouldn't make that up.  (Sigh).  What are your ideas for a good cover for Trey and Iris?  I think they deserve something awesome.  But that's just me.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Who's the best Leading Man?

I'm doing a poll at the side of my blog.  If you've read my Alpine series (The Broken Road, Taking Chances, and Makeover) you'll be familiar with these guys.  Do me a favor and let me know which one you liked.  I want to know what works for you and what doesn't. I'm getting ready to start a new project and I want to hit this one out of the park.  I've read so many good books where I have been put off by the leading man for one reason or another and didn't enjoy it as much as I could have.  On the other hand, who doesn't like the classic Bad Boy?  What do you think? If you can, tell me what the #1 thing is you look for in a leading man when you're reading.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Windows and Writers

I just got this from Rick Sparks and thought it was touching.  As a writer I read this and immediately saw the connection.  I think a good story teller is just like the man by the window.  Helping others to see or feel or experience something that they might not have on their own.  That's our job.  And at the end, I think it should in someway be encouraging.  Inspiring.
Hospital Windows
Author Unknown

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.

... The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sneak Peak at Trey anyone?

     I usually do an excerpt on the weekends, but wasn't sure what to do. I can't just give the whole book away, right? Do Over will be here just in time for Valentine's Day, (I'm holding my publisher to that), but in the mean time, will the prolouge really be enough?  If I were you, it wouldn't be.  But I'm a very impatient kind of reader.  Now in the prolouge we meet Iris. She's kind of incredible, and you'll get to know her later. Like in February.  But this book is Trey's book, and you didn't even get a look at him. I feel kind of bad about that.  Sooooo, I think I'll give you a teensy tiny, super small sneak peak at Trey. Here you go:
(Copyrighted Material)

            “What sounds better? Chunky Monkey or Late night snack?”
            Iris was surprised he was trying to engage her in conversation. She had gone to great lengths to put an invisible STAY AWAY sign on her fore head. But he was one of those ultra-beautiful men who probably couldn’t comprehend a woman not wanting to talk to him. Just like Riley. They actually looked a tiny bit alike. Except this guy was taller and bulkier, his hair was lighter and sun streaked and his eyes were light blue, not hazel. His smile was nicer than Riley’s too, but he’d probably spent a lot of time torturing innocent women with that dangerous smile of his. Actually he was nothing like Riley. But Riley had taught her well. She had this guy’s number. But at the same time, he did have a good question.
            Iris walked forward and looked studiously at the two cartons the man held. “You’d have to really love banana flavored ice cream, chocolate and walnuts to go for this one. Late Night Snack? Isn’t that the chocolate covered potato chip one?”

            The man grinned and read the carton. “That is so weird. Have you tried it?”

            Iris nodded sagely and looked at the shelves full of ice cream. “Of course. I wouldn’t consider myself a true Ben and Jerry’s fan if I didn’t try every flavor they came out with.”

            The man put the Chunky Monkey back and put the Late Night ice cream in his cart. “Well now I’m intrigued. What flavor does a serious fan go for?”

            Iris scanned the shelves and sighed happily as she snagged the Chunky Monkey he had just put back. “And to think this is the last one,” she said grinning nastily at him as she put the beloved ice cream in her cart and started walking away.

            “Hey! You just played me.” The man yelled following quickly after her.

            Iris grinned wickedly. Had he not seen the boots? Honestly, this guy was not good at reading the cues she was sending out.  He caught up with her and grabbed her cart forcing her to stop.

            “So since you just stole my favorite ice cream right out from under me, I think you should at least introduce yourself. Obviously you’re new in town. My name is Trey Kellen. What’s yours?” he asked, smiling, but cautious with it now.
            Iris looked up at Trey. Geez, what was he, 6’3”? “You’re right, you got played. But you really should thank me. Everyone should try that flavor at least once. It’s not that bad. Not as good as Chunky Monkey of course, but that’s life for you. Kind of unfair. And you’re right. I am new in town. I’m Iris, Luke Petersen’s cousin. I just got into town a few days ago.”
            Trey leaned up against a freezer door and crossed his arms. “Now that’s interesting. Luke happens to be one of my best friends and not once did he mention to me that his cousin was coming to town.”
            Iris shrugged and studied her newly painted fingernails. Vampire black. She smiled happily at the high gloss. Her nails were definitely rated PG-13 at the very least. “Well, he probably knows that I’m just here to kind of blend in. You know, be anonymous. No big splash.”
            Trey laughed at her and did a quick glance over, pausing on her hair. “Yeah, I don’t think you’re going to be anonymous. You’re kind of, um . . . different from a lot of the girls who live around here.”
            Iris looked up and grinned at Trey. “Seriously! That’s exactly what I was going for.”

            Trey tilted his head as if he was trying to figure her out. “So why’d you come to Alpine? Job, family, . . . relationship?”
            Iris sighed heavily and all happiness drained from her eyes. “No, no and no. Definitely no men. So be sure and tell all the single men that they’re safe from me. I am now an official men free zone.”
            Trey laughed and shook his head. “Oh my.”
            Iris glared at him and put her hands on her hips. “Excuse me? What is that supposed to mean? Not every woman is out to get a guy, or get married or be in a relationship or, or . . . anything!” she said rather lamely but with enough anger to have Trey step back.
            Trey held his hands up defensively. “Please don’t hurt me. Your boots are intimidating enough. I only said, oh my, because I’m with you. I’m an official women free zone. You’re actually standing a little too close to be honest. I’m getting a little uncomfortable.”

            Iris noticed she was standing quite close and blushed, stepping back quickly. “Oh sorry. But wow. Really?”

            Trey nodded sadly. “Burned one too many times. I’m done with women.”

            Iris patted his arm sympathetically. “Me too. Except I was never burned before. I just had one big bonfire. But it was enough.”

            Trey’s light blue eyes lost their teasing glint and turned sympathetic. “Well, since we’re both off the market, at least we’re safe with each other, right?”
            Iris crinkled up her nose and considered. “I guess. But really, I just hate men right now. I don’t think you’re safe around me. I could accidently hurt you just because, you’re, you know, a good looking guy,” she said inching further away.
            Trey smiled at the good looking reference and reached out to touch a strand of her red tipped hair. “Well, we’d have to have rules, like safety parameters if we ever hung out. But you’re right, I’ve been so hurt emotionally, I don’t think I could take getting kicked around by someone who owns a Harley Davidson.”
            Iris grinned at him. “I’m going to get one. I can’t wait.”
            Trey laughed as they walked towards the check-out stand. He even helped her put her groceries on the conveyor belt as he offered suggestions on where to go to test drive motorcycles.
            Iris was even prepared to allow that Trey might be one of the few nice guys left in the world.

Until she started putting her groceries away and instead of holding Chunky Monkey in her hand, she

held the chocolate covered potato chip, Late Night Snack instead. He had switched cartons. He had

played her.

(Copyrighted material)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Give away for Shadow of Night.

SHADOW OF NIGHT giveaway open to ALL readers: I promised you I'd let you know when there was an international contest and guess what? I have one. Thanks to Nancy at Tales of the Ravenous Reader, you have a chance to win a set of buttons, a temporary tattoo, and a SIGNED copy of the US Edition of SHADOW (not the ARC, the actual book). Entries close on July 9. Here's the link: (And that's the removable tattoo...)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Official Announcement

I just heard back from my publisher, and it's official.  Do Over will be in stores February 2013.  I know, I know,  that's 8 months away.  People could have babies in that amount of time.  Really.  But that's the schedule and so I'll just be grateful it's not February 2014.  That would probably kill me.  I'll keep you posted on updates when I get them.  I honestly don't know if I can slip you  guys anymore sneak peaks.  I'll consider it. By the time the book is published, I could probably sneak peak you the whole thing.  But I will try and contain myself.  Patience is a virtue, right?

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm in Limbo

Do you ever feel that way as a writer?  My new book Do Over, is in the capable hands of my publisher, (Sorry, still don't have a publication date), my kids are out of school which means no serious writing until September. That might be a good thing though since for the first time ever, I have no idea what I'd even write if I did have 2 solid hours of quiet. I'm in limbo which is different than writers block.  Writer's bock is where you know how the book ends, but you have 50,000 words until you get there and writing just one of those 50,000 is excruciating and you wish someone did have a gun to your head saying "WRITE OR DIE!", because then, maybe you could. Nah, this is different. This is just blah. This is nothing.  This is what is called a void.  Sure there are steps to be taken.  Read.  Of course, got that.  Read an amazing book, be inspired in  your own special way.  Live.  Got it.  I've got a whole summer to do that, blah blah blah.  I'm yawning right now.  I honestly think the only thing big enough, huge enough to inspire a complete novel right now would be  . . . and I'm lost.  Let me know what inspires you.  PLEASE!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Writing tips from Ray Bradbury and a couple other famous people you might recognize

Writing Tips

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard
Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth
Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov
Vigorous writing is concise. ~William Strunk Jr.
Write without pay until somebody offers to pay. ~Mark Twain
You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance. ~Ray Bradbury
Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed. ~Ray Bradbury

The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn’t behave that way you would never do anything. ~John Irving
If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 
Learn as much by writing as by reading. ~Lord Acton
I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite. ~G.K. Chesterton
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. ~Oscar Wilde
Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto. ~Ray Bradbury

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Excerpt Weekend! Do Over - You know you wanted more!

~ Okay everyone, here's the next half of the prologue.  So let me know what you think!!

Copyrighted Material

            Iris sidled down the hallway until she could see all of the people moving about, smiling, dancing, eating and celebrating. Her parents were dancing together, smiling innocently into each other’s eyes. Her father looked up, laughing at something her mother had said. She followed Clarisse’s frantic search for Riley to a dark corner where Riley was talking to one of her business associates. A stunning redhead from England. Martine Wickman. They looked like they were having a very deep, interesting conversation.

            Clarisse tapped her son on the shoulder and motioned back towards where Iris still stood in the shadows. Riley looked confused but hurried towards her, completely unaware that she knew his secret. He gave her a crooked half smile as he took her cold hand in his.

            “You’re missing your own party Iris. Mom said you looked upset and wanted to talk to me. What’s up? We’ve got to get a move on if we’re going to make it to the airport in time,” he said glancing at his watch.

            She studied his beautiful face and just now noticed how bored he looked. His curly, artfully arranged wavy dark blond hair always gave him such a carefree look as if he’d just come from a day at the beach. But that wasn’t it at all. He was bored to death and he was at his own wedding reception. Now, she could understand why.

“I want a divorce,” she said softly and watched curiously to see if he would be shocked or upset. She had always been so attracted to his calm, cool unruffled personality. But now she knew that wasn’t it at all. He was just completely detached. At least from her

Riley sighed and leaned up against the wall. He crossed his arms across his chest and finally looked her in the eyes. “What? Just because I was flirting a little bit with Martine? Oh please. Can we put a hold on the possessive wife act until we’re back from our honeymoon?”

            Iris glanced over his shoulder at Martine who had joined a circle of friends laughing and talking but her eyes were glued to Riley’s back. It dawned on Iris that just because she now knew about two women Riley had relationships with didn’t mean they were the only two.

            “I’ve just been talking to Cherish. Gorgeous blond. You two are so close, she was a little sad that she hadn’t gotten an invitation to your wedding,” she said, finally gaining Riley’s complete attention. He stood up stiffly and whipped his head around looking for her.

            “You just missed her,” she said noticing the sudden color on Riley’s cheeks. She’d finally cracked his boredom.

            Riley cleared his throat and automatically glanced over his shoulder at the party going on behind him. “I can explain everything, I promise. Let’s just get through this and then we’ll talk. Okay? Don’t ruin this for our families Iris. You know how long my mom’s wanted us to get married. If you throw a little temper tantrum and ruin our reception you’ll break her heart. Just put a big smile on, let’s go cut the cake and then we’ll get out of here. Just you and me. We’ll work through this I promise. And just for the record, Cherish is a liar. She’s been after me from the first day I met her. You know how girls like her are. I promise you, I’ve been completely faithful to you,” he said looking her square in the eyes.

            Iris felt like throwing up. “I might actually have believed you, except for the text messages she showed me. Also, you might want to watch your back. I hear Germaine’s not very happy with you either.”

            Riley’s mouth went slack as she walked past him and through the laughing crowds of people calling out congratulations and patting her on the back. She walked up to the stage where the band was and reached for the microphone as if it had just been waiting for her. As everyone quieted down, she ignored the beautiful center pieces and flowers she had picked out, the cake she had helped design and the hundreds of people who had come to celebrate her marriage to the man of her dreams. She ignored everything and everybody except for her mom and dad. They smiled at her expectantly. She had lived her whole life trying so hard not to disappoint them. Trying so hard to make them proud. She sighed as she felt the last piece of her heart shatter and fall to the bottom of her toes. The tears began to slip gently down her cheeks as she lifted her chin up.

            “Can I have everyone’s attention please?”