A Funny Thing Happened On My Road to Publication

Today I’m over at Beyond the Veil talking about the funny thing that happened to me on this road to publication. Come join me!


Unique Book Cases

I’m not one of those people who think books are disappearing in this digital age. After all, we still use pencils even though we have computers. I definitely have a bookcase full of books as well as a Kindle full of books–I believe there’s room for all kinds of media. Which leads me to today’s post. Unique book cases. For some reason I was Googling book cases the other day and came upon a plethora of very cool ways to display your physical books. Here are a few I found and wish I could have:

Alphabet book case. How cool would this be in a classroom?

Staircase bookshelf. Except I would need a banister or I’d fall off the steps.

A book tree!

A Rubiks Cube bookcase! I so want these!!

Put a refrigerator in this for my diet root beer and I wouldn’t have to move all day!

I’m not really sure what this is. It looks cool but isn’t too practical. Plus I’d be afraid a book would fall on my head.

This doesn’t seem very safe. I’d feel like a gerbil on one of those exercise wheels. Come to think of it, maybe this is what I need 🙂

Now this is something I’d put in my house. Very cool!

Six Sentence Sunday

“You may never return to police work, Mr. Juran. I’m sorry.”

Alex closed his eyes. Oh, yeah, there were different kinds of pain, and his had just taken a whole new turn.

He opened his eyes and stared at the happy-face balloons and the banners on the flower arrangements demanding he “get well soon”.
In one day, he lost his wife, his career. His life.

Nook | Kindle | Excerpt

Sweet Saturday Sample

From my romantic suspense, Redemption. Enjoy!

“What bad things have you done?” she asked.

“This isn’t about me, Hope. This is about your father.”

“My father’s dead.” Grief flashed across her face, but she contained it.

“Yes, and we need to find out who did it.” He was desperate to get the conversation back on track. Hope had a way of derailing him, making him think of things other than their purpose. He knew she did it as a defense mechanism against the emotions battering her.

“We will. You will. I trust you.”

“Don’t.” He took another step back, his hand going out in a motion to stop her words.

“Why does that scare you?” She tilted her head, the waterfall of hair sliding over her shoulder and shimmering in the late-afternoon sun spilling in from the window.

“It doesn’t scare me. It’s just not wise to trust me.”

“My father seemed to think it wise.”

“Hope, please—”

Nook | Kindle | Excerpt | Other Sweet Saturday Samples from other authors



I am extremely excited to announce that I have accepted a two-book deal with Random House’s Loveswept line. Loveswept will publish two historical romances of mine. As of now I have no release dates but as soon as I do, I will let you know.

I’ll be working with the fabulous Sue Grimshaw and can’t wait to get started!

I owe a huge thanks to my agent, Jessica Alvarez, for all of her hard work.

If you’d like to check out Loveswept, you can visit their new site, Romance at Random.


9 Questions Every Author Should Ask

I’m a panster. For all of you non-writers that means I write by the seat of my pants. The story unfolds with each new letter on the page. I don’t know where its going to go until it gets there. Is it the best way to write? No. But it was the only way that worked for me. I found that I didn’t like knowing the entire store before I wrote it because it lost some of the magic. That’s not to say I wrote completely in the dark. I always knew what the next two scenes were going to be. But it does mean I wrote myself into quite a lot of corners that took a bit of rewriting to get out of.

Recently I found myself in the position of having to write a synopsis before the story was written–on deadline no less! Can we say pure, unadulterated panic? Luckily I have wonderful CPs (critique partners) who remained very calm and talked me off the ledge.

After I stopped hyperventilating, I sat down and thought really hard about what I needed to know about my characters that would drive the story forward. If you’ve been in the writing community for any length of time you’ve heard of Debra Dixon’s GMC. Each character must have a goal, a motivation to reach that goal, and a conflict that arises that they have to overcome to achieve the goal.

Being a panster, I never really paid attention to GMC. Oh, I had it in the back of my mind but it wasn’t something I wrote down on paper and referred back to occasionally. So, when it came time to write my synopsis, I had to find something that worked for me that would focus the story.

I came up with nine simple questions that ended up being my lifesaver. After answering each of these questions I had my character arcs down pat and half my synopsis written:

What happened to the hero in his past that makes him the way he is now?

What happens to the heroine in her past that makes her the way she is now?

How does what happened to the hero affect his relationship with the heroine?

How does what happened to the heroine affect her relationship with the hero?

What is it about the hero that helps the heroine grow?

What is it about the heroine that helps the hero grow?

What does the hero learn in the end that facilitates his HEA?

What does the heroine learn in the end that facilitates her HEA?

I’m not saying this is the perfect-one-size-fits-all way to write a synopsis, but it helped me so I’m hoping it will help someone out there.


Sweet Saturday Sample

Happy Saturday after Valentine’s Day! Did we all survive the big day? My sample is from my romantic suspense, Obsession. Enjoy!

Upton stepped closer, going nose-to-nose, toe-to-toe with him. “I’m saying better him than you. I’d rather scrape his sorry ass off the ground than the best damn cop in the department. “Don’t go getting teary-eyed on me, Officer Juran. That kid made a lot of bad choices long before he ended up a chalk outline, and not one of them had to do with you.”

Alex ground his teeth. “What if I had been the chalk outline? Would the case be closed then?”

Upton stepped back. “You weren’t and you should be damn happy about it.”

Alex ran a hand through his hair. “So that’s it. Case closed. No more bad guy.”

“What should we do, Juran? We’ve followed every lead. Until your memory returns—if your memory returns—our hands are tied.”

“And what about the intruder? The guy who attacked Tess?”

“What about them?”

“LT never mentioned them.”

“And why would he? They’re nothing but harmless pranks.”

“So you’re telling me Tess’s attack was a harmless prank?” He took a step closer to Upton and stopped, afraid of what he’d do if he got too close. Upton glanced at his clenched hands and raised his brows, the warning clear in the depths of his eyes. Alex relaxed his fingers, but the anger was still seething inside him. “You were there that day, Matthew. You saw her. You saw what that bastard did to her.”

Nook | Kindle | Paperback

To read other samples, click here.


What makes a hero sexy?

So what makes a hero sexy to you? I’m not talking physical attributes (although those do help). I’m talking personality traits–something he does that just curls your toes.

For instance, in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, I think Ranger is all kinds of sexy when he merely says, “Babe”, to Stephanie. Oh, it just makes my blood pound a little faster.

Maybe its the way he looks at the heroine. Or the way he interacts with babies and kittens. Or the way he helps little old ladies across the street. Maybe its something altogether unexpected.

You know what it is for me? Its when a guy cooks. If I’m reading a book and the guy cooks up a meal for the heroine, I’m lost. For me its the sexiest thing in the world if a guy knows his way around a kitchen. He doesn’t have to be a gourmet chef or anything–he can make something simple, as long as he cooks. Ay yi yi. Now that curls my toes.

What does it for you? What does a hero have to do to make you melt?

Authors – You are your product

I’m hugely active on Twitter. Its a fun place to go to meet up with readers and other authors. I like hearing what people are reading, what they’re doing, funny little family stories. I also follow my favorite authors to get the scoop on what they’re doing, etc.

A while ago I found one of these favorite authors (whose name I won’t reveal) and was happy to follow her. But soon my happiness faded to annoyance, and then outright irritation. You see, all she posted about were her political views. Loudly and sometimes not so nicely when it came to the opposing side. Now, I don’t care what your political views are, what I do care about is being bombarded by them everyday, multiple times a day. What did I do about it? I unfollowed her and now I will be un-reading her. Yes, she’s still a good writer–a great writer–but she’s left a bad taste in my mouth and now I can’t separate the political activist from the author who is supposed to be entertaining me.

Do I think she should stop spouting her political views? Absolutely not. After all, they’re obviously important to her and this is obviously something she feels passionately about. Do I think she should do this on her author Twitter account? No, I don’t. For the reason I stated above. At least not her author account. If she wants to be politically involved, then start a new account and do it there.

Authors need to remember that they are their products. Sometimes I think that’s hard to grasp because social media removes that face-to-face interaction. I have no doubt this same author would never go to a book signing and say the things she does on Twitter. Or go to a party and constantly tell us what her beliefs are. Its not acceptable in those situations and it shouldn’t be acceptable on Twitter or Facebook either. (The only exception would be if your book is political in nature and you’re writing it because of your political beliefs. But that’s not the case here).

I look at it this way. As an author, I’m the one standing on that bookshelf. I’m the product the customer might by. I need to look my best. My cover needs to be shiny, no frayed edges or turned down corners or yellowed pages. I shouldn’t be slouching. I shouldn’t be turned the other way. I shouldn’t be lying down. What I should be doing is showing my best side, my brightest, most welcoming smile. Because then I’ll catch the customer’s attention. Then the customer will pick me up and leaf through my pristine pages.

If I’m constantly frowning, if I’m always complaining, the customer will be turned off and walk right on by me and the next time I’m on the shelf, the customer will remember that frown and walk on by again.

You are your product. You are who you’re trying to sell. So always put that best face on and leave everything else at home.