Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Years!

Just a quick note to say Happy New Years to everyone. I'm chillin' in the middle of bayou country with friends and we're about to dig into some snacks along with pomegrante martinis. (How yummy does THAT sound?)

So everyone have a safe and fun evening!


Thursday, December 22, 2005

New Release!

Okay Kids, here is my latest release..... you can order it

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Puppy Diaries, Part II

How cute is this? Bella (the small one) and Maddie crashed out on my bed. I'm pleased to report that housebreaking is moving along well. She sleeps through the night now (YEAHHHH) and if I stay on top of her, rarely has a mess in the house. This is a good thing as I'm really tired of cleaning my carpets each week. Thank goodness for home steam cleaners.

In writing news, I have a Christmas novella coming out on December 22nd entitled 'TWAS THE KNIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS' and I hope you enjoy it. I really had fun writing this one as it is somewhat outside of my normal genre. This novella will be released from Ellora's Cave.

Next up, EC will be rereleasing the Shadow Dweller Series. First up is ONE WITH THE HUNGER and the release date is January 11, 2006. I can't wait for this release as I finally, FINALLY - have the cover I've always envisioned for this book. You can check it out at my website

Nothing else exciting to report. I've been hard at work on Shadow Dweller edits and doing the early work on TACTICAL INTERVENTION, the next installment in the MEN OF S.W.A.T. series. I think this one will be especially yummy as it is dark, deadly and very, very sexy. More on this release later!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Puppy Diaries, Part I

Yes, I did the foolish....I bought a puppy. Well, it really isn't my pup as it is my mother's Christmas present but hey, the dog likes me better, what can I say?

This Bella Wylder - I gave her my last name when it became obvious that she was very much like me - into everything and always hungry. She chews everything including my slippers and Maddie's (my beagle boxer) ears. She is a darling and I do try to remember that when I have to get up several times in the night to let her out.

The last pup I had spoiled me. She was almost trained when I got her and Rena wasn't much of a chewer. Sheesh - with this one we had to get the electrical cords of the floor because...yes, she chomps on those too.

I can't wait to see what she does with the Christmas decorations. :)


Sunday, November 06, 2005

November 6, 2005 - The Great Bread Debacle of 2005

*names have been changed to protect the foolish

So today I decided to make some bread. Since I'm on a deadline (which just got tighter after I received an email of another sale - YEAH!) I opt for the concept of low maintenance cooking. This means I shove something into a pot and leave it until it overcooked and tasteless because I forget to eat. This time it was an innocent chunk of beef that I tossed into the crock pot along with onions and herbs. I decided that I'd like to have some fresh bread to go with my cow.

That's where I went astray.

I used to be a fabulous bread maker. My first ex boyfriend (whom I will lovingly call SPUD*) and I would bake bread every weekend in the winter. We used to make white, wheat, challah, Italian herb - whatever would take our fancy. At Easter Spud would even make Hot Cross Buns - what kind of man makes hot cross buns?? Anyway, it has been years since I tried to bake anything quite that challenging but I can usually make a decent loaf of bread.

Not this time.

I'm sad to report that my bread is now being used to shore up the foundation of my house. Yes, it turned into a brick. So what went wrong? Bad yeast. I should know better as I don't bake enough anymore to allow the yeast to survive in my refrigerator for months on end. Lesson learned - buy fresh yeast prior to trying this again.

As for Spud, we split more than 16 years ago and he's married to a woman with the same name as a French poodle. I'll bet her bread isn't hard.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

On The Road...


Currently I am assisting in southern Louisiana with the clean up efforts. It is difficult to get online and stay there so I won't be blogging here for a few weeks. You can check out my online journal at


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Human Factor...


Katrina is the name on everyone’s lips. The images we see on tv and in the newspaper are seared into our minds and hearts forever. IMHO, this is one of those incidents where, twenty years from now, we will all ask, “Where were you when Katrina devastated the gulf coast?”. In my mind, this event is just as historically significant (if not more) as the first space walk, the deaths of JFK, Martin Luther King and Princess Diana.

As many people know, I have some very strong ties to southern Louisiana. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities and I’ve spent a lot of time there. The food, the people, the history, the atmosphere – all of it combines to create a place like none other.

I also have many, many friends in some of the LA parishes devastated by this event. My heart breaks at the thought of the human loss, animals as well as the lovely, stately homes on the bayous of southern LA. This state is one of the poorest in the country - the unemployment rate is higher than the national average and the number of people on Medicaid is tremendous. Most of these people have nothing left, no home, no possessions but they have their lives and the clothing on their back. Some were not so lucky.

As I prepare to head south to Louisiana, I had a rather interesting experience at the store. I’d filled a cart with water, cleaning supplies, rubber gloves, rain boots, canned food and sanitary items so, needless to say, it would take a few minutes to empty the cart, ring me up and then put everything back in the cart again. A woman got in line behind me and began shoving my stuff on the counter aside so she could put her few items down.

I didn’t pay much attention at the time but the cashier’s reaction drew my attention. The woman had mixed her items in with mine and the cashier didn’t know where my order ended and the next began. I straightened her out as the newcomer was ignoring her questions and I continued on my way. Another woman got in line behind her and pointed out that a third cashier had opened up and instead of saying thank you, the interloper started yelling at the newcomer.

I’m almost forty years old and I’ve seen a lot of bad behavior but this really took me by surprise. I wondered what was going on in this person’s life to cause her to go to the store and unleash her ire on an unsuspecting public. Health issues? Car broken down? Bad hair day?

I started volunteering for several charities and civic groups for nine years or so. I do photography work for my local police and fire departments and I took the training to become a first responder in an event such as Katrina. I used to help with literacy classes for adults and I also worked as a bookseller and panel member for Thurber House in Columbus, OH. When I began to donate my time to various charities my life became more fulfilling than I’d ever imagined. What I receive from helping others is immeasurable – far more valuable than just a few hours of my time.

I understand that daily life is very busy, there are many times that I want to pull my own hair out – but I usually feel refreshed and rejuvenated after I donate my time to these organizations. If you cannot donate time, please consider donating some money to or - its not a hand out, it’s a hand up.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Lofty Aspirations

You will never hear me say that I write literature, or Lit-ra-choor as I prefer to phrase it. Seeing that most people don’t read literature unless they are in college and Faulkner is force-fed to them in order to graduate, I don’t feel any burning desire to write dreary tomes contemplating what life is all about.

I don’t claim to write the Great American Novel, Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee already did that. That’s not to say that it can’t be done again as CIDER HOUSE RULES by John Irving is pretty darn close. Seeing that this novel deals with abortion, an orphanage, and societies close-minded ideas regarding sex, that doesn’t intrigue me to write about that either.

I’ll leave the high-brow topics to those better suited than I.

I don’t write books that will change the world, I write books that come from my heart. I write about real people with real problems as they stumble through life and hopefully, find that one love that awaits them. I endeavor to catapult the reader into a world of romance and intrigue that they can relate to but that is completely unlike their day-to-day life.

I write escapism fiction.

I’ve lost count of the times that romance novels have saved my sanity. At some of the worst moments of my life I have picked up a book and allowed myself to be whisked away by the exploits of the hero and heroine. Sometimes, we just need that breathing space and that is what I try to provide.

Recently I received an email from a reader that stated, ‘thank you for saving my Christmas.’ According to this letter, the writer had lost her fiancĂ© at Christmas time several years before and her way of coping was to keep her head down and muscle her way through the holidays. She’d entered a contest and won a copy of LAST KISS, a novella about a vampire hero who looked for his one true love (a mortal) as she’d lived out her various lives. This writer said to me, ‘thank you for making me believe that my fiancĂ© and I will be reunited some day.’

It just doesn’t get any better than that.

I’m grateful every day of my life that I’m a writer - that I have been gifted with the ability to tell an engaging tale and to change the world, one life at a time, starting with my own. To those who would poo-poo romance novels, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Reading anything - romance novels, literature or cereal boxes is one of the best things a person can do to expand their mind and better their life.

Like I said – It just doesn’t get any better….

Monday, June 06, 2005

Curiosity Rules The Day...

I can't say that I got much writing done today. (Gee, I hope my editor doesn't see this ) I've spent most of the early afternoon hopping from blog to blog to see what everyone had to say. Being a big fan of conversation, I’m very pleased to report that I’ve found some pretty smart cookies out there.

There are a lot of topics up for debate in the world of blogs and the current controversy among the writer-ly set is RWA's new, so-called, Graphical Standards. Said standards are a 'guideline' (and I'm using the term very loosely) of less than desirable images / words that if found on a book cover will not be 'accepted' by RWA. Meaning, if you have any of these items on a cover, you cannot post it on an RWA sanctioned website or sign them at an RWA sanctioned event.

Hmm… I guess I can't get my panties into too much of a twist over this only because I've been a member of RWA since 95 and I've seen them make outlandish statements then be forced to eat their words so fast that I'm surprised the BoD doesn't have perpetual indigestion. With each new officer that comes to the board they receive a Policy & Procedures manual along with a gallon-sized bottle of TUMS.

I knew I should've bought stock in TUMS.

RWA fails to take into account that authors have very little, if any at all - input into their covers. One of the 'guidelines' is no naked butts on book covers. It just so happens that BLOOD LAW does sport a naked butt (and a very nice one at that). Did I have any say in how this book cover was created?


But now RWA says that my book cover falls outside their guidelines and I a) cannot post it on an RWA sanctioned website and b) cannot sign it at the literacy signing at the National convention. Hmm...aren't the books for the signing DONATED for the cause of stamping out ILLITERACY? I guess RWA doesn’t want my helping hand in their noble cause.

It bothers me that RWA is impugning my right to Freedom of Speech in that rather than standing up for the authors it has chosen to side with the fundies and be EX-clusive rather than IN-clusive. What next? No oral sex in romance novels? Only under the sheets, in the dark sexual encounters can be depicted?

Where does the madness end?

A few years ago I had a conversation with then RWA President Harold Lowery regarding the 'standards' for admitting epublishers into the hallowed halls of RWA Recognition. I told him that .50 and RWA Recognition wouldn't buy me a cup of coffee and I stand by that statement today. RWA is totally out of touch with the needs of a working author as policing my covers is the last thing I want them to do. How about working on getting fair and equitable contracts, health insurance (that is affordable) as well as a pension or retirement plan?

Nope, RWA is more worried about the word ‘tit’ or a naked butt appearing on a cover.

Oh well – I guess I’ll just take my naked butt cover and go on my way.