Thursday, June 29, 2006

Quick--Need a Topic

Tomorrow's my day to blog on Romance Magicians and I'm drawing a blank. So come on, people--gimme some ideas! This is no time to go AWOL on me!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Well, That Was Quick

Wal-Mart is already taking FORBIDDEN TERRITORY off the shelves in my neck of the woods. But hey, you can still find it on So if you haven't bought a copy, all is not lost! ;)

Today is my birthday. We won't discuss how old I am. I'm off work until after the 4th of July, which means I'm mostly sitting home gorging myself (metaphorically) on all those old Steve and Kayla clips I downloaded. Oh, and I somehow managed to eke out 6 pages on my WIP today, meeting my day's quota.

But if blogging is sporadic for the next few days, you'll know why.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Lost Weekend in Salem

I discovered the motherlode of old Steve and Kayla episode clips on a website called Devoted to Deveraux (referencing another Days of Our Lives character). They covered the Steve and Kayla storyline from the beginning through the early stages of the relationship. I'm talking about complete episodes (at least the Steve and Kayla portions), not just snippets. Needless to say, much downloading and watching ensued. I barely came away from my computer long enough to eat and go to the bathroom.

I would probably feel a lot more ashamed of myself if 1) the clips weren't sooooooo good and B) I hadn't written my targeted number of pages of my WIP over the weekend. But they were, and I did, and I even managed to write one page more than today's projected pages during my lunch hour. Which means I can go home this evening and watch more downloaded clips if I want to, with only that faint frisson of guilt that comes from knowing you are a pathetic fangeek.

One of these days, I'm going to write a scholarly treatise for my blog about the archetypal structure of the Steve and Kayla relationship. But that's several clip viewings down the road.

Stay tuned. ;)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Like Sands Through the Hourglass...

I'll admit it. I can be an obsessive TV fan. I don't mean just watching every episode of my favorite TV show. I mean frequenting message boards and forums. Subscribing to Usenet groups. Writing detailed episode reviews. Taping and rewatching episodes obsessively. Ferreting out every spoiler available. (You should have seen me during the X-Files heydey).

I've tried to wean myself off of that sort of single-mindedness. I love LOST, but I limit myself to watching all the episodes and watching out for spoilers and news. And, okay, I did join a Battlestar Galactica listserv, and I do own all the DVDs, but I don't write Helo-Boomer fanfic or anything.

My Days of Our Lives obsession--or more specifically, my Steve-and-Kayla obsession, circa 1986-1990--rivaled my X-Files passion, and that's saying a lot. Keep in mind, back in 1986, when it all started for me, the Internet wasn't an issue. I didn't even own a computer then. But I taped every episode of Days of Our Lives during the Steve and Kayla era. In fact, I still haven't completely forgiven my brother for taping a stupid pre-season NFL game over my tape of Kayla convincing Steve to let her take off his eye patch to clean his wounds after Victor Kiriakis's thugs beat him up and left him bleeding on the docks. (Ah, the memories).

Eventually, those characters left the show (Steve "died"--although a switcheroo with his casket after the funeral but before it was lowered into the grave gave us Steve and Kayla fans a small nugget of hope that one day, he'd return). The writing lost its luster and I lost interest in the show, although I sort of kept up with it because my mom still watched.

But a month ago, news broke. Steve and Kayla were coming back to Days of Our Lives. What happened next? I went out and bought that DVD recorder I'd been considering for over a year. And I just spent the morning (when, frankly, I should have been writing new pages on DEADLY ILLUSION) downloading and viewing vintage Days of Our Lives video clips featuring Steve and Kayla.

I am such a geek.

Gotta say, though. Seeing them back on Days has been a lot of fun. I'd forgotten how much chemistry they had with each other. For that matter, Stephen Nichols is one of those actors who seems to have great chemistry with almost anyone he works with on-screen. Reminds me of David Duchovny in that sense--a big part of Duchovny's appeal on the X-Files was that he managed to have really good chemistry with almost every actor he worked with on that show. Nichols is the same way. He zings with just about every actor he has scenes with. It's fun to watch.

I hope the younger actors on Days are watching closely. They could use the acting lessons.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Today on Romance Magicians...

Happy endings. Lots of questions posed, including why some people think that a happy ending disqualifies a story (and thus all romances) from being considered significant fiction. Go share your thoughts!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mmm, American Men

eHarlequin has a big splash ad on their front page, with the question "Love American Men?" When you click through, there's a page with several books selected and the subhead: "If nothing makes your heart race faster than an all-American male, then these books are for you! This 4th of July, celebrate all that it means to be an American with these born-in-the-U.S.A. heroes!"

Guess which wet T-shirt wearin' hottie is one of the ones listed? :)

Yay for extra promotion!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Today on Romance Magicians

Today was my day to blog on Romance Magicians. The topic? Connected stories. Like 'em? Hate 'em? Go join the discussion.

Sudafed Hell

Yesterday morning, I took Sudafed for a sinus problem. Within 45 minutes, I had called the paramedics.

I had tachycardia and sporadic arrhythmia, plus strange, fluttering spasms in my chest and upper abdomen. The paramedics said that it didn't look like I was having a heart attack, especially since all my other vital signs were good, and that the fast heartbeat and occasional irregular beats were almost certainly caused by a reaction to the Sudafed. They suggested that I rest at home and see if the symptoms went away as the Sudafed metabolized in my system, with the understanding that I'd call them back immediately if it didn't get better.

When it did get better, it was sudden. One minute, I was still feeling the weird flutterings and my heart racing; within about six minutes, all the symptoms were gone and my heartrate was steady and normal.

Needless to say, it was a scary situation. So, moral of the story--no more Sudafed for me!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Just Another Sunday

I've been feeling depressed all day. I slept all morning, felt cruddy all afternoon. Couldn't quite figure out why I had a hot lump in my stomach all day.

Then I dropped by Miss Snark's blog and found this poem.

I ended up crying like a baby.

Four years ago this July 7th, my father died after lingering in the hospital for a week following a massive stroke. Today is Father's Day. Do the math.

I feel better after having a good cry, but it's kind of sobering to know that I'll never be completely all right again. There will probably be days like this throughout my life, when remembering my dad is gone hits me like a truck.

So do me a favor. If you still have your dad in your life, and he's ever done anything good for you--no matter how crazy he's made you at other times--give him a hug for me. I wish I could do the same. Even though he'd probably look at me like I was nuts.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Contest Kudos!

My friends Kelley St. John and Tracy Montoya both placed first in their respective categories in the First Coast Romance Writers' Published Beacon Awards. Way to go, ladies!

Congrats are also in order for my friends Danniele Worsham, who placed first in her category of the Lauries and Carla Swafford, who placed third in her category. Major kudos to you two as well!

Can't Make Me!

My muse has taken off to Tahiti or somewhere. She left me a set of notes for the next two chapters of my novel, and she even set up a lovely, late night getting to know you session for my hero and heroine, but what she forgot to leave was the desire to write.

Most days, wanting to write isn't a problem. In fact, the less time to write that I have, the more I want to do it. But here I am, with Saturday and Sunday stretched out in front of me and a modest 12 pages scheduled to write, and I have no desire whatsoever to sit in front of my computer and write. It's not that I don't like my story--I do. I'm madly in love with my hero and very intrigued to find out just how the heroine is going to work with him to solve the mystery.

I just don't want to write today.

Check that—intellectually, I do want to write today. I know that I need to get this book done before the end of July so I'll be ready to send a proposal to my editor by the time I hear back on DANGEROUS PURSUIT. I know that to reach that goal, I have to make my daily scheduled page counts. I also know that when I have the next couple of chapters figured out in this story, I need to be writing, because sooner or later I'm going to hit a rough patch where I don't know what happens next, and then writing three pages a day is going to be sheer torture.

But emotionally, I don't wanna write, and nyah, nyah, nyah, you can't make me. So there!

World, meet my inner three-year-old.

Do you ever have days like this?


I went looking for my muse and found her on my sofa. We took a long nap. But I swear, after dinner, we are so gonna write.


The muse, she's a harsh mistress. Once she finished cracking her whip, I'd written 17 pages this evening. I guess we both needed that nap! :)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Today's Blog Rec

Marianne Arkins was kind enough to give my book a plug on her blog, so today, I'm going to return the favor by plugging her blog. :)

Reading, Writing and Stuff That Makes Me Crazy (that blog name about covers it!) has more than just a very flattering review of my book. It also includes a funny riff on the results of a random paragraph generator, Marianne interviewing herself (who better to do it?) and her list of "Ten Things I Love But Didn't Have Ten Years Ago."

Check it out!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My Mother, The Saleswoman

My mother is retired, and since my book is now officially out, she's taken to haunting the local K-Mart and Wal-Mart, looking for my book. Today at Wal-Mart, finally, she found the vendor stocking my books. While she was there, she handed out book marks to people who came by to browse and ended up convincing two people to buy my book.

I wish I could clone her. Picture it—hundreds of Mom-bots spread out to all the Wal-Marts in America, hawking my book.

Is she a great mom or what?

Yesterday on Romance Magicians...

Yup, I forgot to post a link to yesterday's blog post on Romance Magicians, by YA author Jennifer Echols, who points to an interesting link for people who are looking for unique jobs for their characters. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Review on Amazon

I've received my first review on my book's page, and it's a great one!

Check it out!

And The Winner Is...

:::drum roll:::

Stacy Holmes!

Congratulations, Stacy, on winning an autographed copy of FORBIDDEN TERRITORY and a $20 gift certificate to the online book store of your choice! Please email me at and we'll work out the details.

And thanks to everyone who dropped by my party thread yesterday. You have no idea how much it meant to me to have your support and good wishes.

Oh, and, if you haven't bought a copy of my book yet...why not??? :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's June 13th, and You Know What That Means...

My book officially launches today. I think. To be perfectly honest, I'm a little confused about the whole launch date thing with this book. But my page for FORBIDDEN TERRITORY lists today as the release date, so we'll go with it. :)

So...let's party!

The chips and dip are on the table in the corner, the sausage balls are in the oven, and there's a bottle of sparkling grape juice chilling in the fridge (sorry, I'm a non-drinker, and besides, you freaks, it's only 6 am!). I've got a big selection of CDs to slip into the player, and it ain't all country. And the horns and confetti are on the table...

Okay, the real truth is that I'm getting ready for work, there are corn muffins on the counter and I hope the milk hasn't soured, but it's my party and I can pretend if I want to.

Don't forget, I'll be drawing from a list of names in the comment section for a signed copy of FORBIDDEN TERRITORY. And to sweeten the pot, I'll add a $20 gift certificate to the online book store of you choice.

So, let the comments begin! Ask me questions about my book, about writing it, about writing in general—whatever you want to know. Just stop in to say hi, if you want.

Please don't make me look like that loser kid who invited the whole class to her party but nobody showed. :)


Thank you, everyone who dropped by my launch party thread, and as you can see by the number of comments, there were quite a few of you.

I've actually been fighting with a sinus headache all day, and I think it's finally won, so I'm going to try to get to bed early. However, that doesn't mean the party thread is closed! So if you're a late arrival, feel free to ask a question or make a comment, or heck, leave a post-modern haiku about the dystopic future. Whatever. You'll still be in the running for the signed book and $20 gift certificate to an online book store of your choice. I'll draw names in the morning and let y'all know who won, and I'll also answer any questions posted after I take my leave and take to my bed. :)

Night night! And please, kiddies, while I'm gone, don't get drunk and loud and make the neighbors call the cops!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Pssst—Wanna Party?

Tomorrow, a certain Harlequin Intrigue becomes officially available in stores near you, and to celebrate, tomorrow I'm holding a blog party! Well, sort of. I'll post in the morning and then everybody who wants to join me in the celebration can drop by and leave a comment or two. No need to just post congratulations, either--feel free to ask me questions about the book, from how I came up with the idea and how long it took me to write it to who I originally envisioned for the roles of Lily and McBride. You can ask technical questions like how I sold it, what happened next, and what were the best and worst parts of the experience. Anything you want to know bout writing and selling a romance to Harlequin Intrigue, if I know it, I'll answer it.

And I think I'll hold a contest for the folks who post on my blog during my day-long Blog-a-bration—a free signed copy of FORBIDDEN TERRITORY for the winner chosen at random. (So if you already have the book, please let me know so I don't choose you—unless you really want a second copy or something).

So come one, come all, and tell your friends!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Puppy Envy

So, the neighbor across the street got a puppy for their five-year-old daughter. She brought it over for my nieces to see.

Now, let me preface what I'm about to say with two things:

1) My neighbor is about the nicest woman you'd ever want to meet. Friendly, thoughtful and patient with our rugrats when they go over to visit.

2) It's a danged cute puppy. I'm not sure it's 100% Pekingnese, but it's definitely got a lot of Peke in it. It's black and brown, and about the cutest thing I've ever seen, and I've seen some cute critters in my time. I can see how anyone with a soft spot for overwhelming cuteness would want to grab it up and take it home.

But the puppy can't be more than six weeks old. Its eyes still have that cloudy, unfocused puppy look, and all it did while it was here was lie in a little fluffy puddle looking confused. It should still be with its mother, IMO. But even if you think I'm being a little overcautious, it definitely shouldn't be wagged around the neighborhood by a five-year-old without adult supervision.

I'm a little worried about the pup's longevity, although I did what I could by sitting the kids down and explaining why they need to let the puppy grow up for at least another month before wagging him anywhere outside the neighbor's house again.

Furthermore, I can already anticipate the nagging from the nieces about getting our own little bundle of fuzzy joy. And we don't need another dog. Unfortunately, the puppy sort of got to me too, giving me a serious jones for a new kitten. Which I can't get because we also don't need another cat.

But really, can you blame me for wanting one of these?

Didn't think so.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

What Do Paper Dolls...

...injured race horses and the global hunt for terrorists have in common?

They're all mentioned in my blog entry today on Romance Magicians.

Curiosity piqued yet?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Second Book Anxiety

As most of you know, since I've mentioned it once or twice, I'm waiting to hear from my editor on book two, Rose's story. She hasn't even had it a month, but I may also have mentioned a time or two that I'm not really good with the patience thing.

Well, last night, the anxiety showed up in my dream, coupled with an incident involving that last roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. At the risk of TMI (too much information for the net-unsavvy), last night around 2 am when I went to the bathroom, I discovered that the last roll of toilet paper, the one I'd just set out earlier that evening, had disappeared. Half asleep and really needing to go to the bathroom, I was not happy to have to go hunting around for TP.

I managed to take care of the situation and return to bed, at which point I fell asleep and dreamed that my editor had rejected my latest effort, a photo of a roll of toilet paper, because it just didn't fit her editorial needs. She showed me a photo of the same roll of toilet paper, taken by a multi-published author, to let me see the difference. "I can do that!" I assured her. "Just let me take another stab at it!"

She took pity on me and said I could have another go. Then, we got to talking about other projects, and I mentioned offhand that I'd written a Regency historical with suspense elements. "I want to see that!" she said. "We've been looking for Regency suspenses!"

Did I mention that this was my Intrigue editor?

I have the weirdest dreams, especially when I'm antsy about something.

Today on Romance Magicians

Seems like all I do these days is plug my group blog, Romance Magicians, but the posts recently have been so interesting! Today, Christy Reece talks about memorable characters, what we love about them and why we remember them. If you have a favorite character or three, drop by and tell us about them in the comments section!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Yesterday on Romance Magicians...

Blogger had "issues" yesterday and wouldn't let me post. But Warner romance author Kelley St. John posted her story of a recent brush with fame over on Romance Magicians. It's too good a tale to miss. Check it out.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

4 1/2 Stars from!

Very nice review!

My favorite line: "From the opening scene to the amazingly realistic and surprise ending, your ride through the pages of Forbidden Territory will take you where nothing is as it seems."


Today on Romance Magicians, Carla Swafford talks about superstitions and the paranormal. Do you have any superstitions? Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Drop by the blog and share your experiences in the comments section. (You can read about my one superstition and my lone paranormal experience there, too).

Speaking of paranormal experiences, as most of you know, FORBIDDEN TERRITORY and the other two books in my Browning Sisters series (send "buy the second book" vibes to my editor, please!) feature three sisters with paranormal gifts. I'm currently working on the third sister's story, working title DEADLY ILLUSION. The story will introduce thriller/international intrigue elements that I plan to develop further in a spin-off series that I've talked about in previous blog entries.

However, in the midst of writing DEADLY ILLUSION, I've introduced an international organization involved in paranormal research that may have a dark ulterior motive for their activities. There's a sort of DaVinci Code sensibility to the concept, I'm told (not having read the book or seen the movie)--a secret society with a public face that portrays one thing and a private face that has completely different motives.

Goodness knows, this is probably the right time to ride the DaVinci Code wave, and I can see dozens of ways to use this organization to complicate matters in the proposed series of connected books. But if do, will I risk getting pigeon-holed as a paranormal writer? Because I do have non-paranormal stories inside me, and I don't want to be kept from telling them by reader expectations. And I don't want to have to include a paranormal element in every book in the series, either.

Will so many paranormal stories early in my career limit my ability to write other types of stories for Intrigue? Should I pitch a non-paranormal, non-series-related story sitting on my hard drive to break things up, or should I go straight to the series with the bounce (assuming it gets bought) of DEADLY ILLUSION?

What do y'all think?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Hotlanta Nights and a WIP update

Over on Romance Magicians, Jennifer Echols shares her gameplan for the RWA national conference in Atlanta and invites you to share your plans for the conference. Alas, I'll be home, so I don't have a game plan to share, but if you're planning on making the trip to Georgia, why not drop by the blog and tell us what you expect to be doing while in the Peach City.

WIP update--Made my day's goal. Up to page 26 on the new manuscript. Just 234 pages to go! ;) I'm loving Maddox, sexy Southern devil that he is. Usually I'm as slow as my heroine to warm up to my heroes, but Maddox had me at "You okay, sugar?" Apparently I'm a sucker for a long-legged, broad-shouldered, slow-drawling fella who has no compunctions about using inappropriate terms of endearment with a complete stranger.

Who knew?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Self-reporting on the WIP

Well, the new WIP is officially underway. Working title is DEADLY ILLUSION. It's set in the Caribbean and features Iris, one of the sisters of my heroine in FORBIDDEN TERRITORY. (The manuscript I just sent to my editor, DANGEROUS PURSUIT, tells the story of another sister).

I've been pretty good about keeping to my writing schedule. I fudged a couple of days early in the week, but I've stuck to my pages per day over the last three days, and I've finished chapter one and moved a couple of pages into chapter two.

I'm still feeling my way into the story, getting to know the characters a little better. Of the three Browning sisters, Iris has always been the most enigmatic to me. What's interesting is that I didn't know her deep, dark secret until I was plotting my story. But when she told it to me—and I really do think of it that way, that she told me her secret—it made perfect sense. It meshed with the few glimpses I had of her in the two previous books and also gave me the key to her growth in this book.

Maddox, her hero, was a bit of a cipher to me until I actually started writing him. Now I "get" him a lot better, and I can totally hear his voice in my head. He's a charmer who uses flirting and humor to deflect people who start getting too close to him, close enough to see his wounded heart and troubled soul. But Iris gets under his skin by posing a mystery he needs to solve—and scares the heck out of him with her own vulnerability, because he's afraid he's not capable of being the hero she needs.

So, that's where I am, so far, with what I'm calling (optimistically) book #3.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Lori Sold!

Lori Borrill sold to Blaze! Head over to the eHarlequin community boards and drop her a message on her party thread!

Cruel and Unusual

Over on Romance Magicians, my RWA chapter's group blog, Debbie Matthews has posted a rather vexing question. Check it out and worry your way through your answer. :) Here's a clue to whet your appetite...

Now, doesn't that make you want to go read Debbie's post?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Yes, I'm Obsessive. Wanna Make Something Of It?

Number One. For one brief, shining moment, in one small, narrow category, I'm number one.

Until someone buys a Deb Webb or Kelsey Roberts book or something. Then I'm toast.