At Least It's Friday

Friday, June 29, 2012
Why Today Could be Great:

  • It's Friday!
  • Magic Mike releases in theaters today!
  • Buzz for the Fourth of July is building.  My husband, daughter, and I have been invited to go two different places (feeling loved!).
  • From her postcards, my mom seems to be having fun on her vacation. 
  • My kid loves her new swimming pool. She can sit on her knees and still clear breathing room for her mouth. Asks to go "wim" constantly!
  • My hubby is actually working a day shift today, so...I get to spend a Friday evening in his company.  Cool!
Why Today Could Suck:
  • If alive, my dad would be eighty years old today. 
  • My editor read my manuscript and didn't like: the title, romantic conflict, overwriting, POV, order, and a couple of other minor things which totally made me dislike my manuscript as well. Rewrites are like dining on cardboard. Bla.
  •  Don't think I'll be seeing Magic Mike tonight. *Sniff* Have to wait until Tuesday.
  • The kid woke up at two a.m. and didn't want to go back to sleep until after three, so I'm draaaagggging right now.
  • It's the last day of my fiscal year at work, so I have all kinds of things that MUST be finished by 4:00 today.
So what do you think, should I be happy or glum today?  Yeah, life is a gift so I guess I'll just enjoy the present!  What about you. Is it a good Friday or a bad Friday?

Tomorrow: Only a day away!!

Monday, June 25, 2012
The fan-girl in me is getting restless.  Two books I've been all excited to read for months and months now finally release TOMORROW!!!!!

So don't expect to hear from me for the next few days because I'll be all busy reading:

by Elizabeth Hoyt
Steamy Historical Romance
Bk 4 in the Maiden Lane Series



Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he's the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles-protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide. A DANGEROUS WOMAN . . .

Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she's asked to tutor the Home's dour manager in the ways of society-flirtation, double-entendres, and scandalous liaisons-Isabel can't help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar-and his lips so tempting.


During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything-the Home, Isabel . . . and his life.

Link to the awesome excerpt: HERE


Steamy Paranormal Romance
Bk 1 in the Angels of the Dark series
Spin off of the Lords of the Underworld series


Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed nearly too dangerous, too ruthless—and if he isn't careful, he'll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred from his missions at any cost…until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he's never known before.

Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel is her only hope for survival, but is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation—or her ultimate damnation?

Link to the longest excerpt I could find: HERE

Now the only question is...which story do I read first??

Time Marches On

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The lazy days of summer have definitely consumed me. At work, the air conditioning is not working; so we have this ancient fan pushing around stale air to keep us from slowly dying of sweat before four o'clock rolls around every day.

When I'm home, I don't feel like doing much of anything except lounging on the couch, soaking up the sweet cool air, and either reading or watching all the episodes of Drop Dead Diva on Netflix.

Drop Dead Diva is definitely my new obsession. My sister and niece told me I needed to watch it.  So finally I did...and couldn't stop. I think I've bawled during pretty much every episode, but the romance junkie in my just can't help it. Grayson and Deb/Jane are SOUL MATES; their souls need to be together. It drives me crazy when I start to think finally they're about to get together and then something interrupts, keeping them apart. Season Four just started this month on Lifetime and I've been DV-Ring it like a maniac!

Lydia isn't so much a fan of the show, however. She hates when I watch it because I tune her out a little too well.  Then she'll clap when the ending credits start to roll, announcing, "No  more, Mama, no more."

We got her a little ten-foot pool to play in. Actually, after we bought it at Wal-Mart, one of my hubby's friends gave us their old pool they didn't want anymore. So we took the new, still-boxed pool back and spent twice the amount of its price, buying chemicals and pool cleaners to keep it in good condition. It should be safe to climb into the water tonight. Fingers crossed that the kiddo likes it!

Oh, hey!  I finally heard back from my editor ninety-three days after I sent in my full manuscript.  I haven't been offered a contract but I didn't receive a rejection either (yay, me!). Ms. Editor wants me to change a few things so it will fit into a certain line in the company. As of right now, I'm currently waiting to hear back from her on where she'd like me to go with the story.

In other news, my mom is now making her first big trip since becoming a widow. She and her youngest sister started out yesterday.  They'll drive across Kansas and wind their way up into Colorado to see one of my cousins, then eventually land in Montana to visit their oldest sister.

When I asked Mom when she'd be home, she vaguely answered, "Oh, before the fourth of July, I think."  I'm happy for her.  She's always wanted to travel like this, but has been tied to the farm, always taking care of kids, cows, grand-kids or her declining husband. This is probably the first bit of freedom to do whatever she wants in her entire life. I just hope she enjoys it.

And that's what's up with me and my loved ones. What's keeping you busy this summer?

How to come up with the best book title ever

Friday, June 15, 2012
Dude, don't look at me to answer this question. I came up with The Stillburrow Crush for the title of my debut novel.  NO ONE who has reviewed this story mentions how much they like that title; they're usually a little too busy talking about how much it sucks eggs.

But fear not. I browsed the web and did a little research for some good book title creating tips!

(coming at you from Suite101 : How to Write a Good Book Title)

Less is best, easy to remember titles rock...or so these people say.

Except, according to the list below that I found, the titles people picked out as eye-catching aren't really that short...or sweet. The shortest title in the list is six syllables long.  Have a look see.

Goodreads List of Best Titles EVER (Top 20)
(Voted the most eye-catching votes by Goodreads members)
1. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
3. Something Wicked This Way Comes
4. The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
5. Eats, Shoots & Leaves : The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
6. I Was Told There'd Be Cake
7. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
8. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
9. Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea
10. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
11. Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank: A Slightly Tarnished Southern Belle's Words of Wisdom
12. The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things
13. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
14. To Kill a Mockingbird
15. If you Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead Yet?!
16. Me Talk Pretty One Day
17. An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England : A Novel
18. The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul
19. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
20. The Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

(coming at you from Ezine Articles: How to Create a Winning Title for your Book)

Jay Abraham points out, "A headline is an ad for a job. Its purpose should be to reach only those who are most qualified to be a prospect for your proposition."
So, if you the author are the employer, looking for some employees (aka: readers) to fill the position of book groupie for your book, the title is just a headline for the ad you're putting out for them.

If a reader can tell this is "her" kind of  story just by reading, the title, then Enzine says that's a good thing.

Can you tell what kind of book the below titles are just by reading their headlines?
1. Big Sky Country (Western Romance)
2. Along Came a Duke (Regency Historical Romance)
3. Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind (Math/Science biography about magic)
4. Got Your Number (a humorous romantic mystery) 
5. Just The Way You Are (emotional contemporary romance) 
6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (middle grade fiction) 
7. Kiss the Dead (Contemporary Vampire fiction) 
8. What to Expect when You're Expecting (self-help non fiction) 

TIP #3 - DON'T FALL IN LOVE with your title
(coming at you from The Abbeville Manual of Style : All-Time Best Titles)

As the author, you'll create a tentative title, but  low and behold, it may not stick. The publishing house has its own opinion and will name your book whatever they like. My title for A Man for Mia was originally titled Disaster at 421 South Elm, but the publisher thought that sounded too much like a mystery, was changed.

Here's what Abberville says are some all-time best titles out there:

-Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
-Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, Nicholas Nickleby, Barnaby Rudge, and the other “name titles”
-Wallace Stevens, “Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour
-Dr. Seuss, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
-Edward Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
- Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terebithia
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
-Eugene O’Neill, A Moon for the Misbegotten
-Philip K. Dick, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
-Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
-Edward Lear, Complete Nonsense (title of collected poems)

-George Orwell, “Such, Such Were the Joys
-Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That
-Hunter S. Thompson, “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved
-Peter Bowler, The Superior Person’s Book of Words
-Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

(coming at you from eHow : How to Create a Memorable Book Title)

 eHow says to make it simple and easy to remember. "If people can remember your title and how it struck them, you have an instant word-of-mouth marketer that will promote your book title." So, I guess it should strike them in a good, positive light when they read this title. Ergo, your tip number four: marketable, memorable and positive!


If you can't tell, I'm trying to come up with the perfect title for one of the WIPS (okay, for a couple of the WIPS) I'm working in. The one I'm stressing over today is a contemporary young adult story. I'm a romance junkie, so it's a romance story, of course.  My YA books tend to have a chick-lit quality to them since they're usually written in first person POV, and this one in particular has an other-worldly mystery to solve.

While cleaning out her grandparents' house after her grandpa died, sixteen-year-old Jennifer Bishop (yeah, I'm waffling over her name too but that's a new debate for another day, sigh!) finds a fifty-year-old diary written by her deceased grandmother, started when her grandmother was sixteen. Inside the journal, Jenn discovers how her grandma ended up cursed, a curse that travels through the generations and will keep all the members of their family unlucky in love until the curse is broken.

My initial title was Grandma's Secrets.  But I've never been very satisfied with that. So, I've come up with.....drum roll:

Thanks for the Curse, Grandma

What do you think? After reading all the tips and advice above, does it sound doable? I think I'm beginning to love it, which is a big no-no, I know! But, oh well.

Have you ever had a title of your book changed by the publisher?  How many are the most times you've changed a title before?

Winner & a Recipe!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Congratulations to...

Carol Kilgore

who won two books from me for commenting on my Summer Kick Off Blog Hop Post.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by.  Made me feel kinda loved!

So this weekend, I actually cooked something.  I know, strange, huh?  But since I've become addicted to Pinterest (ooh, follow me-- I'll follow you back!!), I've been repinning yummy-looking foods like a maniac.  And the S'MORES POPS I found while repinning finally got me to cook!  But look at them, they're just so...sooooo yummy!

What you Need:

This list is probably pretty obvious, but I'll tell you anyway!
-Marshmallows (I say the bigger the better)
-Chocolate (I used Dove Milk chocolate silky smooth promises because they were the first package of chocolates I found in the store)
-Graham Crackers (Here, I'd say the cheaper the brand the better!)
-Toothpick or Straw or any type of stabbing utensil, really

How to Make:

It's probably pretty obvious. I looked at the picture and went from that!  My sister let me borrow her little mini crock pot a couple years back to put little barbecue smokies in and I never gave it back, so I used that to heat my chocolate. 

I'm so proud of myself, I actually had the willpower NOT to eat any of the chocolates as I unwrapped every individual bar and popped them into the warming pot (okay, okay, my niece helped me unwrap them, but she didn't eat any either).

Meanwhile, I had my two-year-old daughter and eight-year-old nephew pounding on the graham crackers until they were dust.

It only took a few minutes for the chocolate nuggets to warm and melt into liquid yum.  Then my niece and nephew hogged into line in front of me, stabbed their marshmallows, dunked them into the chocolate pot, then rolled them around in the bowl of crushed graham crackers. The moans that followed had me shoving them out of the way and making my own little sample to taste test.

I think I gained thirty pounds this weekend (or at least I should have) because, seriously.  These were grrr-eat! With his mouth still full, my nephew demanded I make him s'more pops for him on his birthday. 

And that's what I did this weekend.  What'd you guys do?

Lucky 7 Strikes again

Friday, June 8, 2012
I must be a very taggable (yes, that's a word...cause I say so!) person. Since this is the THIRD time I've been tagged to do this post, I guess I better get it done.

You all have Tori St. Claire, Romy Gemmell, and Jennifer Shirk to thank for this little messy passage of prose I have to provide.


1. Go to page 77 of your current manuscript.

2. Go to line 7.

3. Copy the next 7 lines (sentences or paragraphs) and post them as they're written. No cheating!

4. Tag 7 other writers to pass this meme on to.


Comes from an adult romance WIP, I'm calling Forget Happily Ever After. It's about a woman with a split personality who is about to get married but her alter ego comes out just before she walks down the aisle and decides "she" doesn't like the groom. So she runs off, hooks up with the limo driver, gets pregnant from that night, and when she returns to her primary identity, she had to find the limo driver and explain to him...well, you know.  This story is stalled out right now because...yeah, you just read what it's about, right? That's some crazy, totally-out-there stuff.

So, here's what I have on page line 7 of page 77:

“Oh, no, you don’t,” he murmured from behind her, his breath tickling her ear. Instinctively, she huddled closer to the door, trying to escape his overwhelming presence. “You started this little story. You’re going to finish it.” 

She nodded and closed her eyes so she wouldn’t have to look at that tanned male hand pressed against the door and keeping her from escape.

Swallowing down her anxieties, she began talking again. “It took about a year for them get me to respond to my treatment, keeping Clara in submission. After that, I rarely ever switched over to my alter. Uh, an alter is my second alter ego.” 

Now...who do I want to pass it on to?  Hmm...Decisions, decisions.

Okay, I'm going to rule-break.  If anyone wants to do this (it's actually kind of fun), then consider yourself tagged.

Happy Friday!

Summer Kick Off Blog Hop

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Yup, this is my first time to enter a blog hop, so we'll see how it goes.

Anyway, CataNetwork is co-hosting a Summer Kick Off Blog Hop to celebrate the relaunch of their website. Since their sister site, Single Titles, has reviewed every book I sent to them with a request, I wanted to join the fun!


From my backlist, I have:

Kiss it Better in PDF format ebook and Hot Commodity in PDF format ebook.

This is an international giveaway. It lasts until June 10th. And you merely have to comment to enter. Please provide a contact email. 


 Top ten things I love most about Summer:

10) Hummingbirds

9) Hollyhocks

8) Better parking at work!

7) Snow cones

6) Grilling out

5) Hanging out Outside

4) Water (lakes, swimming pools, garden hose!)

3) Air Conditioning

2) Shorts and tank tops

1) Food fresh from Mom's garden...yum

What about you?  What's your favorite part of summer?


To find the other blogs participating in this blog hop, just visit CataNetwork (review site that features category romance stories), Single Titles (review site that features single title romance stories), or Sensual Reads (review site that features erotic romance stories), or...any of the following blogs!

(Collection closed)
Link tool by

 Have fun.  Hope you win lots of

A Page with Kage (6)

Friday, June 1, 2012
Happy National Donut/Doughnut/Dognut Day!!!

I thought I'd do a Page-with-Kage post today, sharing with you a page from one of the stories I read this week!  Sweet Enemy by Heather Snow, published by Penguin Group, is a historical romance about a lady chemist (I know, cool, huh?) and an earl (I'm pretty sure he's an earl; sorry, can't remember too well) and a murder mystery with lots of code cracking but also some really good romantic steamy scenes. 

Heather is in my writing group--love her to death--so I had to do a quick spot of promo there to brag about my buddy!!  This is her first published book and I totally loved it.

The scene I'd like to share comes in at about about page 77. Our heroine, Liliana, has been trying to buck the attentions of Lord Stratford (our hero) by critiquing everything he does.  But after getting a scolding from her aunt, she's decides to play nice again...except it's a bit too late by this point.

I love this page because of the emotions: the humor, the anger, the irritation, the indignation.  It's perfect!  So here is my favorite page of the day:

This time, Liliana stood and clapped with everyone else. She smiled prettily, waiting to congratulate him.

But the man who stalked toward her with a bouquet held haphazardly upside down in one hand and a target in the other was no sweet suitor. He was fourteen stone of cross male, and he looked to be spoiling for a fight.

“Congratulations—,” Liliana began, but Stratford tossed the bouquet toward her. Not hard, but clearly without care. She caught the lovely bunch of yellow roses and tucked them in the crook of her arm, as if he’d handed them to her gently.

She took a quick step back when the target was thrust into her face.

Five shots clustered very near the bull’s-eye.

Liliana cleared her throat. “Well done, my lord.”

Stratford lowered the target and glared. “Is that all you have to say?”

“Well, yes, I—”

“Because I can assure you, Miss Claremont, most of my shooting experience has been from the back of a moving horse,” Stratford claimed. “With a rifle, not a pistol.”

Liliana didn’t know what to say, so she nodded.

“So my victory meets your ideals of sportsmanship?”

Liliana nodded again, astounded. Her plan had worked better than she’d thought. “Did my stance meet your approval?” he challenged. “Not leaning too far forward or back?”

“Your stance was perfect,” she said slowly.

He raised himself to his full height and looked down on her, cocking a raven brow. “So even you, with your uninformed petty little standards, couldfind nothing wrong with my performance?”

Liliana narrowed her eyes. Uninformed? Petty? She’d had quite enough of his display. Yes, she’d been rude, but he was being a boor. She stepped toward him, raising herself as well— she was no shrinking violet. “Since you asked,”

she said, simply because she couldn’t help herself, “you didn’t hit the center, not even once.”

She could actually see the blood rising up Stratford’s neck to his face before he exploded.

“No one hits the center with a flintlock!” he exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air. “It takes so long for the powder to ignite, it throws off one’s aim!”

Liliana shrugged.