Sunday, March 01, 2015

Bo's Beauty goes live!

Bo's Beauty, the sixth and final installment of my Bone Cold--Alive series, is now available for Kindle and Nook. In it, I'm able to not only give the remaining bachelor band member his romance, but also help Fletcher, the band manager, come to a resolution with his first love. He's chased her all over Australia, but will he be able to catch her in California? As to Bo's Beauty, she's proving to be elusive as well.

Friday, February 20, 2015

February Round Robin: The Old Bucket List

I've never had a written Bucket List. Nothing written down, just things I'd like to accomplish. OTOH, I think a Bucket List ought to be doable. I think space travel is cool and wonderful and wouldn't it be beyond dreams to see the Earth from scads of miles above, but… let's face it. Not going to happen for me. Not realistic. Not doable.

I had always wanted my own large vegetable garden and 35 years ago, when we moved to the house we still have, I got it. A large plot plowed and seed scattered. It worked for several years, but eventually we needed a basketball court for the sons and then a smaller driveway for their vehicles and then… no more garden.

I'd love to be a NYTimes best-selling author. Now, this is doable, if I knew how to write what the public wants to buy. And buy. And buy. Alas, I have yet to meet my market niche. But I enjoy writing and I keep at it. How does that go? A writer can't not write?

But the verbal Bucket List now consists of mainly travel. Always wanted to go to Australia. I've been twice. New Zealand. You bet! Cross Canada, Halifax to Vancouver, by train. Been there, done that. Don't know many people who have, although I'm sure the numbers are legion. Go around the world? Got it on the schedule. See Iceland? The Antarctic? The NorthWest Passage--small ships cruise there now. Doable!

(And why, as a warm weather girl, I want to go to places full of ice and snow, I haven't a clue. They intrigue me, I suppose. And no one else I know has done it.)

And writing of cold things to do, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has always fascinated. We sit glued to the TV, watching these beautiful canines at the top of their breed. The spaniels, in all their forms, are our favorites. We'd liked to go someday. The problem? It's in New York City. In February. I'm much more inclined to try the Antarctic.

Read about other bucket lists from this talented group of writers:

Skye Taylor
Fiona McGier
Marci Baun
Diane Bator
Victoria Chatham
Anne Stenhouse
Beverley Bateman
A.J. Maguire
Rachael Kosnski
Geeta Kakade
Connie Vines
Judith Copek
Rhobin Courtright

Friday, February 13, 2015

A lesson in never giving up

Or stubbornness. Or I-paid-for-you-now-bloom-darn-it!

Before Christmas, I saw a display of amaryllis bulbs at a local store. I've grown amaryllis for years but as I hadn't purchased any yet, I bought two. I hoped to give one as a Christmas gift. Dutifully, I potted them up, added water and set in the sun.

Almost immediately, one sent up a leaf. Good sign. The other… nothing. Then another leaf. The other… nothing. And so it went, past Christmas, with one a beautiful green and the other… nothing. Obviously, no Christmas gift here.

I almost threw the bare one into the trash, but I held on. Besides, the leafy one just had leaves. I gently separated them and in the middle was the beginning of a bloom stalk. And that's where it still is--hidden, surrounded by long, overgrown leaves.

And the bare one? Finally, the end of January, it put up a bloom stalk. Then a few leaves. And this week, my patience or stubbornness (whatever) was rewarded with four beautiful blooms. Alas, it's also quite heavy and I came home this afternoon to find it toppled. I've righted it and balanced it against the kitchen cabinet, but this photo shows all its potential.

As in, never give up!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

It's a cover contest!

The Houston Bay Area chapter of Romance Writers of America is sponsoring a cover contest called, appropriately enough, Judge A Book By Its Cover, or the JABBIC. I entered my romantic suspense novel Once Upon a McLeod.

The contest is now open to reader judges in 8 categories. Each entry may be given a score of 1 to 5 and you, as judge, are encouraged to score each entry in any given category, although you don't have to.

Here's the link and I'd love for you to take a look at my entry.

Here's a reminder!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ian's Image now available!

Ian's Image, the 5th book in my Bone Cold--Alive series is now available for Kindle. I'll have it up on Nook and for purchase as a print edition via CreateSpace in a few days.

The back cover:

"He should have been a concert violinist...

Ian Murray shucks the McMurray name the night he leaves Portland, Maine, and his family. His dreams weren't theirs. He may return periodically, but they never acknowledge what he's become, a top musician in the top rock band. He may have made a fortune, but money can't buy the one thing he longs for.

She was never his equal…

Bostonian cellist Phillipa Gray envied Johnny McMurray his talent on the violin, the way his music teased her on her summer trips to her grandmother's. Their families drove them apart once, but when she hears the sweetness of his strings again, the years fall away.

Life isn't fair and sometimes the time isn't right. Can they look beyond Ian's image, not to the way it once was but the way it should have been all along?"

Ian, aka Johnny McMurray, and Phillipa,aka The Princess Next Door, have a rocky past. They're drawn together like bees and honey but neither his family nor hers thinks the other is worthy. But when circumstances bring them back together one summer night it's all they can do to stay away from each other--and then it's all they can do to stay together.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The sick bed

When I was little, I was sick quite a bit. And if it wasn't me, it was my sister. This was before the vaccinations for measles and chicken pox and whatever else. So I had all the measles varieties and scarlet fever and earaches galore. And with every ailment, our sickbed wasn't our bed. It was the living room sofa.

Was it because that's the room with the black and white TV, something to be turned on so our little minds could zone out? So Mother could be in the kitchen and still hear us? So the doctor who was making the house call (oh, yes, he did) had to only walk a few steps into the house and his patient was there?

I don't know the reason, but I do know we continue the practice. Once ailing, your bed becomes the den couch. There's a straight shot view of same from the kitchen and while there are other TVs in the house, this is the biggest. As to the house calls, well, that has fallen by the wayside.

I bring this up because I've spent my day on the couch in the den. The TV has been off but I have a straight shot view of the empty kitchen and a cat to ease my ills. I guess there are still doctors who make house calls, they just live there, have four legs, and provide (if they're in the mood), the proper care and comfort.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The Change-able Habit

Most days, days without gale force winds and precipitation, I walk in the local park where there is a one-mile path. I've been doing this for nearly two years thanks to a friend who couldn't believe I would exercise on a treadmill when there was the great outdoors. It didn't take much to convince me that out was better than in, that two miles amid Nature was better than two miles with the TV. Besides, I used to walk outdoors all the time, but a spell of bad weather and a convenient treadmill had driven me indoors and indoors I had stayed. I'd changed the habit once, I could change it again.

Like any activity done with regularity, we would see the same people at the same time each day. Invariably, we'd speak, perhaps just a friendly 'good morning,' and then only the first time, whether meeting them going the other way or passing by. If someone wasn't there, we'd wonder and if they were gone several days in a row, query them about their vacation or ask after their health the next time we saw them. It didn't matter if we didn't know their name.

So it was with a woman who walked alone. Most of the time, she would already be on the path when we arrived. We knew her car, knew she was there. Sometimes, she'd run a little late, or we a little early, and we'd catch up or pass or meet. And we'd speak. She wouldn't unless spoken to first! It became a bit of a game, to say 'hello' or 'good morning' and then she'd have to answer back to be friendly.

But then, this fall, she disappeared. Was she coming later, I wondered? It couldn't be earlier because it was very dark earlier. Was she all right? Had something happened? The mystery deepened. I didn't see her or her car at Walmart or anywhere around town. Not that I had before, but if she'd changed one habit, perhaps she'd changed others. We thought her a bit older, so could she have become ill? We were worrying about someone we didn't know.

I mentioned this to the friend who had reintroduced me to outdoor walking. She had changed to a different route, one more convenient to her home. She smiled broadly: "our woman" was walking in her neighborhood now. And… best of all? She always said 'hello' first!

Guess we'd all changed a habit.