Monday, March 31, 2008

RT Convention 2009

This day just keeps getting better! Guess what ladies, the RT convention is going to be held in Orlando Florida in April, 2009. I definitely plan to attend this one and already put the dates on my calendar. It will be my first. I've heard it's a wonderful experience and a great place for networking, getting your name out there. I hope you all will be able to attend, too. Mark your calendars!

Wyndham Orlando Resort April 22-26.

I'm Spreading the News...

Today has been a great day for me. I'm spending it with my little granddaughter, Alivia, and I just received my first review for "IT'S ALL IN THE JEANS". Like all authors, I've been waiting impatiently for the first word to come in. While reviews are the opinion of one person who reads your book, it's nice to have something positive to put on your website that backs up your work to readers.

While Alivia naps, it gave me time to play on the computer. Below is some of what they had to say.


Tory Richards can write a hot story! It’s All In The Jeans is a scorcher, with enough of a plot that it goes beyond being only erotic romance. Libby and Logan both show strong attachments to their grandparents, something that makes them both realistic. They make an agreement to come together for purely sexual reasons but both feel their attraction going to another level. Margaret and Vincent, two seniors who show there’s still life beneath white hair, are lovable to the point of distraction. I laughed with them and cried over them, but the tears were pure joy. Tory Richards has written a hot story that shows that love is a good thing, at any age!

Reviewed by: Marlene

If you're interested you can read the whole review at:

More than I could have hoped for my first erotic romance with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid!

Saturday, March 29, 2008



Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across.

Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this:

It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break in your house, odds are the burglar rapist won't stick around...after a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that.

And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there ...... This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone.

What have you got to lose?

Friday, March 28, 2008

On the Money

I'm surrounded by wise women. I had no idea what I was going to say today until I got here and began catching up on the posts I've missed. Missed. Hmm. That's such a telling word, in so many ways. I've missed being part of this blog, missed reading readers' comments and the posts my three lark friends write. Missed it all -- and so much more -- a lot. I'm hoping that I'll get to reclaim my life, take pleasure in the things that I've missed, more in the coming days.

My wonderful husband is recovering, and growing stronger, and we are hopeful that he'll continue to return to good health. Good news that I couldn't wait to share with all of you. :)

Kathleen's post about comfort books touched my heart because I have spent these past weeks being comforted, and surrounded by, books. I've been able to lose myself, even if only for a few hours, in the words of treasured old friends as well as some new ones, too. She's a smart lady for recognizing books have the power to comfort, heal and so much else. Yes, definitely comforting, I agree. But for me, they're more like an eggplant rollatini than mac and cheese. Go figure!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Comfort Books

Just like there are comfort foods, I think there are comfort books. So during stressful times, I head to the library. My husband likes W.E.B. Griffin and Tom Clancy. He calls them 'soap operas for men.' I like Barbara Metzger and Sharon McCrumb. Just like macaroni and cheese they are smooth, predictable, and slide down easily.

I just read Barbara Metzger's Primrose Path. How can you not a love a book where the secondary characters are all dogs with names like Puddles, Windy, Spooky, and Sunshine? The book was so good that I was able to sit happily in a surgeon's crowded waiting and ignore the endless loop of CNN news blurbs plus the sign that read "The Dr. is running ninety minutes late."

We are preparing for a series of surgeries for my husband and long waits in surgery centers for me. But we've got the right books that will keep us entertained and distracted from stress. I won't be posting regularly for awhile but will pop in when I can and I wish you all the best.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Erotic Romance

Today I want to blog about the erotic romance. The reason is because of the posts going back and forth in one of the groups I belong to. Some think it's porn but I'm here to tell you the difference. Erotic is not a bad word...and it most definitely is NOT porn. Of course, it all boils down to ones opinion. This one is mine.

I've written one erotic romance, "IT'S ALL IN THE JEANS". A play on words if you will, "IT'S ALL IN THE GENES"...get it? It took me a long time to cross over into that particular genre. I can't tell you how many times I'd type a certain word, go back later and change it only to switch it back again at a later date. I had a hard time getting over the thought that some words are bedroom words and should stay there. That and the fact it just wasn't ME. I'm a grandmother for goodness sake! But, let's face the reality of it, sex sells.

Eventually I was able to leave the words where they fell. Do I write steamy sex scenes? No, I write about two people falling in love, who make hot and heavy love. I use the actual words in my erotic romance.

Does my book have a story line? You bet! If you've ever seen a porn or read one of those books then you know there is NO storyline, no plot between the main characters leading up to them falling in love. Sex is the main focus of the story. They aren't romances. A romance is between two people.

I write romance.

What won't you find in my books? The female C word or the F word. In my opinion those are the bedroom words that need to remain there.

One author's opinion for what it's worth.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Just stopping in...

to say a quick hello. :)

I hope you've all been well and are enjoying these first days of spring. I'm sorry for having been absent recently. Hopefully I'll soon be back to buzzing about the web and visiting with all of you. Until then, please know I'm thinking of you, wishing you well and hoping your days are bright and sunny.

Take care and have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Just Dreaming

For the past week I have been staying with my family in Florida. The muse has not entirely deserted me but still stands behind me urging me to get back to work. Know what I do? I say, "go away" this is people time. I have things to do with my grandchildren, I want to chat to my son and his wife, I don't need to be sitting at the wheel spinning tall tales. There are lots of other distractions, a swimming pool, fantastic beaches, long hot summer days.

I fear the muse may get really sick of my not paying attention to her (and yes I believe it is a her!) and when I return to cold England, she will desert me! I just hope that does not happen, but you know Muses... tempermental and easily upset.

Bye for now,


PS I forgot to mention, folks, next week at this time I will just about be arriving back in England so there won't be a post from me. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Taming the Muse

There have been times in my life when my creativity has totally closed down. I think it happens to conserve energy when you are seriously ill. But now I'm just a little run down with a virus and fibromyalgia flare up, and the characters in the novel I'm currently writing don't care that I'm sick. They want me to tell their story and they want it told now.

Every once in a awhile a truly pushy character can make you feel like you are being held hostage. For me that character is Agnes. She has spent her life being a caregiver and deferring her own pleasure. But now she's found a man she wants and she is relentless in her pursuit of him. This is most inconvenient when I'm trying to sleep and she wants me to advance the story.

My characters are generally a pretty considerate bunch. But I've written about a few who are as pushy as Agnes. Ten years ago I had shoulder surgery. It is not a procedure conducive to sleep. You spend months afterwards sleeping fitfully in an upright position. I didn't sleep much at all because I had a frantic character keeping me awake. The only way to truly tame him was to finish the novel.

Any advice for dealing with Agnes? I'd really like to have a nap this afternoon without listening to her raspy voice.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Epublishing verses Traditional

I've blogged about this before but lately it's come up in some of the groups I belong and it's become a discussion between authors which is the best way to go. It doesn't necessarily come down to the best way to go, but what's right for the individual author. And, how long they're willing to wait to see their book published.

Why electronic publishers? Any author who has submitted to both epublishers and the traditional publishing houses knows the answer to that. But let's look at the pros and cons. And let me remind you that this is just one author's opinion...mine.

Traditional Publishing Houses: You submit a query and synopsis and wait up to four months for a reply. And then it finally comes, and guess what, they want to see your manuscript! You think you're halfway there. So you go over your manuscript a couple more times until it's polished and as good as it can be. You print out the two or three hundred pages, follow their guidelines by binding it together with rubber bands. Slip it into a Manila envelope and head to the post office. After that all you have to do is wait...and wait...and wait some more until a year or more later you finally get their reply in the mail. Not knowing that if you get a letter it almost always means your book was rejected. Most publishing houses will call you if they want your book. Oh, and did I mention that during that long wait you can't submit your book to any others publishers? So plan on using that year to start writing book number two.

Epublishers: You submit a query and synopsis and a month or two later you get a response in your e-mail saying they're interested and would like to see the whole manuscript. You polish it off and send it to them through e-mail. Then a couple months later, sometimes a little longer, you get a reply saying they love your book and would like to offer you a contract. You sit back and release a long sigh. You've made it. Depending on the publisher your book can be out in as little as two months or up to a year. And the best part? No printing or paper is involved, no Manila envelopes and no waiting in post office lines.

No matter which way you go, you do need to plan on promoting your books, so be forewarned. It's a lot of work, time consuming and costly depending on how much you have for the budget. If you think you're going to sit back and reap the rewards without a lot of work, this career isn't for you. In fact, it's a hobby for most authors.

But that's another subject:)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Doing the Mambo

I'm so excited! I just bought Sarita's new book, Vineyard Mambo. I went to Whiskey Cress Press looking for it yesterday but it still read 'coming soon.' But this morning it was there and now I've downloaded it.

Yup, I bought it as an e-book -- me, Kathleen the technology-challenged one. Now I'm going to decide whether to read her book on my computer screen or on my Alpha Smart. Either way it will be a fun day.

Congratulations, Sarita!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


If you would like to see today's blog please scroll down, for some reason my saved blog that I wrote before coming out here, has been posted as if it were published on Sunday, when in effect that was whenI wrote and saved it.



Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Easter Bunny on Skis

Did you ever celebrate St. Patrick's Day and Easter within a week of each other? Unless you are over 100, you probably haven't. Even though I live in Florida everything seems to be occurring too early this year.

So I asked a local expert what's goin on. He agrees that Easter, March 23, is early this year. Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20 this year). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar. Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) but that is pretty rare. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will see it for the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!).

The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (I wasn't around for that!). The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year! Wow!

And another harbinger of spring has arrived. Our very own Margaret Blake flew into Florida yesterday. And her visits are never too early -- but just right.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Know what makes a girl happy?

HIGH SPEED! After two years of living on dial up they finally offer it here in our area. I'm so happy I could cry. For those of you on dial up you know what I'm talking about.

Slow...slow...slow! And not only that, it takes 20 minutes to download pictures I receive or send. I delete half the emails I get because of that. I can't watch youtube or other videos because a three minute presentation takes half an hour on my puter. I feel like I've been living in a cave. Especially after having high speed before and knowing what I was missing.

Oh...there is a God. And on top of getting that great news my doctor gave me some good news this morning, too. I dreaded going in because I was sure she was going to say I was diabetic. But my numbers have dropped back down, whatever that means. I don't have to go back until August. Oh happy day!

Of course, between now and then she wants me to lose weight. And I can do that by watching my pasta, breads and sweets. For a gal hooked on sweet tea, pasta and breads she might as well tell me to stop breathing. But I'm going to try if it kills me!

Today has been a great day so far:)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Publishing Process

I just saw, on my British publisher's website that my new novel "Breaking the Clouds" will be published on 3oth May. That a pre-warning that the book will be published is at the moment sitting on Amazon, and folks can ask to be notified when it is out.

It had me thinking about how publishers work and their different ways of doing things.WCP are very good with their editing process and you get lots of helpful advice. My British mainstream publisher is the same, very helpful, but was is different is that you get a "copy edited" version, which is fascinating. All these different squiggles and things that mean something to a printer. It is a language all of its own. Of course everything is done by snail mail, rather than e mail. It is rather exciting to see the Postman scurrying up the path with an important looking parcel.

When I was first published you did not see the cover until the book was actually published, now you get a chance to see the artists work before, which I think makes you feel more involved with the process. Whiskey Creek of course always does this, and you get to talk to the artist about how you see your cover, which is great fun.

How important is it do you think? After all the saying goes that you should not judge a book by its cover, but for myself, I think it is quite important, not as important as the first couple of lines on the first page, but in attracting the eye of the reader to pick up the book and actually read that first page, then a good cover is essential.

I know from chatting to readers that the whole publishing process is a mystery to many of them but it is one that I find interests people. It must for they always ask about it.

So, do I like my new cover? I love it...I am sure you will too.

Margaret B

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday Fun

My last post was 0h-so serious and writerly (is that a word?) that I figured I'd best get back to my real self pretty quickly, before you all forget what I'm really like. *BG*

So with that in mind, I'm going to share a joke that my sister-in-law sent this morning. Or last night. Whatever. It was the first piece of mail I opened this morning and it made me laugh out loud. Actually it made me clap a hand over my mouth to stifle the roar I felt building inside. My husband's still sleeping and I'd hate to wake him.

Anyhow, from my s-i-law's funny bone to mine to yours, a joke. I hope you enjoy it. :)

Have a great weekend!

A lesson to be learned from typing the wrong E-mail address:

A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years before.

Because of their hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minneapolis and flew to Florida on Friday, and his wife was flying down the following day.

The husband checked into the hotel, and unlike years ago, there was a computer in his room, and he decided to send an email to his wife.

However, he accidentally left out one letter in her E-mail address, and without noticing his error, sent the email to the wrong address.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston...

A widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory after suffering a heart attack.

The widow decided to check her E-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and then fainted. The widow's son rushed into the room and found his mother on the floor. He glanced up and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife

Date: Friday, October 13, 2005

Subject: I have arrived!

Dearest Love,

I know you are surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now, and you are allowed to send E-mail to your loved ones.

I have just arrived and have been checked in.

I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow, and look forward to seeing you then.

Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

PS - It sure is hot down here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

If music be the food of love...

Do you write while listening to music? Can you surive without something tinkling away in the background?

This used to be me. If I was writing an historical romance you could be sure to guess the period by the music drifting through the house. Ah, must be Middle Ages, she is playing that awful medieval music, John would think, but never say. I quite liked it. It is rather stirring.

I liked to play folk songs when I was writing about Victorian times, those ditties of love lost, of gruesome murder and all the terrible conditions that the poor suffered at that time. Quite inspirational. If I wanted to "hot" it up then there was the excellent Steeleye Span, pure magic.

For contemporary romance, well old blue eys really put me in the mood. If I heard Frank's delicious tones telling me that here was that rainy day again, then I was in a melting, slushy mood.

Now I have silence. I have changed completely. I like the sound of my fingers striking the keys, the bliss of seeing words form on pristine white paper.

If I am editing I might have Frank, or the Carpenters or Doris Day trilling in the background, but there is something about silence that really gets me...


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

March Contest

There's a scavenger hunt at Whiskey Creek Press and a jelly bean hunt at The Wild Rose Press so I thought I'd have my own contest. This month I have an interview at The Romance Studio ( It's towards the bottom of the page. The answer to my question can be found there.

The question is: Where is my office? Send answer to Winner will receive an e-copy of my story, Something Borrowed.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down...

LOL, not this gal! Remember that song? I think Karen Carpenter sang it. Anyways, I love Mondays because I'm off work. I work four tens and including travel time I'm gone almost twelve hours a day. By the time I get home I have just enough time to eat, shower and get in a couple hours of TV. So is it any wonder I don't feel like doing anything else? Especially exercise! I appreciate my retired hubby being home to do laundry, cooking, and the grocery shopping. That leaves my three days off to play!

And ride my bike. I've asked him to blow up the tires so I can get in a little exercise on my days off. I haven't ridden in a couple years. The last time I decided to do some riding I was so out of shape that seventy-year-olds were passing me on the road! No kidding. But in time and the more I rode, I really enjoyed it. Course, I'll only go either early in the morning or late at night, when it's cooler one can see me:)

Okay, getting back to the song. I also love rain! It leaves everything so alive and green and healthy looking. I love the peaceful sound of it. Some in my family think I'm odd because I enjoy a good storm. Lots of lightning and thunder and driving rain. But let me make myself clear, I'm not talking hurricanes here. A few years ago when Florida was hit 4 times in a row, three of those wicked storms went right over my house. We were lucky though, and didn't suffer much damage.

Do rainy days and Mondays get you down?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Toe tapping!

As the emails I'm already getting indicate, some of you have noticed Vineyard Mambo is not being released today. I know, I know -- I've spent the past weeks promoting today's release. By now you're all probably pretty darn tired of hearing about it, too. But, alas, today is not the day.


Obviously I had no idea Vineyard Mambo was being pushed back to a mid-month release. I mean, just yesterday I was chatting about the book coming out today. Funny, now that I think of it. I've got to laugh, because although this is disappointing it really isn't such a big deal. Definitely not the end of the world. And in the grand scheme of things, as far as this being a "bad" thing in my life, it's hardly a blip. There are so so so many other things that can happen that are really, truly unfortunate. This isn't one of them.

So what happened? Some of you are aware that Whiskey Creek Press is celebrating its Fifth Anniversary this month. Congratulations to them on doing such a great job! :) As part of their birthday celebration they're making a few changes. One of their changes is moving toward a staggered release policy. Most publishers already do this, and honestly I think it's a great idea for WCP to stagger releases, too. There are many reasons publishers release books in rotation. The main one, I believe, is simply because it's good business. Good business practices for a publisher translate into better earnings for authors, and I wholeheartedly support that notion. I'm thrilled to be associated with a company who has its eye on the future.

Apparently my book is part of the first "staggered wave" and will be released on March 15th.

I've had to do a lot of scrambling in the past hours. I thank everyone who has been gracious enough to accomodate this change in plans. I especially thank the bookseller who has been wonderfully cheerful about my making extra work for him. He's offered to change the date on my promo materials himself and even assured me the publisher was saving "the best for last" and that is the reason we'll all have to wait an extra two weeks for Vineyard Mambo. God bless him, that's exactly what I needed to hear! Even if he was only trying to make me feel better, it was balm enough to soothe my disappointment.

So I hope you'll all be kind enough to wait with me for a few extra days to experience Vineyard Mambo. The book is complete, i's dotted and t's crossed, waiting along with us for the 15th. It' s just a couple more days, really. Right? That's all, just a few days. And what're a few days between friends?

Tonight the champagne will flow and we'll dance, and celebrate the impending release of Vineyard Mambo, rather than the actual release. It will give us something to laugh about, shake our heads over and toast to. I know that this little shift will be fodder for discussion for a long time to come with our family and friends. We'll say, "Do you remember?..." and "We didn't find out until the credit card was in our hand..." and "Hey, but do you remember the party? Now that was the best celebration of a book's postponement I've ever seen!"

Yes, we'll celebrate tonight. And we'll celebrate on the 15th, too. Because you know what? Any day is a good day for a book to release.

Thank you for sharing this day, and experience, with me. When given the choice between laughter and tears, I always choose laughter. I'm smiling now, and I hope you are, too.

If you're in the mood for a great weekend read, why not check out the new releases at Whiskey Creek? Or the old ones? There are lots of wonderful stories, and authors, over there just waiting to entertain you. There's something for everyone at Whiskey Creek Press, and I'm sure you can find something to satisfy your reading hunger.

Only don't satisfy yourself too fully, okay? I hear there's a book coming on March 15th that's just waiting to be read. Really, it's just tapping its bookish toe, waiting to be held and, hopefully, enjoyed. Now what was that book called? Hmm...let me see... Vineyard Mambo, that's it! ;-)

Have a great weekend!