Friday, February 26, 2010

Pass It On

If you’re reading this blog you’re most likely a lover of books. Yeah, we bibliophiles tend to stick together, don’t we? And if you love books as much as I do, you’ve probably got a glut of novels you’ve read and won’t ever reread. I know I do. At least, I did.

We spend a good deal of time in a medical facility. I wish we didn’t, but we do. And don’t get me wrong, I’m from-the-bottom-of-my-heart grateful that the facility and its amazing staff are here to help us. I thank God every day that they’re here!

Still, long hours, day after day, in a medical setting can be tedious—unless you’ve always got a book tucked in your bag. I’ve gotten into the habit of bringing along not only the book I’m currently reading, but a few others I’ve read, enjoyed and probably will never read again. I leave them in the facility’s small bookcase or on the table in the room we’ve occupied.

Nurses, patients and cleaning staff have all told me how much they appreciate finding a good book—instead of an outdated magazine!—here and there. Many patients spend all day long in some of those rooms, and the thought that maybe my spare reading material might help pass the long, often painful, hours really makes me feel great. It is a small thing, but at least I feel like I’m making a tiny difference.

So, the next time you’re wondering what in the world you’re going to do with the books falling out of your bookshelves, why not consider donating them to your local hospital, cardiac wing or cancer center? Your old favorites might bring joy to someone struggling to get well. An added benefit is knowing you’re making a difference in someone else’s life. The way I see it, it’s a win-win situation. Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Today I received my final edits from the Senior Editor, Marsha Briscoe. Marsha does a wonderful job and doesn't miss a trick. Thank goodness I have someone who cares so much.

The book in question is A Saxon Tapestry. You will all have heard about the Bayeaux Tapestry, telling the story of the Battle of Hastings. Well I am telling the story of the aftermath, but taking up the cudguls on behalf of the Anglo Saxons who sadly lost. Sadly, I hear you query that - I mean wasn't it William the Conqueror the great Norman King who won a glorious victory. Pardon? I don't think so. I mean yes he did win but it was not glorious. Our wonderful King Harold had already fought one battle in the North East and been victorious, then he had to speed down to the Sussex coast to try to defeat the invader. He failed, is it suprising? He had to have been exhausted.

Harold and the Anglo Saxons were a very cultured, artistic people. The Bastard of Normandy (and yes that was what people called him) tried to overturn all this. They were not savages at all. A look at their artefacts will prove this to you. So much was lost but evidence of their wonderful artwork does still exist, as well as their literature.

Well, here I am again writing about the "underdog" First Richard the Third and now Harold and his people. I am just trying to put things straight - it's how I feel about things and my opinion is my opinion and I am entitled to it!

I think I will get a t-shirt printed, "I love Harold Godwinson" but if I do, how many people will know who he was???

Ta ta for now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Never Say Never

Ever heard that saying? I've always known what it meant, but honestly, I never thought it would apply to me. Lately I've had to eat my words, yuck! They don't taste all that good either. But I have to fess up, I've always said there are two things you will never see in my books, the female C-word and the F-word. Not only is the F-word the foulest word in the English language, my opinion, and it tastes like crap!

I might not branch out into different genres, but I do write different levels of heat in my stories. I began with Cupid's Arrow, considered a sweet romance. My latest contract offer is for my first short erotic romance. Fifteen thousand words of a hot, okay I'll admit explicit, relationship between the hero and heroine. And if you're going to write an erotic story, no words are taboo.

I discovered I like writing short romances. I don't know yet if I'll make any money off it but it will keep my name out there while I'm working on those longer stories. I think that's just as important. It was very difficult for me to get over my aversion to typing the F-word down and leaving it. But with a friend's help and in time I convinced myself it's really just a word. And sometimes it belongs in the story.

I'm just here to warn you, never say never!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Recently I cleaned our my desk drawers. It was long overdue! One of the fun things I found in the desk was a box filled with film canisters. I had no idea when the photos were taken, and had completely forgotten about the film. I took a bunch of them to the store last week. Yesterday I picked them up and was so pleasantly surprised by the prints!

One roll was from four summers ago, when my dad was visiting. Another had photos of a visit with my in-laws. Still another showed us in the garden, with corn stalks towering above us and morning glories dangling over fenceposts. What a wonderful walk down memory lane!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


This week I have written a blog at
You might like to pop over and take a look at it. What I was blogging about, coinciding with the release of my latest Medieval Romance, was how different the men I write about have to be.

That might seem an odd premise but really it is all about genre. A medieval man would be very different in his attitude to a man in the 2lst century. Way different!
For instance he would not consider marrying for love to be the main object in finding a wife. Property, money, connections, these were paramount. There isn't much evidence of how a woman would feel about it, but the Paston Letters, a book of letter by people living in the l400's is a mine of information. Especially when the daughter of the house wishes to marry the Steward. You only have to see the film Shakespeare in Love to see how this was carried on even in the Elizabethan age, when the country was run by a powerful woman! There is no way Viola can marry Shakespeare, she has to go through with the marriage that has been arranged. This of course means that attitudes were very different. This is what I was trying to get across.

Writing across three genres I have to be careful not to make my Medieval man too gentle, or my modern man too tough! Not that gentlness and love don't feature, oh yes they do...after all my primary goal is romance but personality has to be different, as are ways of seeing.

Do I like my medieval man? Yes...eventually!

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's hard to believe it's been five years since I received my first contract with Whiskey Creek Press, for "Cupid's Arrow". Hard to grasp that in the last five years I've had 8 books published. And 2010 is looking good, too. With a goal of one book a year, so far I have two coming out. A re-release of "All the Right Moves", this time in print. And my first short erotic romance, "Talk Dirty to Me".

"Cupid's Arrow" was just the beginning and launched my career, giving me the confidence I needed to pursue my dreams. I'll never forget how I felt, reading that email from Debi Womack for the first time, offering me a contract. I'd just returned home from a two-week cruise to Alaska and it was the first thing I saw in my inbox. I was on top of the world!

Since then I've written spicy, spicy suspense, torrid suspense, torrid and now erotic romance. But that sweet romance will always be one of my favorites. It made me a best seller, as it was on the publisher's best sellers list for two consecutive months!

Readers' Choice #1 Bestseller

Mike has his hands full between working as a police detective and raising a teenage daughter by himself. The last thing he's looking for is a relationship to complicate his life, much less love. However, he finds himself immediately smitten with Emma Stuart after a mistake lands him at her door. Soon it seems he's bumping into her everywhere he goes. He convinces himself he's not interested, only problem is, why can't he ignore the heat between them every time they meet?

Emma's content with her quiet life the way it is. Two years after her divorce she's looking forward to settling into her new condo by the lake. However, her matchmaking sister has other plans. Before she knows it she's running into Stratton's sexy small town detective at every turn. Mike quickly lays down the law, his law that he's not going to get involved with her. Well, if that's the case, why can't keep his hands off her?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Something Pretty

I hope you don't mind...I just needed to see something pretty today. I remember taking this photograph; it seems so long ago but it really wasn't. Time does fly, doesn't it?
I hope your weekend is a pleasant one!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Saying goodbye

It's hard to think what to write today. On Monday I said goodbye to the love of my life. John and I shared almost thirty eight years of happiness, lots of laughter and of course some tears. He was my best friend, always there for me, which is why I chose "The Wind Beneath my Wing" to be played at his funeral. I wouldn't even be writing to be published were it not for John. He was truly that wind blowing me along.

John had devised his own funeral and had a cd. Suffice to say it was very funny and touching. When his little chats between his three favourite hymns, came to an end people applauded. There were over two hundred people there too. The music he chose to end his funeral was very funny too. His threat that anyone who cried would not get a "pint" (of beer) was typical of him.

My dear friends Teresa and Kevin put on a splendid buffet for John at their beautiful home. I don't know how I would have survived doing it myself. I had no idea how many people would turn up, nor how much I would be affected by it all. Teresa knew somehow and everyone had lots to eat and there was a lot of chatter, most of it going over my head.

Karen, my friend who has been staying with me was cleaning out the cubby under the stairs, you know that place where you stick everything you might or might not want, and she said "there's something there for you from John." I had no idea, opening the stiffended cardboard I discovered a framed letter from him. So beautiful and written long before he died. Something to treasure for ever.

Is it any wonder that I write romance and that I believe in love? I think you will agree it's not.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lark Sightings

Sarita Leone's terrific novel, Timeless, is featured on the home page of fictionwise today. Great time to grab a copy if you don't already own it.

Speaking of terrific novels, just started reading Margaret Blake's Dangerous Enchantment. It's fantastic -- gets your pulse racing from the very first page.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I've been diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D.

Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder! A friend sent this to me and I can so relate! It's scary! LOL I thought you fellow larkers would enjoy it.

It's not fatal and I hear it will affect a lot of us. KNOW THE SYMPTOMS......PLEASE READ!

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car..

I lay my car keys on the table,
Put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table,
And notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back
On the table and take out the garbage first..

But then I think,
Since I'm going to be near the mailbox
When I take out the garbage anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table,
And see that there is only one check left.

My extra checks are in my desk in the study,
So I go inside the house to my desk where
I find the can of Pepsi I'd been drinking..

I'm going to look for my checks,
But first I need to push the Pepsi aside
So that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The Pepsi is getting warm,
And I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi,
A vase of flowers on the counter
Catches my eye -- they need water.

I put the Pepsi on the counter and
Discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk,
But first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter,
Fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I'll be looking for the remote,
But I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table,
So I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs,
But first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers,
But quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table,
Get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to
Remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

The car isn't washed
The bills aren't paid
There is a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the counter
The flowers don't have enough water,
There is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day,
And I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem,
And I'll try to get some help for it,
But first I'll check my e-mail....

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Soup's On

There’s nothing like hot, hearty homemade soup to warm a person up on a cold winter’s afternoon. At our house we make a lot of soup. Sometimes we make fresh garden soup in the summer but mostly it’s a cold weather dish.

Yesterday afternoon was a typical northeast winter afternoon. Bleak, overcast, with eyeball-freezing wind, it seemed the perfect time to make soup, so that’s what we did. Thought I’d share the recipe with you. It’s one of my favorites.

Veggie Soup

1 large onion
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 cups vegetable broth
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup cut green beans
2 cups chopped spinach
1 chopped carrot
1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 tablespoon dill
1 cup corn kernels
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon black pepper
Parmesan cheese, if desired for sprinkling at serving

In a large stock pot, bring broth, onion and potatoes to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for Parmesan cheese, and cook, uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired, at serving.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dangerous Enchantment

This is the cover of my latest novel, now published. A medieval historical romantic suspense, it tells the story of Kate Merryweather. She has been trusted with a very important cargo. How can she keep the secret of her supposed stepson, if someone finds out the truth Kate knows both of them will be killed?

The safety of the castle in Yorkshire is suddenly no more. A Lancastrian lord has been granted the house and lands of her dead husband. Shall she chance the roads and escape to Burgundy, or stay and out bluff the new lord?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A New Project

I can't remember when I last saw the sun and I live in Florida, the sunshine state. This is the coldest and most dreary winter I can remember.

So I need a new project to take me through a gloomy month. I'd long thought about a collection of short stories and with a lot of family encouragement contacted Xlibris about publishing. The actual book is three or more months away but I'm having fun working on it and seeing it take shape.
The hardest part was picking which stories to include.

Having been at this for thirty years there were a lot of stories to choose from. Mostly I included my best but one story might be a little lighter than the others. I had a ten-year period where I had no time to write because of job and family obligations. When I got back to writing, the world hadn't waited. I couldn't get an agent or sell a story and then a tiny publication sent fifteen dollars for this story. So I had to include it. Maybe it's not my best crafted story but it's the one that gave me hope.