Tuesday, April 30, 2013

On fitness...

Drink two cups and call me in the morning...

Okay, my idea of a workout is taking the time to make an espresso.

Since a recent study said a diet of coffee could be good for you, I now admit I workout daily and with enthusiasm. Caffeine curls, baby. I'm all over it.

Most writers I follow do a bit more. There are jogging authors, walking authors, yoga authors...y'all like the sweat.

I think it's because our job is such a sedentary one, many authors seem very aware of balancing the physical with the mental work.

So, I decided to become a joiner. I was logging my calories on MyFitnessPal until it logged me out and now it won't let me back in. Every so often, I try to remember the login stuff...but I'm thinking MyFitnessPal broke up with me.

I started walking daily, figuring a mile was a good starting point. In a quote from my darling daughter, "Mom, why are we outside?" Me, "It's spring! We should be outside, enjoying the weather, listening to the birds."

A truck blew past us, spitting gravel and dust on the lonely dirt road near my house.

Princess daughter, always quick on the uptake, said, "Ah, nothing like the smell of diesel in the morning."
These boots are made for driving...

Running? In spurts, but I hate it. My muscles (who don't seem to remember I was once AF and wasn't half bad at the running thing) aren't getting that dewy happy feeling everyone says should come from that. Apparently, my endorphins didn't get the memo to release. My sweat did.

Today I decided to walk the mile, running in spurts, and add a half mile on my son's bike.

I came in the house wheezing and sweating and panting like a walrus who just tried to escape from a shamu.

Hey, fitness folks...how long do I have to do this before I look like Michelle Obama? How long before the good feelings overwhelm the sweaty panting stuff?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Happy Writing!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sugar On Top now available for preorder!

My contemporary erotic billionaire romance is now available for preorder! Save 20% by clicking here and it will be available on 3 May 2013!

Blurb: Some people have got to get real…

Lydia Tompkins isn’t looking for love. She’s annoyed. A dating site matching gold diggers with men willing to pay for their time? Thinking it will be a dash of reality in their pipe dreams of Stepford wives, she uploads a picture—and a piece of her mind—and never expects any serious responses.

Some people even want to…

Chandler Hawk remembers a time before the wealth. Finding the most appalling dating site he’s ever heard of while surfing the net, he clicks on it and finds the most real woman he’s seen in a long time.

A sugar daddy meets a woman who doesn’t need a man to take care of her and sparks fly. Can they find a happily ever after, with Sugar on Top?

This is the first book of my Who Wants to Marry a Billionaire? series. I can't wait for everyone to read it and see if they fall as hard as I did for Lydia's snark and Chandler's witty comebacks :)

Happy Writing!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Are we all living in the Truman Show?

In case you missed it, I got my hair done last night.

On any given day, you can see what I and about five thousand of your nearest and dearest friends have for breakfast. You can see when we go to sleep. When we bleed, you can watch us cry out in pain. When we are sad, you know it. When we're happy, you're the first to hear the good news.

You can track where we go on FourSquare, what we've eaten on MyFitnessPal and all of it can happen from a device you carry in your pocket.

Some great producers are to thank for this live programming...Call it Big Brother, if you will, and get 1984-variety paranoid, but we've become the producers...and the consumers.

Advertisers can see that we like our Starbucks, what kind, and hear about whether the new burger they've put out is good or not.

And we tell them. For free. And if we don't do it on the social networks, we slide the little plastic cards that fill our wallets, earning free gas or points, and they can see what we bought, stock more of it, stop carrying it...Cater to our every unspoken whim.

We advertise for them, in our pictures, their brand names. We wear them on our chests proudly, like some sort of shield against an angry world, proclaiming ourselves part of the Abercrombie or Old Navy cult and are trained to cull from the herd those who don't follow the same flag as we do.

I'd never seen the Truman Show until today, but who looks closely at their reality? Who changes it, actively says, "No, it can't be that way. I don't like it. I'm going to change it."?

People watch this movie, maybe some horrified that a man could be manipulated like that, or just entertained.

God knows, we have to stay entertained. If we stop being constantly busy, constantly part of the machine, constantly afraid or searching for a happy ever after that will make everything perfect and solve our problems in less than a half an hour, we might stop.



Oops, sorry. Got to go. Commercials are over and the show is back on.

Kids and Media

How much is too much information?

In a week of tragedies, parents are tuned into the news, staring and full of worry. On one hand, we want to be in the know so we can protect our kids...somehow it feels like being informed will let us do that. In the wake of this weeks horrific events, we can see that's not possible but we want to.

On the other hand, it's our job to protect our kids. Not just from invisible forces that might physically hurt them, but from all damage.

My son, a lover of horror (Stephen King is his very favorite author, not me) wanted to see the images coming out of Boston. Glancing at my cell phone, which I'd passed to my mother to give her an idea of what happened, I said, "No."

He didn't need to see that. You can't unsee that sort of thing.

My son is almost fourteen and there are those who might say he should have been able to see it if he wanted to.

I don't agree. I can't protect him from seeing something like that. I can't magically make the world a safe place and one day he might see worse up close and personal.

But he shouldn't have to if he doesn't have to.

I can't unsee the Twin Towers, or a man fluttering in the wind like a piece of paper as he fell to escape choking smoke and fire. I can't unsee the images from Boston, from West, from a growing list of horrible events.

If I can keep that kind of darkness from his imagination...
I can't protect him forever. But I consider myself the dragon at the gate, the last chance to stop the negative and the horrible and the heart wrenchingly sad from becoming embedded in his mind...

I will.

So I turn off the news, google what I need to know. Am I right? I don't know. My kids know what happened, have the numbers, know the horror...but they won't see the images if I can help it. Imagining something that awful is bad enough. Seeing it?

Well, seeing is believing and I'd rather fill their minds with as much beauty and grace as possible before they have to weigh that against real terror.

But, well, that's just me.

How much is too much for you?

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Curveball /ˈkərvˌbôl/
A ball that is pitched with a snap of the wrist and a strong downward spin, which causes the ball to drop suddenly and deceptively veer...

Life throws them.

We might think that we've finally figured out the game, that we know what the pitcher has in store for us and we're ready.

And then, there it comes, spinning at you out of nowhere...

The curveball.

In writing, when you're at that point in the story where you're not sure what happens next and staring at that blinking cursor, throwing your characters a curveball might solve all your problems.

In life? I got nothing.

The best I can say is roll with it and swing. You'll either hit it out of the park or strike out. But at least you can say, "I swung for all I was worth."

Best of luck with your curveballs. I'm up to bat.
Happy Writing.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Smart Rednecks

Probably a few of you read that and thought, well, there's an oxymoron.

I gotta disagree. Well, not always. Mark Twain said, "All generalizations are false, including this one."

But think back, if you would, to Sweet Home Alabama. I loved that movie. One line stuck out at me at the time.

"Honey, just 'cuz I talk slow doesn't mean I'm stupid." - Jake Perry

And, thus, the smart redneck is born. Just a simple country boy, with good 'ole boy mores and a twangy voice, that hides a little more under the hood of that beat up Chevy truck than one might see at first glance.

The unscripted tv show Duck Dynasty features a whole family of these characters. And they are, very exceptionally, characters.

Again, at first glance, simple country folk who pray at the dinner table and say some words wrong, but let's not ignore this family has built an empire. Using a simple idea--a duck call--and a love of family and hunting, they're flashing across our screens in all their redneckedness. Just like Sweet Home Alabama's Jake, they're easy to dismiss as just a little slow...

Until you really listen to them.

I adore this kind of juxtaposition between common sense brilliance hidden behind a little bit of motor oil and some camo. In reality, I've had the great pleasure of befriending a few guys who might not be viewed as movers and shakers, who hide behind that mask and because they are underestimated...

Come out on top every time.

I had to write some. I wanted to capture that small town boy, that guy next door who is underestimated, but shouldn't be because...watch out. He's thinking when he's standing there all quiet, just listening to you ramble. You're showing all your cards and he's methodically storing all that information away while he gives you a lopsided grin and a nod.

My Watkin's Pond series, starting off with Runaway Groom in January from Samhain, has these guys as heroes--a whole mess of country boys looking for love. Small town, after all, can mean big romance.

So what do you think? Are there boys out there hiding their big brains behind their redneckedness? Are they, "Happy, happy, happy," because people don't bother to look beyond the drawl and see that spark of innate intelligence glittering in their eye?

Do you like the small town heroes? Or is it just me?

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mothers Always Know

I was watching Kathy Lee and Hoda this morning (something I do although I'm still not sure why every morning...maybe some remnant of my own childhood that says grown-ups watch Today? I dunno.) and they had a woman on who wrote a book called Motherhood Comes Naturally.

Kathy Lee made fun of her--maybe it was supposed to be funny, but Kathy Lee came off just a smidgen...*clears throat* judgy.

"I don't know why you kept having children."
"You couldn't tell a broken arm from gas?"

*clears throat*

Well, I think my previous blogs have shown I'm not a perfect mom. I don't cook, for one, something I've been advised will cause massive obesity in my children (none are yet, at 15, 13, 11, but I've been told it will happen.) and I also don't have the magical mommy senses.

My mom claimed she had magical mommy senses, you know, the ability to tell when something was wrong? I had two strokes and she told me to go to work because I couldn't miss for a little headache. Mommy senses fail.

My own magical mommy senses are a complete wash. I figured that out YEARS ago. My daughter
had appendicitis when she was nine...and that's supposed to hurt, right? Yeah, she showed all the signs of intestinal flu. Nausea, diarrhea...and she said her belly hurt. Well, if you're spouting fluids from both ends, your tummy does hurt. I gave her ibuprofen and a teddy bear and she felt better. OBVIOUSLY not something serious, right?

Took her to the docs and they said to go up to the hospital and get checked--to verify it wasn't appendix. The hospital basically laughed it off. "If it was her appendix, she'd be in major pain."

Yeah, I thought, standing in my uniform for work, that's what I thought. But, hey, they could give her meds for the nausea, throw her on a banana bag, and she'd feel better.

They tested white blood cells, which should be through the roof for appendix. It came back low, if anything, but we'll do another test. By then, she's dozing and I figure that's the meds working/fluids...sleep is good.

They tested c-cells. Inconclusive.

They decided to do another test and actually look inside her. I roused her, made her drink the stuff they needed for the test, let her go back to drowsing and waited. We did the test, she went back to sleep. I stared at my watch, imagining the bills that wouldn't get paid this week because of this little visit...

A man walked in, carrying a clipboard. He looked a lot like Colonel Sanders. The chicken guy? I will always remember Colonel Sanders' words. "Do you want Rainbow Babies or Cleveland Clinic?"

Me, "For what?"
The King of Chicken, "To transfer to on the life flight?"
Me, "For the flu?"
Colonel Sanders shifts and looks uncomfortable. "For the emergency surgery?"
Me, "Do you have the right room?"
Colonel Sanders, "Didn't they tell you? Your daughter's appendix is gangrene. They have to do emergency surgery. Her immune system has shut down, her digestive system shut down, and her nervous system is in distress. She needs surgery--tonight!"

Me, "Uh..."

My mommy senses didn't know ANY of that. Now, every time she gets the flu, she asks me if her appendix ruptured again. And the boys get rushed to the hospital EVERY time they get the flu. Just in case. Because I'm not psychic, apparently.

(As to the emergency surgery? Yeah, Colonel Sanders was wrong. Rainbows didn't hack open my child in frantic panic. Weeks, for the whole process, but she's fine.)

So, well, the point of this rant is, Kathy Lee...don't be judgy. I'm a good mama and that woman with the funny book looked like she might be, too. It doesn't mean we're all psychic. Sometimes Mommy-dar goes off and it's just a fever. Sometimes it doesn't go off and it's a broken arm or an exploded appendix.

This doesn't mean you're a bad mom. It means you're human, you try your hardest, but sometimes you make mistakes.

Mother's don't always know. But the good ones? They try. Which is even better than knowing, in my opinion.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Coming Soon...Sugar On Top!!

My dear friend, Kristen, sent me info about this dating website...

And, although I think it might have been a hint to start getting myself out there a bit (maybe find a date that wasn't with imaginary people?) it inspired a story idea that I had such a blast writing. It was sexy. It was fun. I just LIKED the characters and wish they would have hung out with me longer.

I could have sent it off to a publisher...

But I didn't want these two to change. I liked them too much and I think you guys might like them, too.  Plus, look at this cover! So, coming soon...

Sugar On Top

Some people have got to get real…

Lydia Tompkins isn’t looking for love.  She’s annoyed.  A dating site devoted to matching up gold diggers with men willing to pay for their time?  Thinking she can add a dash of reality to their pipe dreams of Stepford wives, she uploads her picture and a piece of her mind and never expects any serious responses.

Some people even want to…

Chandler Hawk remembers a time before the wealth.  Finding the most appalling dating site he’s ever heard of while surfing the net, he clicks on it and finds the most real woman he’s seen in a long time. 

The sugar daddy meets a woman who doesn’t need a man to take care of her and sparks fly.  Will they find a happily ever after, with Sugar on Top?

Monday, April 1, 2013

New Release!! Rumor Has It

Rumor Has It is a contemporary, small town love story. Spiced up with some hot, sexy bits, this story releases today from Carnal Passions.


Elvis left the building a long time ago…

Liz knows that there are some things you just can’t live down. Marrying an Elvis impersonator was one of her biggest mistakes yet when he comes rolling back into town, needing a place to couch surf, she can’t say no to the father of her child.
And someone else took his place…
Jeremy has been engaged in the world’s longest long game. For thirteen years he has loved Liz and her daughter but never made a move, waiting for the right moment. When her ex-husband shows up out of the blue, he realizes it is time to put up or shut up.
But now that Elvis is back, the rumors are flying.
Jeremy makes his move, leaving Liz in a tailspin. Elvis comes back, the man she has always secretly loved is making moves…but why now? The sparks fly and the gossips mouths are running…but will Liz find the love she has been waiting for or will the small town gossips destroy her like they did so long ago?
Grab your copy today!!
(Links will be updated as it goes live on the various sites)