Shiny Things June 28, 2016


A look at the things distracting me this week.

My books arrived in the mail! It’s lovely to hold your physical book in your hands. The thrill never goes away!

I’m busy as a beaver working on getting Lion’s Prey ready for its August release. I hope the extra weeks I took will translate into a real keeper.

We romance readers are different from regular readers, we really do keep and re-read our old favorites. In fact, when I’m done with writing for the day, I’ve been reading some of my old category romances (and I mean old! One of them was from 1984!)

The book from 1984 is Ghost of a Chance by Jayne Ann Krentz. I have to say, the sexual tension holds up as does the central plot, but the hero is pretty high-handed and the heroine actually slapped the hero! Times have certainly changed.

I’ve also been watching So You Think You Can Dance. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the kids, but they’re amazing!

Life has been rather overwhelming recently, good and bad. On the good side: My husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary this week.

Here’s a pic from our Hindu ceremony which was followed by a wardrobe change and a Christian ceremony.


Meanwhile my clothes washer died and my passport application I sent in six weeks ago was returned sans passport. I have to redo it and pay more money! Ugh! We were hoping to take a cruise this summer, but given the wait time for a passport…sigh.

I’d love to hear from you. Do you have keepers? How old are they? Who are they by? Do they still stand the test of time?



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HALFLING is available for pre-order! I also have PDF ARCs for readers willing to review!

I’m so excited to venture into new territory! I’m still working on my adult book, number 3 in the Chimera Chronicles series. Twins Connor and Tyler, Army Recon Rangers get swept into a bank robbery through no fault of their own, and worse timing, Con meets his mate Embry, an FBI agent, whoops!

HALFLING is my first foray into YA. As a School Librarian for several years, I always wanted to write YA, but was daunted by the market, so I started with the more entry-friendly Romance market.

My new YA Romantic Fantasy amazon link
My new YA Romantic Fantasy amazon link The crippled reject of a scorned people, seventeen-year-old Valayan wanderer Deyna has never eaten, owned, or used anything she didn’t scrounge or steal. She’s used to life at rock bottom, but when her father sells her to be the annual Sacrifice to their enemies, the winged darklings, she discovers a new low. Marked for death at the hands of the darkling king, only the discovery that she’s half darkling saves her life. As a servant in the darkling palace, Deyna thinks she’s landed on her feet. She has fresh, clean food, a real bed, and people, like young Lord Ahran, the handsome captain of the king’s guard, who might actually care if she lives or dies. But all is not well in the darkling lands. The mysterious Jackal-Wolf is stealing grain shipments and raiding armories. A civil war is brewing, the gods have plans for her, and Ahran may not be exactly what he seems. Will the girl who’s spent her whole life running take a stand—even at the cost of her own life?


Shiny Things December 18

Our tree this year.
Our tree this year.

Things distracting me today, December 18th 2014

1. A serious message from the Authors of Soul Mate Publishing #kindle #books I worked hard on this homemade video. I hope you’ll take a gander! This video sucked away about ten hours of writing time What non-writing/work projects are sucking up your time?
2. Still Christmas shopping. I started early, but when I looked to see what I had it wasn’t as much as I thought. Going into panic shopping mode. This is difficult as I am the queen of indecision! How’s your shopping going? This is the first year I’ve shopped this far from Christmas. It was supposed to relax me, and make Christmas easy, but so far no dice.
3. I’ve got my latest hero and heroine inches from the clinch and every time I sit (or walk) down to seal the deal, I suddenly find something more important to do, like laundry.
Hope you’re enjoying the season!


Try to remember

In memory of Sky and Banner, our basenjis who await us in heaven. If they're not there, I'm not going!
In memory of Sky and Banner, our basenjis who await us in heaven.
If they’re not there, I’m not going!

Christmas isn’t like it used to be, for one, both my kids have birthdays on either side of the holiday. I’m responsible for all the trials and tribulations of buying presents and everything associated with spending the holiday at my parents’ house in NYS. (Including the worry of travelling through Erie and Buffalo on the way!)

But I still love Christmas. I love the lights, the food, the festive music, and even the cold (Sorry, Aussies. No matter what you tell yourself, Christmas isn’t the same without snow. 😉 )

Today I got thinking about my childhood and some of the things I loved best back then (besides waking up on Christmas morning to a family room over-flowing with presents.).

I loved the old black and white movie THE MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS. When I was little it was played right around Thanksgiving and signaled the start of the season. We had a channel called PIX back then, that came from NYC (despite the fact we were 5 hours’ drive from NYC). Every Christmas, PIX would have kids call in and play this game, where they had to say PIX when it appeared on the screen and then they would win something. I couldn’t take part being too far away, but the idea of calling in and winning something made me watch these kids say “PIX, PIX, PIX” as if my life depended on it.

My favorite holiday song was, “Do You Hear What I hear?.”

My favorite activity was making (and eating) cut-out cookies. We had all the colors and would try to make the angels, and Santas, boots, and reindeer look like their namesakes. (Now, I confess, I just frost everything white and put colored sprinkles on them.)

There was bad stuff, too. Our church had real evergreen boughs that almost always triggered a horrible asthma attack in me. No one ever knew what to get me for Christmas because I always asked for the same thing—a dog. (See horrible asthma attacks above) There were occasional fights, etc, but when I look back, it’s the good stuff I remember.

How about you? What were your favorite childhood Christmas activities, memories, songs, gifts? (Aussies, you can even mention the sand in your teeth. I was just kidding about the snow thing.)

Of course, being grown up does have its perks. I finally got that dog (or four. Though not all at the same time)


Merry Christmas!




Fantabulous Review from My Home Away from Home

A lovely review by Dominque Goodall at My Home Away from Home

Here’s a snippet:

“I’ve not read a book that has chimeras in it as shapeshifters before…but this is definitely a series I’d turn to time and time again. It reminded me a little of Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series…but oh so much better!…”

5/5 Blue Monarchs

For the full review

Visit with me at today’s blog stop!

Come and chat with me today at:

Enter the contest for a chance to win or just keep a lonely author company. We can talk dogs or Supernatural or Grimm or Arrow…or whatever…:-)

Blog stop My trailer, a short excerpt and a chance to win

I’m a bit late posting today because of a morning commitment (Taekwondo pix and belt ceremony. I’m a purple belt now!)
But…Another day, another blog stop, another chance to enter to win a free ecopy of IN LIKE A LION.
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Happy Saturday!

Why I love to write fight scenes

Fight scenes are one of the hardest scenes to write. How do you write a scene that requires so much cause end effect and linear sequencing without boring (or losing) the reader?

I start in layers.
Layer 1. Setting, we have to know where we are in order to know what’s going on. A scene in an alley is different from a scene in a warehouse. If the walls of the alley are made of brick and my hero gets pinned up against it, he might be scraped. Sounds will travel differently. The items in the alley are props that act as obstacles or weapons of opportunity for the hero, the heroine or their enemies.
1.a Costume, if my hero is wearing a leather jacket, he’s probably not going to feel the prick of the bricks through it. He definitely will if he’s wearing a cotton t-shirt. Clothing can be tricky, it’s not always easy to remember what you put on your hero. Proof reading for continuity is extremely important here.

2. Blocking, who did what to whom? This should be the easiest part, but making sure actions happen in order is harder than you might think. The hero is hit, then he feels the pain/blood/whatever. Describing each action can also be difficult. Not everybody knows what a side kick is, or any of the other martial arts terms. Descriptions should be as succinct as possible, a move that took under a second, can’t take more than a sentence to describe or the reader may feel bogged down. A scene with a lot of moves may require a simple bushing over like “suddenly the biker was on his knees, his arm twisted behind his back.” Check out this YouTube video of British martial artist stunt man/actor, Scott Adkins doing fight choreography for the movie Wolverine. (Notice he only has a wire on in the very last move:-)) Imagine describing some of these moves!

3.Emotion, this is one of the most critical parts of a fight scene. The reader has to feel something, so the character needs to react and feel, as well. Even if he’s just numb or detached, the reader has to know. When writing alpha heroes emotion can be one of the hardest things to convey during a fight scene. These are strong guys. They don’t feel the fear or pain the way a regular person would. A good way to bring in the reader emotionally is to have the heroine react, or bystanders. Or put the heroine or his best friend in danger, or a child, pet, etc. They won’t worry for themselves, but they have to worry for others. (Even if they cover it really well.:-) )

4. (Plot)Change, a fight scene, like a love scene, should not be gratuitous. When it’s over, something has to have changed, whether it’s the relationship between the hero and the heroine, an elevation in the danger, or a huge plot point. In my book IN LIKE A LION Jake and Anjali get into a car chase on a highway paralleling the Mojave National Preserve. They are driven off the road. Jake fights in almost pitch darkness and in the end they are forced into the vast, potentially deadly desert.

So if fight scenes are so complicated, why do I love them? 1.I’m a total fangirl of Martial Arts movies (ask me about Undisputed III) 2. I do Taekwondo. 3. They can: keep the pace going while raising the stakes, increase rooting interest, advance the relationship of the hero and heroine, and be great fun to read.

And you? Fight scenes, love ’em or hate ’em?