Wednesday, April 8, 2009

change of address!

We're moving!

Please visit:

For more Words of Inspiration and Romance...

And for your reading pleasure, pick up an e-read: By Another Name - Available after April 11, 2009 - at White Rose Publishing.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Visit the Site: How to Critique and Be Critiqued

Come over to the site, and read up on how to be critiqued and critique others. When to use a precision instrument on another writer's work, and when to just "rub some dirt on it" as my hubby would say.

Critiquing others is a skill. Accepting the criticism of your peers is another skill entirely.

Visit: to learn how to handle both!

For more information on how to be an excellent critique partner, read up here!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Spring is in the air! Bees are buzzing. Children anxiously await the big morning where they can graze on candy all day. What about mom? We've got a treat for you! Come join a group of romance authors in celebration of spring. Enter to win a prize a day as well as enter to win the grand prize. All you need do is begin at Silver James' blog on April 1st at

Silver will host the day's contest and provide the link to the next day's location. Don't forget to enter to win the grand prize! Here's the dirt... A TISKET A TISKET, PUT ROMANCE IN YOUR BASKET Grand Prize:

To enter to win prizes from the authors donating treasures to the grand prize (see each day's post for what an author is donating to the grand prize), find the four Easter eggs in the A TISKET A TISKET, PUT ROMANCE IN YOUR BASKET blog event.

You will be searching for the above egg. Just visit all of the authors' websites, locate the 4 eggs, make a list of their locations by pasting the urls to the website pages in an e-mail, then send the entry to by midnight CST on March 1st, 2009.
The winner will be randomly drawn and announced March 2nd at
Tip #1, subscribe to to learn if you're the winner! And don't worry. If you start in on the blog event late, just head back to Silver James' blog on April 1st at to begin your website search for the Easter eggs. Don't miss the fun! See you next to the burgundy tulips!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

100 posts - and a change

Good morning, everyone! well, we made it to 100 posts here at this blogger site.

Please visit my new blog site:

Still words of inspiration on my journey, but moreso - it is a place where I can display my titles as they are coming available for print!

Please pop on over to see what's going on...


Friday, March 6, 2009

All or Nothing - The Trailer!!

All or Nothing's trailer has released today...

Pop on over and take a peek!

Many blessings to you all for a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

What is The One Flaw In Women?

This was an e-mail forward that bore repeating... to my friends - both near and far - remember how special you are.

By the time the Lord made woman,
He was into his sixth day of working overtime.
An angel appeared and said,
'Why are you spending so much time on this one?'

And the Lord answered,
'Have you seen my spec sheet on her?
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,
have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable
and able to run on coffee and leftovers,
have a lap that can hold four children at one time,
have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart-and she will do everythingwith only two hands.'

The angel was astounded at the requirements.
'Only two hands!? No way!
And that's just on the standard model?
That's too much work for one day.Wait until tomorrow to finish.

''But I won't, ' the Lord protested. 'I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.
She already heals herself when she is sick
AND can work 18 hour days.'

The angel moved closer and touched the woman.
'But you have made her so soft, Lord.'

'She is soft,' the Lord agreed,'
but I have also made her tough.You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish.'

'Will she be able to think?', asked the angel.

The Lord replied,'Not only will she be able to think,
she will be able to reason and negotiate.'

The angel then noticed something,
and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek.
'Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.
I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one.'

'That's not a leak,'the Lord corrected,'that's a tear!'

'What's the tear for?' the angel asked.

The Lord said, 'The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love,her loneliness, her grief and her pride.'

The angel was impressed.
'You are a genius, Lord.You thought of everything!
Woman is truly amazing.'

And she is!
Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy;
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take 'no' for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear abouta birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give

PLEASE take a moment today to remind your women friends and relatives just how amazing they are.

Love, Ashley

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Blogging today at White Roses in Bloom

Good morning, everyone! come over and join me at White Roses in Bloom!

Look forward to seeing you there...


Friday, February 27, 2009

Why do I Blog?

I was asked today at work - of all things - what is the purpose of a blog. That got me thinking... because--as you know--I love to blog. It's my journal. It's my way of keeping in contact with people who have similar likes and interests (such as you all!), and of course, it's a way of sharing triumphs and tragedies, and contemplating this fast paced world we live in. Things change by the minute around here. Okay. Sometimes, even by the second.

Blogs are a great way to stay connected. Add a follower, or two, and you have people who are pinged when you post something new! If you have a contest, people can participate by the tens, twenties, and even hundreds! If you keep up with the latest technologies, it's a great place to pool resources, and find out if other folks can rate a product (see e-reader posts), or e-book Applications to see what we're all talking about. We keep up with predators and editors, and congratulate one another on a job well done.

Most of my readers are either small press authors, e-book authors, mothers, friends, family, or all of the above. Perhaps even a co-worker or two. I cherish each and every comment, and do my best to respond to every one. It's how we roll. Blogging is just a natural part of my thought process, much as FaceBook has become part of my social life. (See my husband shake his head, in his inability to understand my need for online interaction).

I'm an odd case. I work remotely, for a company in New Jersey. I keep odd hours, as I'm a full time working mother, so my writing time comes in the late evening and early morning. When asked, I'm sure most don't understand - but my husband can attest to my idiosincracies. He always knows when I'm deep in edits or writing, as the house descends into utter chaos!

So, why add blogging on top of all that? Because of you. So, thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment, and I'll answer. :) Have a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Love Story

Taylor Swift wrote the epitome of a love story in but a few minutes. I was wondering this morning what it is about the song that chokes me up so. Is it watching my 5 year old daughter clasp her hands under her chin, staring dreamy eyed at the prospect of a princess and prince finding each other? Is it watching their dad dance around the room, uninhibited and singing with his little girls? Is it hearing Ellie's rich, little girl voice belting out "Romeo, Save me! I've been feeying so ayone!"

I think it must be all of the above. The romance novelist inside is in awe of such a succinct story - with the pitfalls, heartbreak, and ultimate unabashed joy at the h/h finding their true love. The mommy in me sees the girls as budding romantics. The wife in me only has eyes for her own Romeo, turned amazing dad.

If you haven't seen it, you must.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hearing Voices at - 2-17-2009

Happy President's Day, everyone! I'm enjoying a day off from just about everything. Laundry. Dishes. Work. Parenting. (What?!) Yes, the girls are playing over with their best friends this week -- delighted to leave the house! And, frankly, it's been pretty peaceful. So, maybe that's why I opened myself to the challenge at hand. What to blog about tomorrow.

Many of you know I'm blogging with -- a site of women, mothers of kids young and grown, who are making a living doing what they are called to do: Write fiction -- romantic, inspirational, and *blush* other sorts.

I'm honored that tomorrow is my day (February 17, 2009) -- so come on over and let's chat about our favorite books, authors, and that elusive, ethereal concept of a Writer's Voice.

What is that, you say? Come on over to and we'll talk about it!

Look forward to seeing you there!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Most Romantic Husband Award...

A quick note to recognize my DH as the Most Romantic Husband in Temecula. (Feel free to nominate yours as a comment to this blog!)

Yesterday afternoon, the phone rang. Frazzled, I answered in what Perry calls my "business mode."

I could almost hear him grinning. "What are you doing at 4:00 today?"

"Getting ready to get the kids." I quipped back.

"Let me get the kids today. Why don't you go on over to South Coast Winery, and have an hour-long massage."

(This is where you hear dead silence from my end of the phone.) Was I dreaming? Did those words just come out of MY husband's mouth? Mr. Penny Pincher? Mr. I Don't Even Want To Discuss Buying Anything Right Now? Mr. Rolls His Eyes Every Time I Mention Things I Want To Do To The House?

The answer, dear readers, is yes. He sent me to South Coast Winery for a full body, rose petal massage, to be finished off with -- get this -- toes curl just thinking about it... Sparkling wine and chocolate dipped strawberries!

So, taking a few minutes to throw dinner in the crockpot (sure I'd return home to crying children and a hungry husband), I wrote a quick note not to expect me for dinner), I set off for Temecula Wine Country and an evening of decadence.

South Coast becons like a Disneyland for adults. It's tall spire reaching to a SoCal blue sky, feathered with bright white clouds. Arbors reach their welcoming arms out, dripping with flowering geraniums. The low, stone wall seperates this from the rest of the wineries. Individual villas house lovers, away on private trysts in this wine-lover's paradise.

The spa, set back from a crystal clear pool, waterfall, and bubbling jaccuzi, greets you in its warmth. Classical music wafts from hidden speakers. The staff speaks in low tones, gentle, inviting. And, once you find yourself wrapped in a delightful, ankle length, chennile robe--you have the option of dipping into a private spa, immersing yourself in a steam bath, or retreating to the lounge to await your appointment. I chose the latter, dragging my volume of Twilight along, for the bliss of an uninterrupted half-hour of reading.

Soon, I found a glass of Syrah in my hand, and joined Bella for some quality evaluation time of Edward and her other new classmates. Then, it was my turn for an hour of nothing but breathing. Inhaling rose peta aromatherapy while my masseuse worked out the kinks of five years of parenting from my shoulders, back, arms, legs, hands, and feet. *sigh*

When all was finished, and I lay like a pile of rosy goo, my masseuse informed me that there was a special treat waiting for me in the lounge. After redressing (that robe like silk on my warmed skin), she greeted me with my decadent snack. Thickly dipped strawberries, surrounded by raw sugar, and a lovely brut sparkling wine.

The sun painted Mt. Palomar's snow covered slope with umbers, fuscia, and amethyst. The observatory gleamed brilliant white. I sighed into the sofa, not even with the slightest desire to see if Bella and Edward had exchanged words. Instead, I spoke softly with a lovely couple from Missouri--sharing tidbits about Temecula, the new home of my heart. When the sweet lady smiled and said, "Wow. You get to live here!"

I tilted my head in wonder. Yes. I do. I get to live HERE. With my fantastic husband -- who gives me romance enough to keep wanting to write about it! two rambunctious daughters, and a circle of closely knit friends. I'm grateful. I'm happy. I love my life and thank the good Lord for His many blessings.

I won't go on about the state of the house when I got home. Who cares! Or the strain on my husband's face as he offered to take the girls to go visit friends for a bit. I smiled, kissed him deeply, and put the big kabosh on that idea. The massage was a lovely getaway, but I happily shuttled my girls upstairs and got them ready for bed. We curled up and watched American Idol as a family.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kindle Part Deux - Kindle 2 Makes An Appearance

Well, Amazon has answered the criticism of its device... which might be the reason it's been so difficult to find a Kindle in these parts. Kindle 2 is on the scene. It's leaner, faster, pencil thin, and sleek. The advertisment shows a Kindle Savvy reader sitting with her $375 device on the beach.

Let me say that again. The advertisement shows a Kindle Reader SITTING ON THE BEACH, reading her Kindle quite happily.

Here's what you don't see. You don't see her kids filling her beach bag with sand. You don't see them pouring a bucket of sea water on her unsuspecting, romance reading head, and running off to merrily gather shells.

What I mean is simply this. The paperback novel is perfect in its design, but perhaps not perfect for our green-thinking. It's highly portable, completely disposable (though I keep my favorite dog-eared, sun-stained, water-warped, sandy copies on my shelf). Okay. Read that again.

  1. Highly Portable. Pencil thin, light, with an available cover for $30.00. (I'm on my way to buying one with my Amazon One Click right now!)
  2. Dog eared. Kindle can bookmark pages and favorite passages. (That's a good thing. A pre-order is still looking good.)
  3. Sun-stained. With the special e-ink or whatever they're calling it now, reading in the sun shouldn't pose a problem and might even be easier on the eyes than the white-hot sun reflecting off pages. Hmm. Can one read at night without an itty bitty booklight? Gotta go back and see.)
  4. Water-warped. Hmm. That's where I freak out, and leave the poor thing in my shopping cart wish list. I wish I could break down and buy one. This gadget girl is DESPERATE to own an e-book reader. BUT, I don't think I'd bring my Kindle to the pool. How can I swim around our community pool, wondering, worrying if my $300+ device is going to be swiped from my stuff?! But even if I can find the zen state I need to reach to free myself from that worry, what about water damage? Did any of you see the Michael Phelps commercials from ESPN last year? They were hysterical...I'll find one for you to watch. Hang on. Just watch, and you'll see my point.
  5. Finally, this. Sandy...I know I wouldn't shove it in my sandy beach bag, the bottom littered with broken shells, fistfulls of sand, and last year's unfinished Stephanie Plum novel.
I would travel with it in the car, on a plane, or to a waiting room. I would attach an itty bitty booklight to it and read into the night while my DH snores away. I do want one, just for the cool factor.

I still feel like Roger Rabbit, trying not to do the "Two Bits" part of "Shave and a haircut..."

The question remains. Is it the right thing to do, right now?! Please, help me out!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Congratulations to The Wild Rose Press!

I have to give a HUGE whoop & holler to my publisher, The Wild Rose Press.

There is a group that many of us writers know about. It's called Predators and Editors - and is a wealth of information (of the "warts & all" variety) for anyone who is looking for an agent, publisher, and/or editor. And this week, it was announced that The Wild Rose Press WON a coveted P&E award as BEST PUBLISHER!!!

Let's face it. Our books are our babies. We spend every waking moment thinking about them, planning for them, figuring out the traits of our characters, naming them (something that was described in detail last week on - and when it comes time to let them leave the nest & fly, this is one of the first places a new writer should look.

When I was looking for All or Nothing's home - I searched P&E looking for agents. Then I went through (okay, scoured) the Writer's Market, Publisher's Lunch, etc. in search of an agent. I had a few nibbles, but to be quite frank, the story was rough and needed some polish. It then sat on my desk, as I needed to find my hook. I wrote and rewrote the first few chapters again and again. Worked with the Temecula Writer's Group (HUGS) until it sparkled. But the agent route had left me cold. I joined Query Tracker. I put together some lists and almost started searching for an agent, again. Found one close, but I didn't have the proper initials in my name...(her current criteria for finding new authors?!)

But, at my "day job" I kept seeing new listings for titles of the same genre as All or Nothing. From, you guessed it! SO, I researched them on P&E and what did I find? "Predators & Editors is hearing good things about this publisher." Hmm. Go straight to a publisher? So, I read their submissions criteria, wrote a fantastic (writer's group approved) query letter, followed their guidelines to the LETTER, and submitted.

Within a week, they'd notified me my query was being sent to the Senior Editor of the Inspirational Romance line. Within a day or two, the Senior Editor requested the full MS. Within another week, I heard from my editor. If I was willing to roll up my sleeves and go to work, they were willing to send me a contract. WHAT!? A contract? Just like that? Suspicious and excited, I checked the circles. Searched message loops. Nothing I heard was negative, only positive. Could it be true?

I took the biggest leap of faith of my writing life, and agreed. I had a contract. All or Nothing had a home. I had an editor. My writer's group cheered me on! And suddenly, I felt like I could do anything. My editor gave me some pointers, and I went back to work. All of her guidance was gentle, leading, and encouraging. My screw ups became our projects. And my words suddenly gleamed with her polish. My fledgling story soon had the beautiful cover you can see, by Kimberlee Mendoza, with my name emblazoned on the cover. All writers know this in itself is a dream come true.

Creative fervor had me entering one of their contests, and thus, By Another Name was born - a winner in The Easter Lilies contest. Now - I'm working on two other submissions requests. Could I seek homes for these titles elsewhere? perhaps. But I tell you what I know about The Wild Rose Press. Rhonda and RJ care. When someone says something negative about them, she rolls up her sleeves to defend her editors, her cover artists, and her authors. They are family - spread out in a virtual office across the globe. Saying I'm glad to be planted in this garden is a given. I've learned more about writing in the past year than I ever have before.

Congragulations, The Wild Rose Press authors, as well as Rhonda & RJ! You deserve this, and all the accolades that go along with it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Romancing February - First Crushes & True Love! Contest Winner!

Thank you -- everyone -- for playing yesterday. We loved reading all of your entries, and everyone's take on true love. I enjoyed them all, and passed the posts on to my DH, who read each with careful precision.

He is announcing the winner - Emma Lai!

* I think he saw a bit of himself in your post, with the turning a blind eye to the number of books you buy! LOL

Congratulations! Please e-mail me - Emma, to receive your Preview Copy of By Another Name!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Check Back on 2/6/2009 - for the Romancing February - True Love - Contest Winner

Read the blog below for some FABULOUS posts from the day! Click to view the new trailer!

The winner will be announced in the morning! Pacific Coast Time, that is! You have until Midnight Tonight to add your definition of True Love... I look forward to reading them all! and remember - Visit Once again... to "compete" in the Romancing February grand prize - a $75 gift certificate for The Wild Rose Press - please join our blog-hop, starting with the wonderful blog-talents of Amber Leigh Williams. Next stop: Nan Jacobs - for her Silver Fox Tales!

Remember to visit - a new blog by writer mamas, for mama writers. It's all about the love...

Romancing February - First Crushes & True Love!

Good morning, everyone! Let me pour a cup of coffee and tell you a funny story...Ah! Now, then.

As a little girl, I dreamed about who my true love would be. A hopeful romantic, science fiction fan, and want-to-be-author, I remember playing house with Han Solo as my husband at the ripe old age of 7. He was a tough act to follow.

When I was a bit older, my best friend Kymmie and I chased boys in the playground (subtle, huh?), practiced cooking in her mother's kitchen (mine would have died before she let us concoct such fare at my house!) and wondered what it would be like to grow up, get married, and have homes of our own.

Now, the mother of two little girls - I recently had the honor and horror of discovering my 4 - almost 5 year old has her first crush. First Crush? At almost 5?! I fell out of my chair. Specifically, I tipped off my perch on the bathroom counter as DD#1 splashed in the tub and told me she wanted to talk about boys, because SHE had a secret crush on a BOY! This sent her and her little sis into peals of laughter. Either at the concept of boys, or at the look on my face, I'm not sure which.

Boys?! okay. It's not like I didn't know it was coming. I just am not ready for it to come quite this soon. So, briefly closing my eyes and praying for the right words (a new habit of mine - knowing that God knows what the girls need to hear far more than I know what to tell them!)

"Sweetie?" I asked, voice low. "What does it mean to have a crush?"

"It means you whisper a lot." She laughed, continuing to splash around. "Oh! And that you always have someone to play tag with." Then, she began chanting her 'boyfriend's' name over and over again.

Watching my baby, in all of her innocence, my heart warmed. True love--brilliantly defined by a 5 year old--means having someone to whisper with, and always having a partner to play your favorite game.

Late in the night, I shared this with my DH as we lay in the dark, my head in the hollow of his shoulder. He is my true love. My someone who whispers with me. Laughs with me. Knows what I need him to say or do, before I realize I need it. And, as a bonus--he shares the day to day like a champ. He will always be my Valentine. Last year he stood in line last year for over an hour to get me my favorite See's candies -- and the best part is, he could care less what it does to my waist-line.

So - for the Romancing February prize of the day -Tell me what True Love means to YOU!

We'll review the answers, and my DH will help make the decision (Give him some good ideas, ladies!) The winner will receive a preview edition of my redemption-themed contemporary romance, "By Another Name" - Releasing April 11, 2009 from The Wild Rose Press.

Thanks for playing!

Once again... to "compete" in the Romancing February grand prize - a $75 gift certificate for The Wild Rose Press - please join our blog-hop, starting with the wonderful blog-talents of Amber Leigh Williams. Next stop: Nan Jacobs - for her Silver Fox Tales!

Remember to visit - a new blog by writer mamas, for mama writers. It's all about the love...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Art of Saying No

Here's something I'm still attempting to master. As a mother and a writer, how do you say no...and mean it?

Visit - for my latest article, "The Art of Saying No"

I offer some suggestions on how to say NO when you've over-committed yourself in order to regain some quality YOU time -- and how to REALLY mean it.

I'm a firm believer that if you don't take care of yourself, you'll lose more than your sanity. You'll forget who you really are. As a writer, that can be of horrible detriment, and even deadly for your muse.

Today, I had to say NO to many things in order to care for my aching head, AND take care of two sick little girls. (Daddy played Mr. Mom yesterday...he's well, but I caught the flu!)

I'd be interested to hear how YOU say "No"... because at the moment, I have two little girls doing whatever they want so I can finish writing this post before going downstairs to make their snack! To their credit, they are illustrating some lovely cards for their daddy's birthday, spreading blank papers all over the floor of my office for their creations. I've said "NO" to my inner housekeeper, who insists on a tidy house. At least their entertained, but it never ends...

Monday, February 2, 2009

February - a contest, and a Pesky Ground Hog!

It's February - the month of romance. And it's contest time again!

28 romance authors invite you to participate in a month-long event of love and laughter. Each day starting Feb. 1, 2009 an author will throw a romance party at her blog and host a contest with a prize. The link to the next day's blog location will also be provided at each location. Just drop by and enter the contest. And get ready to heat up the cold wintery days of February. You could win a prize a day!

Visit: to join in!

Out here in sunny SoCal, it's already 70 on the back porch. Our tulips are reaching for the sun as it warms the valley through the morning mist. All is right with the universe.

And yet, Punxatawnee Phil declares 6 more weeks of winter?! How dare that little ground hog!

I refuse to give in. I've cleaned off the back patio and resurrected fountain! I cleaned out the dead leaves from around my budding geraniums. I spent my "me" time yesterday teaching my daughters how to deadhead the marigolds and replant the seeds. We rode bikes, drank beer, and watched my Arizona Cardinals put up a noble fight on Superbowl Sunday. The sun is shining, and yet, a cold front is moving in for the weekend.

So, what are we going to do if 6 more weeks of winter do come? I'll have to invest in frost cloth, because I started gardening too soon. I'll have to bring in the outdoor cushions - AGAIN! We'll have some more fires in the fireplace, hot cocoa and popcorn, and hunker down with some good old 80s/90s princess movies. This weekend, I think we're going for "Ever After" with Drew Barrymore. We might make one last trip to the snow up in Idyllwild and build a snowman, and watch my daughters laugh as they slide down snow-mountains, pink-cheeked, and frozen.

Regardless, it's Spring time for my soul, and spring-cleaning of my priorities is in order! And, rest well...I feel a story coming on...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mama Writers Blog - Live Today!

The Mama Writers Community is officially launched!

Come join the Mama Writers as they blog about writing romance, raising kids and everything in-between. Look for our special pages of mama tips, writing resources, forums, and more!

Meet the Mamas: Renee Knowles, Jeannie Ruesch, Kris Kennedy, Eliza Knight, Melissa Mayhue, Tiffany James, Stacy Dawn, Tina Gerow, Viola Estrella, Ashley Ludwig, Helen Hardt and Allie K. Adams.

Don't forget to leave a comment—with the launch of our new site we've got a fabulous and oh-so-perfect $50 Universal Spa gift card (can be used at over 5000 locations worldwide!!!) along with some Mama Writer's goodies!

In addition to the Mama Writers blogging daily, we have a spectacular line-up of weekly special guest authors—who also happen to be moms! Here's a sneak peek at who will be visiting with us: Roxanne St. Claire, Brenda Novak, Eloisa James, Allison Brennan, Monica McCarty, Jill Sorenson, Carrie Lofty, Delilah Marvelle, Christina Katzs, and many, many more.

Faith Bicknell-Brown kicks off the line-up on February 4th.

Don't miss out!

Raising Kids. Writing Romance.

It's all about the love.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thoughts on a Saturday

I've joined a new group of authors who are writers, mothers, fellow jugglers like myself - who are trying to do a bit of everything. We started as a support group, and after realizing how much we needed each other, we realized that we all blog- and by combining our efforts, we can share our experiences in the publishing world with all of you!

Case in point. This blog was just interrupted by serving breakfast, administering a dose of Claratin to fight an extremely runny nose and allergy cough, and breaking up a squabble that I think started because mommy was only loosely paying attention to the equal distribution of tinker toys!

When do we find time to write? Whenever we can. Now I have to go re-plan a backyard scheme to include my oldest daughter's birthday present...

Back again. What was I saying? Oh, right. Finding time. It's Saturday, at least. I overslept, otherwise I would have been writing at 5:00AM, like usual. Looks like I'll be up long after everyone's gone to bed editing my latest WIP (Work In Progress).

My New Year's Resolution was to be better organized with my time. When you're juggling family, work, writing, blogging, and now MARKETING (*argh!) something has to give. So, tomorrow I'll be planning out my posts for the month of February. So, dear reader, please let me know what you want to know about...
  1. How to become a published author?
  2. Waxing rhapsodic on romance as a genre, a past-time, or a way of life?
  3. How to juggle a budding writing career?
Looking forward to hearing what you want to read...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Release Date!!

Hey, everyone!

I have a release date for All or Nothing! September, 25, 2009 -- All or Nothing will be available in print and e-book format!

I'm too exhaustsed to be anything but relieved.

What's next? Marketing! Back to finishing my current projects, and research on my next historical WIP. Last but not least--A vacation--hopefully more than one before summer gets here!

Thank you, everyone, for your enduring support. I'm so grateful for each and every one of you.

All the best,


How to Get What We Want

I'm thinking this moring of the art of getting what you want. More to the point, how do little girls learn to get their way, or accept that they won't get their way, and change their tactics?

As I'm writing, I have my daughter curled up beside me, whining because she wants a puppy for her birthday. Her birthday - turning 5 - is becoming quite the event in her mind. She has plans, boy oh boy, and her party better not disappoint! she's planning everything, down to the decorations, the party favors, the guest list, the color of balloons. Everything. And she's changed her mind on all of it, at least twice.

As her mother, I can only listen, smile, and wait for her to change her mind for the thousandth time. She is a fickle little flower. A sweet, demanding little thing, with a disposition like a partly sunny day. One moment, she's sunshine and rainbows, and the next--she's a storm, ready to weep rain over the bitterness of her disappointment. I sit by, with sunscreen or umbrella handy, as one never knows what you're going to get.

Her little sis is easy. Easy to please. Easy to distract and make laugh. And though she gets frustrated with her little toddler body, me, and learning the boundaries, she is my bubble. The older one, she is another story. Who knows why. Some say drama-queen. To me, it's just her. Just typing this post, I've waited her out. Now she wants orange juice with the same abandon of the forgotten puppy.

This is motherhood.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Blog Tag!

I've been tagged by my friend and colleague Skhye Moncrief over at:

The rules are simple. Link to the person who has tagged you. Write down six things that make you happy. Post the rules, tag six others and let them know you did it. Then tell the person when your entry is complete.

Six Things That Make Me Happy...
1. Making my daughters belly-laugh
2. Seeing notes from my friends on FaceBook
3. Seein God's perfection in a sunset, a snowstorm, or the swelling waves on the shore
4. 4 o'clock high-tea parties
5. Packing my suitcase the night before a trip somewhere... anywhere!
6. Walking into a bookstore - especially an old one, and inhaling that musty, aroma of old paperbacks.

Now I tagged:
Bess McBride at:
Eliza Knight at:
Renee Knowles at:

All the best, everyone! Have a wonderful week...


Saturday, January 17, 2009

All or Nothing - Galleys are RELEASED!!

Good Morning, everyone!

It's finally happened. All or Nothing has been released to my editor. At first, I was struck by abject terror. I knew receipt of the galley meant that the story, for all practical purposes was done. But that also meant one other thing. RuthAnne and Bowen's journey is now set in stone. I've told their story, and now it's time to share it with all of you.

So, prepare to catch a stagecoach, travel over the mountains and into the wilds of the Arizona territory, into a journey into the American West. Part mystery and adventure, part romance -- this spring! All or Nothing's release date is to follow.

Stay tuned to my blog for contests, prizes, and updates! I'm thrilled to have you all along for the ride.

If you haven't had the opportunity... download my Free Read -Tessa Takes A Chance - from The Wild Rose Press. If you'd like to hear more of Tessa's story, shoot me a comment!

All the best on this holiday weekend!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chasing Monsters

A scream pierced the darkness. 5:15 a.m.

I flew down the hall to the shaking, sitting up form of my oldest daughter. She sobbed into her hands, "The little man downstairs. He had a knife!"

Just a dream, I knew. I soothed. But the knowing of that, and the soothing of her didn't take the terrors away. Her daddy tried to share his wisdom in the wee hours of the morning with little ears that only heard one thing. He didn't believe her.

I shushed them both and picked her up. Carrying her back to my bed, I wrapped my hands around her, held her close. Not until this moment have I realized how much she's grown. Long legs, slender arms, ocean blue eyes that see far more than we give her credit for.

When she was a baby (toddler) 5 a.m. was her time to relive incidents from the day before. I'd perk my ears as I stroked her back, and she talked in her sleep, wailing about unresolved daycare issues. 5 a.m. is her witching hour, the time that she shares her soul with me, and I stand on the sideline and watch her subconscious deal out the blows to the bad ones that my soft spoken little miss couldn't perform while awake.

Now, she's reliving a movie we watched last night: Arthur & The Incredibles. An innocent enough tale with fanciful creatures, good and bad. A secret universe, under our very noses, with a princess, a prince, and a happy ending. And of course, where there is good, so there is evil. A tiny, scary creature with a sword and a vengeance. The story is all about balance of good and evil. Yin and Yang. Light and dark. We laughed, we danced to the music, and we cheered when love conquers all.

But, in her dreamland, convinced that she truly crept downstairs in search of a secret snack only to find the little scary man with his knife.

Was it real? Real enough for a 4 year old on the edge of turning 5. Real enough to curl up with her mama under the covers and stare, wide eyed at the horizon and wait for the first fingers of dawn to unfold the blanket of dark. Real enough for me to hold on to her, stroke her back, and keep the nightmares at bay.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Romancing February - Mark Your Calendars for Your Chance To Win!

28 romance authors invite you to participate in a month-long event of love and laughter. Each day starting Feb. 1, 2009 an author will throw a romance party at her blog and host a contest with a prize.

The link to the next day's blog location will also be provided at each location. Just drop by and enter the contest. And get ready to heat up the cold wintery days of February. You could win a prize a day! On February 28th, one person will be awarded the grand prize of a $75 WRP gift certificate.

All you have to do to enter the grand prize contest is make a list of each author in this blog event and name one title she has available. Submit your list to by midnight CST, February 27, 2009.

The winner will be announced on February 28th--just in time to warm up that person's February. Visit on February 1st to begin.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

E-books & Reading Habits

Hey, everyone

I'm researching more about how and what we are reading - collectively. So, if you care to play - comment below:

1. List the last book you've read/purchased & plan to read (at LEAST 1)
2. Where you picked it up (, Library, Borrowed from a neighbor)
3. Answer this question: Have you ever read a chapter/story on your phone or computer?
4. How many hours a day/week do you spend reading blogs?

For me:
  1. Nora Roberts, The Pagan Stone -- Next up on the nightstand: Courting Trouble by Renee Knowles! -- Ordered from
  2. Christmas gift - bought at Costco & it MYSTERIOUSLY appeared in my stocking
  3. YES - on my computer. Still have yet to purchase an e-book & don't yet have an iPhone or Kindle.
  4. TOO Many!! At least a half-hour to an hour a day.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Short Covers - An answer for the expensive Kindle?

This is a new e-reader program that's launching the end of January. They are on target for iphone, as well as blackberry storm - basically an e-reader to kick Kindle's butt... based out of Canada - they are owned/sponsored by - Canada's version of - The ShortCover's splash page. - a discussion on the product. - a podcast with the owner. – another description of the service.

I'm most curious to hear my fellow romance writer/reader friend's thoughts on this as a method of distributing our medium... Feel free to comment!

Happy New Year! This year, it's ALL OR NOTHING!

I must have still been celebrating the 12 days of Christmas. But, Happy New Year, everyone!

After taking a small break for the cold and rainy Southern California holidays, I'm back to writing full steam ahead. I'm giving serious attention to detail on the galleys for All or Nothing. It's almost ready (hang in there, Elizabeth! :) and mostly, it's formality. My editor rocks, so there is nothing that as of yet has risen its evil head and proclaimed itself "deal-breaker!" I'm not expecting anything, but it is interesting the power of the mind, of night terrors, of wondering if your writing will be good enough when it is released to the world at large.

There's power in print, you see. Not that e-books and pdfs don't have just as much merit. I am a HUGE e-book fan - and self proclaimed super hero name is "Gadget Girl!"

Though I have yet to purchase a reader, (my laptop works just find in my opinion) and a net-book might be just what I need for an e-reader... if they get slim enough, and I can convince my husband that it's worth it -- with all the money I haven't spent on e-readers and gadgets! But, that iphone is so cute, the Kindle is so cool, as I said... I love gadgets. So, I'm frugally scanning Craigslist for one to crop up.

At any rate - back to print. Print is permanent. I've been in the industry for 6 years - and I know, once the galleys are approved, that's it! It's done! warts and all, Professor Soren would say. Yes. At this point, I have to stop mothering the story. It's a baby of a different sort, almost ready to be put on display for the world, to stand on its own merit. I know the characters, the setting, the plot twists, and jokes inside and out. And though I love it, it's time to let it go.

This is even more profound a feeling than sending the synopsis to the Senior Editor at TWRP all those many months ago! So, hang with me, friends... a release date and many posts of shameless marketing are soon to follow.