Grow Old Along With Me

This weekend, I did not write. I did not edit. Yes I have projects in progress. I’m coming to the end of the first draft of an extremely difficult story. I’ve been moving the intimate scenes around with a “note to self: insert hot love scene” and then moving on. Feeling kind of stupid about it but just kept moving forward and now it’s % done, at least in first draft. Except for those insert scenes. Because I’ve gotten to the end I now know WHY my Jess is there in Willow Springs and it’s not at all why I originally thought she’d was drawn back…go figure.

I’m editing that story about the mercenary’s daughter and the PTSD ranch in Northern New Mexico, and trying to decide if I’m going to combine these stories. But I didn’t edit.

Instead, I took Fire Dragon to an Agility match yesterday, and his brother Moochie to a conformation match today. Another Saluki person at the conformation mentioned how difficult it was to maintain a positive attitude about showing since we don’t win a lot with our more old fashioned dogs. I pointed out to her just showing my own dogs as I approach 64 is a win. She laughed, and had to agree.

Then tonight I learned my veterinarian who lives at the end of my lane died while checking out an ultra light plane in another state, and I realized how very true that statement had been. We are not all allowed the luxury of growing old. Yes, he died doing what he loved but dammit 67 is too young. Far too young.

If there’s someone you haven’t talked to lately, give them a call. And don’t forget to tell people you love them. Because we just don’t know, do we.

Hugs from the high plains. Love you. And yeah tomorrow I’m back writing

BICHOK y’all

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Wow, I’m Featured..and I’ve Changed!

Black Opal Books, the press that took a chance on me during their start up, has made me their featured author for August.front-cover-my-killer-my-love-first-try[1]

Considering how long it’s been since I’ve sent in anything new, that’s pretty darned nice support!  This blog kind of wanders around what I’m working on to send them (yes, I am writing), so in case you want to move on, I’ll just tell you Black Opal has put My Killer My Love on sale for this month. If you don’t have a copy, this is a great time to pick it up.

So what have I been doing recently? Right now I’m now working on Seasons, the story of a woman mentioned in Teach Me To Forget: a success story from a woman’s shelter in California. She’s been given the opportunity to get even with the town that turned its back on her. The tag line has been “Was rape still the rite of passage for the young men in town?” Yes, it’s been a very story difficult to write. To help with the stress of her story I’ve also been delving into Romantic Suspense, with stories about a ranch in northern New Mexico where there is more to the ranch than just cattle and horses. Some of the men are relearning how to cope with life while dealing with PTSD. We don’t do enough for our veterans.
Unfortunately I’m taking the Truman Capote approach, not wanting to release my work until it’s perfect. But the perfect is the deadly enemy of the possible and really A Question of Honor is pretty much ready for its close up. It starts with:
She knew that walk. With a slight hesitation in one leg he prowled like a wounded predator, conditioned to succeed against the most dangerous game of all. Even limping, his reactions would be instantaneous, his balance superior. By itself, his body would be a weapon. He’d be the best man to have on your side in a battle. After the battle, he’d unwind with a drink and a woman. The drink would be strong and straight. The woman would be bosomy and not too bright. He’d very likely spend more time with the drink than the woman.
Sydney Castleton let her mind drift through bitter thoughts and buried memories as she waited for the man who proclaimed danger with every step he took toward her. He was no different from the men who’d worked with her father: Soldiers of Fortune, whose luck could run out at any minute. What trouble had her sister gotten her into this time?
Sydney knows more about fighting men than she lets on since her father was a mercenary and she helped keep his unit running smoothly. She’s going to meet her match in Devin, a banged up alley cat of a former Special Forces who doesn’t think he deserves any fun for himself.014

And as long as I was working on stories about Stormhaven, there’s Tyler’s story…yeah I have to do something about the title. Ty was actually married at one time to Sydney’s half sister so he now doesn’t trust beautiful women or writers. Enter Rosalind Summerton who used to model for Victoria’s Secret and is now a successful writer. Hey, if it’s too easy, who’s going to keep reading? Ros is hiding out at Stormhaven since she got involved with the wrong group and ended up in a pretty desperate situation. For right now, this is the start of her story

Whoever came up with the expression “Cursing a blue streak” must have been around cowboys early on a winter morning.  Certainly the good natured grumbling would turn the air blue.  Much like Paul Bunyan’s story, the day seemed to be nearly cold enough to freeze words in mid speech.  Rosalind wondered if the words would thaw, come Spring, and shock someone walking near the barns.
Then she laughed at herself, at the morning, at the freedom of standing in the snow under a lowering sky with billowing clouds edged in early dawn.  Life, for the moment, was good.
The fun scenes are between Sydney (compact little pocket rocket) and Ros (yep very tall with long legs) It seems as though the women are diametrically opposed when in fact their minds work in a similar, if strange, fashion:
“Ty was married to your sister?”
“For about a year.  Never did figure it out.  She was such a city girl and he’s definitely Western all the way.  I think once he got her here he couldn’t figure out what to do with her.  Lana’s never been much of a home body and with Maria here it’s not like she had anything to do.  She didn’t ride, could barely stand to be around the horses.”
“Doesn’t sound much like a match made in heaven.”
“Most of them aren’t.”  Sydney rested her arms on the top rail, her chin on her fists.  Stared at the horses in the corral.
“Heaven so far.  Except when I have to give him hell over something.”
I find when I’m first drafting I’ll come up with more dialogue than description, which helps me with characterization. Then I can go through and fill in the rest of the scene. It’s kind of fun to come back to something I wrote a few months ago and read notes to myself such as ‘Good grief, get them in bed sometime this year’ Those scenes are fun to write but the ones that have the greatest impact on me are the intimate ones, where my two main characters are learning to trust each other.  Those are also, of course, the hardest ones to write.

BICHOK y’all  020

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I am Not Nora

Although I write Romance in a broad range of sub genres, I do not have her name recognition nor her amazing work ethic. Needless to say I’m also not any of the authors whose books I devour. I thank them for the hours of entertainment, and pleasant dreams.

I am a member of Land of Enchantment Romance Authors, the local RWA chapter, but I am not any one of the remarkable, prolific, award-winning authors in the chapter. So many of them…you really need to come to a meeting and absorb the magic.

I am published by Black Opal Books, but I am not Jami Gray or Nana Prah, nor any of the other talented writers making their publishing debut through this unique press, or choosing this venue to continue their career. However, I am this month’s featured author…and that is such an ego boost!

I enjoy using my camera to record events in my life but I will never be the equal of Anita LG, who reveals her vision to the world

Fire Dragon over the jump, photo by Anita LG

Fire Dragon over the jump, photo by Anita LG

through her camera lens.

I show and judge dogs, but you’ll never see me on one of the televised shows, choosing the best of the best while wearing a full length evening gown. Nor will you see me presenting a dog at one of these prestigious events.

Recently I’ve started my Salukis in Agility. It is possible I will compete one day but the odds of me achieving top honors are slim to none. Although competing with a breed not often seen in Agility might be to my advantage.

This is stating facts, not any attempt to solicit sympathy. Though I involve myself in these activities, I’m not these people. They are not me. We are each of us unique, special little snowflakes, trying our best to stand out in a blizzard.

We waste so much of our lives comparing ourselves to others, generally to our own detriment. Maybe it’s time to step back, take a deep breath, and enjoy being who we are.

While we’re at it, let’s enjoy the low carb Pecan Sandies I made last week. They go very well with red wine, and good company. Instead of crescents, I made tiny balls and squashed them flat. The recipe came from All Day I Dream About Food, a fabulous resource for those who have chosen a low carb lifestyle.  Unlike some people I haven’t lost weight nearly overnight but I’ve succeeded in taking control of my diet and my life. And now I’m going to give myself fifteen minutes (or more) to delve into my latest book. BICHOK y’all


Photo credit Monica Stoner…that’s me when I’m not writing

Have a fabulous day, everyone.



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You Give Me Fifteen Minutes…

A memory from my childhood, reinforced by my years commuting in Los Angeles, is a radio tag line: “You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world,” from an all news radio program. Turns out this was the third all news programming, started in 1924, making the radical decision to go all news in 1965. I kind of miss the all news radio programs, but that’s a topic for another time.

Time management people advise us to break down insurmountable tasks into achievable steps. When that doesn’t work, then only take on the impossible job for a short span of time: ten, fifteen, twenty minutes spent on sorting the mountains of old mail and newspapers on the table, or going through the junk drawers. We know this works, even when we don’t always do it.

When Susan Elizabeth Phillips spoke to LERA , she revealed her production secret: a kitchen timer, set to her personal time goal. For that period of time, she writes. Write or Die will help you stick to that time period, not allowing you to step away from the keyboard until your time or word allotment is complete. You do NOT want to upset Write or Die! Several of LERA’s amazing, prolific, award winning authors (we have more than one!!!) use Write or Die.

I bought my kitchen timer, and yep, wrote for those minutes. Until the timer disappeared in a pile of old mail, and my attention wandered off to other things. I tend to do that, all too often.

So yep here I am back again with another session of BICHOK, which is not a new breed of fuzzy dog. It’s Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. And with a bit more understanding of my own foibles.

Since the kitchen timer, once unearthed, did not work, I turned to my cell phone. Sure enough, there is a timer, so I had no more excuses.

Here’s how it works for me when I sit down to write. The family of dust bunnies I see in the corner, which has been in residence for longer than I want to admit, must be evicted NOW. If the refrigerator is not cleaned out immediately I will no doubt starve to death (an unlikely occurrence but still…) And I jump off my writing stool and take care of these issues. Before you know it, I’m out of time, and wondering where the day went.

Fifteen minutes, during which I do not answer the phone, the door, or any call of nature. I think only about my book. I write steadily, sometimes fast sometimes not. Sometimes strong emotional scenes, sometimes puking drivel. Fifteen minutes I give myself up to my story. Then I walk away and do something mindless.

Mindless might mean sweeping up those dust bunnies or washing some dishes. Maybe bagging the bulk box of chicken necks into

daily portions, for the Salukis. Gardening is a different level of consciousness for me. Not mindless, more of a Zen experience. I garden to be aware of what’s growing for me, and to help fulfill my love of color and beauty.

During those mindless times I realize Matt would never have asked Jess anything which might upset her until after she’s eaten breakfast, since she already tends not to take good care of herself. So I know when I go back to their story, I’m going to fix that scene. Which I can, because it’s now on the screen, not just in my head.

Because I gave myself fifteen minutes.



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Kindle Unlimited, Amazon-Hachette, and “Fairness” with thanks to Bob Mayer


Yeah, I know, I’m leaning on others for my blog content. Or as I’ve said before related to the dogs, “I stand on the shoulders of giants.”
This is a time of HUGE upheaval in publishing…thank heavens since we were sinking into a pit of ‘same old, same old.’ We’re in exciting terrifying times.
Every time I see the Oh Woe is Me sort of post, it serves to kick my substantial backside onto the stool so I can do the one thing over which I have control: Write the best possible.
I’ll be back with pictures of my trip to the Saluki National and some cool recipes. But for now
Keep Writing

Originally posted on Write on the River:

I am so outraged! Yes. And you know what? No one gives a damn.

ShitDoesntJustHappen_TNActually, I’m not outraged. I’m kind of sick of outrage.  I think you can get an idea of part of my philosophy from one of the covers of a trifecta of similar books I’ve written coming out in September.

Somehow, this notion of ‘fair’ has crept into publishing. Which is really funny because it’s never been fair, and isn’t going to become fair.

Plus ‘fair’ means different things. For a bestselling trad author who gets 7 or 8 figure advances, fair is they made it and doggone, they want everything to stay the same. Because it works pretty well for them. Completely understandable.

Big name authors have agents that negotiate better terms for them than the average authors gets. Better royalty rates, kickers, marketing built into the contracts, etc. As I was told by my publicist…

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Writing, Caregiving & Confessions of a “Recovering” Control Freak


I’m going to let Kristen Lamb do the heavy lifting today. We all need to know when to accept help, and keep going

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 8.16.28 AM

It’s funny how life has this way of pointing out our weaknesses. We have this delusion that we can keep doing things the way we always have and it will work…and that’s when the pressure piles up. I admit it. I am a control freak and a perfectionist.

I grew up in a family of chaos where the rules changed daily and the only thing I could count on was nothing could be counted on. My family was also rather stoic (likely because we are mostly military and medical workers).

I still tease my mom that she had a saying, “Come home with your lunch kit or ON it.”

Growing up, we went through a lot of bad times and crying was highly discouraged. Second place was the first loser. Failure was not an event, it was who you were.

When Life Lands in the Blender

I try to always…

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Shifting Worlds

One of the many delights about being a writer is the ability to immerse myself in a book, and call it research. Any book,  but since Paranormal and Urban Fantasy are particular favorites of mine (well, along with Romantic Suspense and Historical Romance and Mystery and…) An even greater delight is finding a new author who can sweep me away into their world.

I’m going to have extra fun tonight sharing some favorites with you. Three highly talented writers who each have their own unique take on shifters. They don’t know I’m writing about them, so we’re all going to have fun. Get ready to add to your TBR pile!

First is Doranna Durgin. Award winning and prolific, Doranna has created a world of Sentinel Shifters, who take a myriad of animal selves, and who help protect the world from the extremely bad Core. It all started several thousand years ago with a Roman, a Druid, and…you’ll probably enjoy more finding out for  yourself. The first book in the series is Jaguar Night, and the most recent one is Lynx Destiny. My favorite? Mmmm hard to pick, each has a unique flavor with a guarantee of strong intelligent women and powerful, compassionate men. Oh, yeah. And by the way, Doranna helped emphasize a point of grammar in my MFRW Blog

Then we have Jami Gray, whose Kyn Kronicles build a world of magic and intrigue and…shape shifters. Her most recent book, Shadow’s Moon, delves more deeply into the shifter population of the Kyn community. She explains the difference between ‘Born or Bitten’ shifters, and how some supernatural beings are just not nice to be around. Strong women again and intelligent, hot heroes. What more could we want for a rainy evening read? Jami’s visited several times in fact Jami Was Here  not too long ago.

Dropping Down Under, Greta van der Rol has made her mark in Space Opera, such as The Iron Admiral and Morgan’s Choice.    Her concern with the plight of the tiger has led her to create her own shifter world, where it’s all in the family, but family can show up at any time. Starting with Black Tiger and then White Tiger/Black Tiger, Greta not only brings magic and romance into her stories, she also reveals some ugly truths about how tigers live in the US.

Since these writers have all become friends, I don’t feel comfortable reviewing their books, but I wanted to share them with you. Maybe you’ll enjoy their stories enough to write your own reviews?

For tonight, it’s raining in the high desert and I think I’m going to bed. Happy Reading.


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Pepper O’Neal Needs Some Cheering Up

Pepper is another of those wonderful writers I met through Black Opal Books In fact she helped with the cover for My Killer My Love. She’s here today to share thoughts on the emotional roller coaster we feel once the book is done and out of our lives.

Okay, Now I’m Depressed

I know a lot of authors who, when they finish a book, go out and celebrate. The months or years of intense work—writing, revising, editing, and proofing—are finally done. They’ve sold it to a publisher and those edits are done, they have their cover, and all they have to do is sit back and wait until it’s released. They should celebrate. They’ve certainly earned it!

So what’s wrong with me? When I finish a book, after all the work is done, and I’m waiting for its release, I feel a little depressed. I’ve spent the last 6 months thinking about little else but my book and its characters. I’ve been intensely involved in their lives and escapades. I’ve shaped them, molded them, cajoled them, even screamed at them on occasion, struggled—sometimes for hours—picking just the right words to describe their emotions, thoughts, and actions, and now, suddenly, they no longer need me. It’s like waking up from a trance and wondering, Where am I? I have a bad case of “empty nest” on a huge scale and no longer know what to do with myself.

My new book, Black Ops Chronicles: Dead Men Don’t , which comes out on June 28th, is Levi’s story. Levi is one of my favorite dmd-200x300characters from the first book in the series, Black Ops Chronicles: Dead Run. He’s a British black ops specialist. And he’s fun. I love his sense of humor and the way little things don’t faze him. So I really enjoyed writing his story. But now that it’s done and my days aren’t filled with the details of his life and adventures anymore, I miss him. I feel kind of like I’ve lost one of my best friends.

And when I sit down at my computer to write, I face a blank page instead of a developing story or one that just needs to be polished. Oh, I know that I’ll meet new characters in my next book and get to be involved in their lives. But I don’t know them yet, so I feel like a new student on the first day at a new school. What if nobody likes me? What if I can’t keep up? What if I’m not good enough to tell their story? What if…what if…All the doubts and insecurities, that I successfully buried to write the last book, bubble to the surface again and I have to force them back down, which is almost as hard as writing the darn book!

True, I do get a sense of accomplishment from seeing my new book on the shelf with the others. And I get a warm glow of pride if the reviews are good or one of my readers emails me that he/she loved the book and couldn’t put it down. But I know in my heart, that I’ll never leave “well-enough alone.” I have this compulsion to write fiction. And I can’t shake it. Already I can sense the characters from my next book knocking at my brain and telling me to get on with it. They want their story told, too. So now I get to face the months of intense work ahead of me to just to get the first draft done. And if that’s not bad enough, once I finally get the story to where I really like it and I’m excited and happy about it, it will be finished and, once again, I’ll be depressed. No more shaping, molding, cajoling, screaming, or struggling. My baby will stand on its own and it won’t need me anymore. Didn’t I just leave this party? Doesn’t hardly seem fair, does it?

And then I’ll get to start all over again on the next one. Is it any wonder I’m a little depressed?

NOTE: We can cheer ourselves up knowing Dead Men Don’t will be available in just a couple days…maybe even now! What a great way to spend the weekend!


PepperO'Neal_Author Badge 300x300Award-winning author, Pepper O’Neal is a researcher, a writer, and an adrenalin junkie. She has a doctorate in education and spent several years in Mexico and the Caribbean working as researcher for an educational resource firm based out of Mexico City. During that time, she met and befriended many adventurers like herself, including former CIA officers and members of organized crime. Her fiction is heavily influenced by the stories they shared with her, as well her own experiences abroad.

O’Neal attributes both her love of adventure and her compulsion to write fiction to her Irish and Cherokee ancestors. When she’s not at her computer, O’Neal spends her time taking long walks in the forests near her home or playing with her three cats. And of course, planning the next adventure.


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Jami Gray is here to talk about What Makes a Character Real?

Jami GrayOne of the best aspects of becoming a published writer is meeting other writers you would never have encountered otherwise. Even better is introducing them to my other friends. I met Jami through Black Opal Books, where we were some of the early authors. Jami has her own style, whether she’s writing kick butt heroines or wrangling husband, sons, and a very large dog.

Today she’s sharing insights into building real characters.

What Makes a Character Real?

One of the more interesting conundrums my critique group and I have pondered, is why do writers lean toward flawed characters?

Of course, me being me, I had to point out the only interesting character is one who is flawed. C’mon, no one likes reading about Perfect Polly and her Awesome, Astounding Life of Ease. Yet, can a writer hobble their character with too many flaws?

In my humble opinion, yep, we sure can. As a reader, I’ve encountered books where, when I hit the end, I needed some serious therapy. The character faced such overwhelming odds from themselves and their world that it was all I could do not to hand them a gun and just nod sadly.

As a writer, it’s a whole ‘nother set of problems. If your character doesn’t have a certain level of depth-psychologically speaking-giving them too many flaws or flaws that are not thought out, will lead you down a story path filled with frustrating dead-ends.

Our motley group of eight (because why have seven if you can do more?), has considered numerous challenges to place before our various protagonists, be it a solid box where magic can’t operate, a juice mixer that only works with certain souls, or a snowy day in New Orleans. The whole point of telling a story is to take your character, give them a few, significant hurdles, some hidden pits with stakes, and shiny pot of gold at the end of the wacky rainbow and see how they turn out. Are they better? Worse? A little more colorful or holey? It’s one of the more fun aspects of being a writer, coming up with some great challenges that utilize creative thinking to get around or under.

Yet the goal of these challenges is to shine a great, big spotlight on our character’s flaws (or give it a steroid shot). There is a fine balance a writer must navigate–creating a likable, flawed character a reader can connect with. That’s a great deal more difficult than it sounds.

As I’ve continued to develop my series and my characters, I discovered for my characters to gain a believable depth and become “real” to my readers, they must have characteristics readers can connect to. I’m not saying my readers are out there bedecked in leather and carrying sharp, pointy weapons with a commendable snarl on their faces (or maybe some of you do), but the concepts of self-doubt, trust, independence, finding your true strengths, accepting yourself, overcoming obstacles—those aspects have to ring true.

In my Kyn Kronicles, Raine McCord, my heroine in SHADOW’S EDGE and SHADOW’S SOUL, is a kick-ass, lethal woman, with quite a few hidden flaws (and some not-so- hidden). Even though she’s part of the Kyn (a collection of mythical races) and magic is a normal part of her life, she’s been forged by some very real trauma. Trauma that left some very lasting scars on who she is and how she deals with what life sends her way.

And she’s not the only character with a history. SHADOW’S MOON brings Xander, my female wolf shifter front and center. Quirky, strong and unique, she holds her own in a male dominated culture. However, underneath she faces hard learned insecurities—how to protect those you love, even when it’s not possible.

Writers write what they know so I’ve excavated my own experiences to ensure my characters become “real”. I must understand what drives my characters, what’s behind each of their decisions, and how will they handle the consequences of those decisions. If I don’t do that, I’ll end up with a very one-dimensional cast of characters.

Much like life, everything that happens to a person, every action, every reaction causes a chain reaction that echoes down the line. It may not be immediately, but it will come back and bring with it new and more demanding challenges. That’s what creating a believable world is about. You want your readers to keep reading, to find out what happens when…

I don’t have a magic formula or chart (especially since Math is not my forte) on how many flaws or how deep those flaws have to be for a character to work, but think about it. How boring is it if we aren’t challenged through out our life? Same with our characters. We’re picking up a book so we can jump into the most exciting point in a character’s life, therefore as writers, we must make sure that the challenges and flaws they must face will keep a reader hooked for the entire story. Readers (and I say this since I, too, read) want to see the main character emerge triumphant over evil and themselves at the story’s end. Or if not exactly where they should be, pretty darn close.

The only way to do that is to be true to who your characters are and how they react to others and with others.

What do you think? What about a character keeps you reading a story?

 * * * * *

Thanks Jami! Wow, lots to think about! Okay, I know you want to see how Jami puts all this into her books…show, don’t tell! And she really does show!

About Jami
Jami Gray grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border, and was adopted at the age of 14 to suddenly become the fifth eldest of 37 children. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and three minors-History, English, and Theater. (Decision-making was not her forte at the time.) Shortly after marrying her techie-geek hubby (who moonlighted as her best friend in high school) she completed a Masters in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix Oregon.

Now, years later, she’s back in the Southwest where she’s outnumbered in her own home by two Star Wars obsessed boys, one Star Wars obsessed husband, and an overly-friendly, 105-pound male lab. Delving into the wild paranormal worlds where romance collides with suspense and Urban Fantasy is queen, manages to salvage her sanity. Or so we let her believe…


Shadow’s Edge: Book 1 of the Kyn Kronicles

Shadow’s Soul: Book 2 of the Kyn Kronicles, Paranormal Romance Winner of 2012 Shooting Star

Wrapped in Shadows (.5) part of Things That Go Bump For The Holidays—A Collection of Short Stories

Shadow’s Moon: Book 3 of the Kyn Kronicles, 2013 Golden Claddagh Finalist


Coming in July 11th, 2014 from Muse It Up Publishing:
Hunted by the Past: Book 1 of the PSY-IV Teams

And Fall 2014 brings Shadow’s Curse: Book 4 of the Kyn Kronicles.



You can find all the buy links at:

Kyn Kronicles

Psy IV

Blurb for Shadow’s Edge:
Everyone fears what hunts in the shadows—especially the monsters…

It takes a monster to hunt one, and for Raine McCord, forged in the maelstrom of magic and science, she’s the one for the job. In a world where the supernatural live in a shadowy existence with the mundane, a series of disappearances and deaths threatens the secrecy of her kind and indicates someone knows the monsters are alive and kicking. Partnering up with the sexy and tantalizing Gavin Durand proves to be a challenge as dangerous as the prey she hunts.

When the trail points back to the foundation which warped Raine’s magic as a child, her torturous past raises its ugly head. Gavin and Raine sift through a maze of lies, murder and betrayal to discover not only each other, but the emerging threat to them and the entire magical community.

Blurb for    Shadow’s Soul
Some nightmares are born of love…

Raine McCord has no problem taking down the monsters of the world, it’s one of the reasons she’s so good at her job. So playing bodyguard to Cheveyo, head Magi of the Northwest, as he consults with the Southwest Kyn should be an easy assignment. Unfortunately, simple task turns into a nightmare when Cheveyo is kidnapped and Raine is left for dead by one of the Kyn’s most feared beings, a Soul Stealer.

The Stealer’s attack leaves lasting wounds, undermining Raine’s confidence as a warrior and damaging her unruly magic. Her ability to heal her mind and spirit hinges on the one man who can touch her soul, Gavin Durand. Compelled to face the emotions raging between them, they must embrace not only their stormy relationship but their evolving magic to escape the twisted threads of murder and betrayal to find Cheveyo.

As Raine and Gavin come together and begin to unravel the complex web of secrets and hidden vendettas haunting the Southwest Kyn, they discover unsettling new truths that threaten their very existence.

Blurb for Wrapped in Shadows:
The magic of the holidays can be hell…

Celebrations abound during the holidays, but this Christmas an engagement celebration goes horrifically wrong. What appears to be a simple murder/suicide hides a vicious surprise. The type of gift Raine and Gavin, elite member of the Kyn, didn’t want humans to unwrap, because revealing the monsters in the shadows isn’t the way to spread holiday cheer.

Blurb for   Shadow’s Moon
Even a wild heart can be broken…

A blonde, a brunette and a monster walk into a bar and all hell breaks loose.Shadows Moon Cover

It should have been the start of a bad joke, but days from a full moon Xander Cade, Tracker for the Northwest Motoki Pack, finds nothing funny about confronting an enraged Shifter in a crowded Portland nightclub filled with unsuspecting humans. The resulting carnage frays an already thin veil of secrecy shielding the supernatural Kyn community from public scrutiny, and ensures she can’t escape the one man she’s been determined to avoid, her Alpha and mate, Warrick Vidis. Dominating, protective and compelling, Warrick threatens her individuality like no other.

As the Northwest Alpha wolf, compromise isn’t in Warrick Vidis’s vocabulary, but when his reluctant mate, Xander Cade, refuses to leave off the hunt for a killer, he has no qualms using whoever or whatever necessary to protect her or his pack. A series of unusual deaths involving lone wolves, along with anonymous threats against him and his Pack, begin to jeopardize his normal steely control. Add in Xander’s continual reluctance to fully accept their Soul bond, and the line between intellect and instinct begins to blur, leaving him wondering if one woman’s love and acceptance will be enough to save both man and wolf.
As the danger escalates, threatening not just their Pack but those closest to them, Warrick and Xander must find a way to trust each other and accept their rare bond or risk losing everything-their pack, their friends and each other.
Blurb for Hunted by the Past:
Sometimes death is the only way to out run the past…

A reluctant psychic who can relive the past, a man well versed in keeping secrets, and a psychopathic killer enter a deadly game where the past determines the future.

Changing the past is an impossibility ex-Marine, Cynthia “Cyn” Arden, understands all too well. Struggling in the aftermath of a botched mission, which cost her two teammates, her military career, and a fledging relationship, she’s brought home by a panicked phone call. The psychic killer behind her nightmares has escaped military custody to hunt down the remaining teammates, one by one. Next on his murderous list–Cyn. Her only chance at survival is to master the psychic ability she’s spent years denying.

The killer’s game brings her face to face with the one person guaranteed to throw her off kilter—the unsettling and distracting man she left behind, Kayden Shaw. Once she believed he’d stand by her side, until he chose his job and his secrets over her. A choice that’s left the scars of the past etched deep on her mind and heart.

To survive this twisted game, Cyn must risk trusting her heart and accepting who and what she is, or lose not only her life, but the man she loves.


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A Summer Vacation That Guided My Future

When I thought about this blog, I realized my childhood summer memories were at best vague. Hey, it was a long time ago! I do remember Camp SAYSF, a vacation bible camp, while we lived in Southern Maryland. Most likely it was my mother’s vacation from three wild young kids while my father was stationed overseas. My parents bought houses near woods so we could entertain ourselves otherwise. Ah, the good old days!
Once we pass from childhood, vacations only happen with certain job choices. Not so much for dog groomers, watiresses, or stable managers. In fact when the rest of the world celebrated vacations, my work load tended to multiply. It wasn’t until I married Tom and took on more mature job choices that vacations became possible.
Our lives centered around the dogs, teachers have the summer off and wouldn’t you know it, the summer is filled with dog shows! So my adult vacations all had something to do with dogs and dog shows. The vacation that comes to mind most often was the first

A Class C motor home

A Class C motor home

year we tried renting a motor home. It was a Class C, the kind built on a van base with a compartment over the driving section. We were snuggled up there one night, when a light rain began to fall. Rain can get me into a sentimental mood but unfortunately my husband was tired out from several days of driving and showing dogs. So I contemplated what might have happened, and one of my favorite scenes from Teach Me To Forget took over my imagination. Eventually that scene grew into the entire story. Mind you it wasn’t written for several years, but I kept that rainy intimate moment in my heart.

The first time Bethany and Jonathan share that snug little compartment it’s with great caution on her part since she trusts no man…for very good reason.  They’re stuck on the side of the road on a chilly night, pouring rain, the heater is out, and the only way they’ll stay warm is by sharing body heat. All goes fairly well until the next morning

excerpt from Teach Me To Forget…Baron is Bethany’s silly Irish Setter buddy.


Bethany woke to the lack of sound. Soft early morning light filtered through the curtain. Baron leaned against the front of her knees, a note of question issuing from his throat. She felt more rested than she had in years, the half-wakened sense of euphoria so wonderful, she dreaded coming fully awake. Smiling at her insistent red dog she stretched, mentally reviewing the events of the day before to detect the source of such a feeling of well-being.
Her stretch was blocked by the solid weight of a lean thigh, snuggled against her lower body. For the first time she was aware of a hand inserted between her sweat top and undershirt, resting just below the weight of her unbound breast.
Her automatic response was one of panic. Stifling a scream, she pulled away, nearly falling out of the bunk. A move on his part to hold her brought further terror. She clawed the curtain open, scrambling until her feet were on the couch, bringing half the covers with her.


Teach Me To Forget May 2012

Teach Me To Forget
May 2012

Jonathan—snatched rudely from an erotic dream—spoke without heed, thinking with his glands rather than his mind. “For Crissakes, nothing to get into a panic about. It’s not like there’s anything to feel. You’re all wrapped up like a sack of potatoes.”
It was definitely the wrong thing to say. From blind panic and deep-rooted fear she slid straight into outright rage, obviously fueled by embarrassment at his disparagement of her feminine qualities.
“You certainly seemed eager enough to mash those potatoes a few minutes ago, Mr. Merritt. Perhaps you can find some other outlet for your energies while road service takes care of the tire. The sooner we get under way and get this farce over with, the happier I’ll be.” She let herself and her dog out into the bright morning.
“Way to go, lover boy,”Jonathan muttered to himself, falling back among the disarranged bedding and willing his body to regain a state of sanity. It was difficult to calculate how much this had increased her hostility, but he had a feeling it was to geometric proportions. He grinned ruefully, remembering what a difference blazing fury made in her appearance.
Danger to his more delicate body parts notwithstanding, he found himself preferring the outraged fire breathing Amazon to the elegant ice princess. He rubbed his palm along his now relaxed thigh, wondering how much worse it would have been if he had not, even in his sleep, been aware of her every movement.
His hand cupped again, remembering soft womanly flesh nestled in his palm. She felt so right cuddled trustingly against his body. Then he reminded himself that memories were all he would have if he didn’t get moving.


So there you have it, a book spun out of a vacation. Memories made into dreams. Right now I’m working on a loose sequel to Teach Me To Forget, but I’m having trouble with my hero’s name. I’ve been calling him Gavin but that just doesn’t help when I’m trying to write intimate scenes. No insult to the manly Gavins of the world but it’s not working for my former special forces town manager. If someone can come up with a name that works better for me, they’ll get a HUGE mention in the next book. Plus I think I’ll be writing it much faster.  Anyone have any great ideas?

Happy Summer, I hope you’re making Summer Vacation memories to cherish in the years to come



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