Monthly Archives: February 2013

Not a Valentine’s Day Blog

marigold bud

In case you didn’t get flowers

Let’s be honest here, as much fun as we have with what someone called “forced romance day” for many people February 14th is just another day.  Except for my brother…oops it’s his birthday.  Hang on, gotta call him.

Phew, glad I remembered before midnight. My brother flew all over the world for several communication companies.  Then he was caught in the downsizing selling out, good for the investors hell for the employees maneuvers. And saw his years of hard work go up in smoke.  Twice. Instead of looking for another high pressure job, he decided to put his years of experience keeping his house in good shape to use and became a handyman.  Not only is he constantly busy, he’s happier now than he ever was before.

We all deserve that sort of peace within ourselves, however we might find it.  For writers it’s a constant struggle to keep putting out words in a world of distractions, including the never ending self doubts. We look at those we think have it made and we’re sure they never worry about what their heroes say, and never delete thirty pages of their story because it’s one step away from puke on a page.  Same with celebrities…they get up there on stage and belt out their songs, living the dream.

Okay, we know that’s not quite the truth since the media has been all too ready to show celebrities crashing and burning. Once in a while we get to hear about the regrowth of a fallen idol. I came across this in An Interview With John Mayer on I think was the CBS Morning News. I don’t have the television hooked up so this find was totally by chance.  Seems Mayer got to the top of the success mountain, then stepped off the cliff with his attitude, and said some unforgivable things in interviews about the people in his life.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Taking every battle on, not taking a break, not looking at — not being honest, not saying, you know, Let’s admit that we don’t know the next step. It would have been a great Rolling Stone interview if I had said, ‘Here’s what’s going on in my life, I had a plan for myself, I have no idea where I am with this. My dream was to make records. Now I’m gonna make my fourth. And I never had a dream about my fourth record. I never saw it coming where I would be thought of as an infamous Lothario. I didn’t see any of this coming. I’m hugely uncomfortable with it and I wanna cry.'”

It’s always good to read about someone who has experienced self realization. I’m sharing this specific paragraph because of:  “My dream was to make records. Now I’m gonna make my fourth. And I never had a dream about my fourth record.” How many of us stayed up late, got up early, kept our eyes on the goal of getting our first book published.  Maybe even the second book. And never dreamed about the successive books. We might have had a vague idea about “lots of best selling books,” but deep inside never dreamed we’d get to the point of writing that all new not- dragged-out-from-the-depths-of our-computer book.

Our writing buddies crow about words written, scenes added, plots fulfilled, contracts signed. And we mess with new writing software, take workshops, read manuals, striving to get back that initial spark, the romance of writing. We want the gestalt we felt back when word came flying out of our heads and through our hands. And sometimes it’s just not there.024

For those who’ve made it through the swamp and are back on solid ground, what made the difference for you? It might help those still mired in the mud.


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First Time For Everything

“The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and stars were the gifts you gave
To the night and the empty skies, my love”

Who remembers this lovely song? It was a romantic standard way long ago, made very popular by Roberta Flack in the early 70’s, and describes perfectly the way I felt the first time I met my future husband. To the rest of the world he was just a nice guy, a school teacher. That day, I knew one day I would marry this man. Mind you I didn’t say much to him until many years later, when we were having our pre-wedding interview with the pastor friend who had agreed to marry us. I don’t think I’d ever seen him smile so brightly before that meeting.

This is supposed to be about books as well as precious memories, and I thought for a while about what story first I wanted to share. I think first kisses are so important in our lives as well as the lives of our characters. Especially with such disparate characters as Kendra, the innocent young woman just learning her magic, and Mykhael, far too experienced in seduction, who is discovering the soul he forgot he possessed, in My Killer My Love


front-cover-my-killer-my-love-first-try[1]…He continued to brush her face, her neck, her shoulder with the merest hint of his touch. Until, at last, she gave in
and let herself settle against his shoulder, trusting her weight to the powerful arm behind her back. Replete with sensations, she let her eyes edge open and her head loll back. Immediately, she felt his fingers encircle her neck, sliding around and tunneling into her hair to support her head.

His face lowered to hers, the glitter in his eyes like the heart of the finest emerald. For the first time in her life, Kendra felt the brush of a man’s warm breath against her skin. Where he had touched her with his fingers he now used his mouth, nibbling and tasting, as though savoring the feel of her against his lips.

Not so cautious now of the link between them, Kendra let herself feel just a bit more of what Mykhael felt. A flood of sensations overtook her mind, including a raging arousal that shocked her out of her complacent stupor. Before she could do more than think about pulling away, he’d dropped a screen over that sensation.

Resting his face against the base of her neck, he held her, sheltering her from the world and himself. After a moment of feeling the security of his arms around her, Kendra dared greatly and lifted her arms to slide them around his waist. The shudder that raced through his body shook her—and seemed to affect the clearing around them.

The branches of the trees swayed in a slight wind, always managing to shade them from the sun as it tracked across the sky. Offering and receiving comfort, he held her close, and she felt the harmony grow between them.”


A tender scene, which helped build the trust they needed to fight an ultimate evil that had invaded this sacred place. And this wonderful blog hop is about more firsts, from so many talented writers.  You need to check them out.

Click Here For More Firsts

Click Here For More Firsts

My Killer My Love is available through AmazonBlack Opal Books, my publisher, and anywhere you indulge your love of reading. One lucky commenter will receive their own digital copy.  Enjoy the hop, and many thanks to Kayelle and Krystin for making this happen. If you want to join me on Memory Lane, here’s Roberta Flack, 


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Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood…why not?

I spent last weekend pretty much hiding out from reality.  Added to my usual issues, I had convinced myself one of my dogs was in dire straits though the symptoms were mild at worst.  In a time honored tradition of avoiding what I can’t face, I did nothing all weekend but read, my lap filled with snuggling Salukis.  I caught up on some of my long time favorite authors, and indulged in new ones.  And I came to realize one of the more popular characteristics for a hero (or heroine) is to be misunderstood.

Think of Clint Eastwood’s wandering cowboy, kicking off a long series of taciturn heroes with mysteries just waiting to be solved by the right partner. Rhett Butler certainly comes to mind, as well as Rick Blaine (Casablanca) In Romance books, Laura Kinsale has given us a multitude of maligned, misunderstood leading men and women. More recently Eileen Dreyer’s “Drake’s Rakes” as well as Jennifer Ashley’s wild and mysterious Mackenzie brothers portray the heroes of a thousand mysterious layers.

Sometimes we as readers know more about the hero than the other characters…do you find yourself wanting to shake the heroine for not understanding what’s really happening?  Or do you want to Gibbs slap the hero for keeping such secrets when he knows how much she’s hurting?

Ah, emotional overload, the true reason I read and write Romance. Think about it, how many of us would devour book after book if everyone got along and no one hid secrets (other than presents or surprise parties) for more than a few days? Lady Macbeth would have been a sweet granny in the corner if she hadn’t let such deep dark secrets fester in her soul. Would we even remember the play without her secrets?

Thinking about this made me realize I was being far too nice to my people.  Much better to have them nobly misunderstood for 90% of the book until all is revealed to cap off the Happily Ever After. Back to the drawing board for more emotional torture.  This is going to call for serious nutritional support. Might even need to break out the dark chocolate with almonds.  Oh, the sacrifices we make for our muse.

On a lighter note I visited with  Terry Odell earlier this week, talking about, of all things, misunderstandings in song lyrics. It gave me a great walk down memory lane, you might have fun yourself.

Who’s your favorite misunderstood character?



My dog?  She’s not at all misunderstood. X-rays showed soft tissue injury. But she’s definitely enjoying the extra attention.


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