Tag Archives: New Mexico

Setting the Scene…A Question of Honor #MFRWAuthor

I’m about to send back edits on my next book, and then have discussions with the cover designer. Since the book is set on a ranch in northern New Mexico, I’m offering some of my pictures as background.

Do you prefer



The Road to Willow Springs








New Mexico Storm Clouds


Actually I wanted to share some pretty pictures. And LOOK no dogs!


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Self Indulgent Moment Here

Not much inspirational here, no recipes. Some pictures and a bit of sharing news.

Just recently I came across Ira Glass, and this interesting graphic statement about STORYTELLING. A profound message, at least for me. My high school writings were…well, a beginning of sorts. My first full length book was a hot mess even after I chopped off the first sixty (yes SIXTY) pages. And in spite of Chuck Wendig’s strong advice on PRE-REJECTION in this instance I think I was wiser to listen to my inner voice and wait just a bit before I exposed that collection of words to public scrutiny.

front-cover-my-killer-my-love-first-try[1]What I did do then, and later, was (again borrowing from Chuck Wendig) FINISH MY STUFF. And eventually I sent it out one last time. And they liked it. My Killer front-cover-draft23My Love was published May 2011. Teach Me To Forget came out the next year.

Life intervened as it often does.  I still wrote sporadically but those stories stayed (safely) in my computer. Until sometime last year when I pulled one out (rather like reaching into the back of the closet for that outfit I’d been saving for a special occasion) and sent it off to Lauri, the editor who has said consistently: If you wrote it, we want it.

And she did. A Question of Honor (working title) went off to BLACK OPAL BOOKS. They have grown so much since my first submission and I knew I would be waiting. And waiting. Instead of just sitting around waiting, one evening I sent a prologue and a blurb to Lauri and she sent back: Do you want a contract?

Well, ummm, yeah. But it’s not quite finished. That’s fine, she replied. When you’re ready.

looking westIn January I started a week long blogging challenge that has stretched to a month. I met many talented people at various stages of their artistic careers. All prompted by Seth Godin (yeah, I’m kind of a squealy fan girl here. During that time I was noodling through my computer and came across “Tyler’s Story,” Tyler being the partner of Devin (A Question of Honor) whose wife left him and took his favorite horse…he really wanted that horse back! I had finished this during my down time, and just for grins popped it over to Lauri with the explanation that it was finished but not smoothed out yet. And Lauri sent back that question I was finally beginning to believe I deserved: Can we send you a contract?

Shedding Some LightWhich means: Two books published, two contracts coming. And a book in final edits that will be out in May 2015. That’s soon. Very soon. Since all three new books are in New Mexico, and all at least somewhat related I’ll be sending Black Opal Books art department some of my pictures of New Mexico mountains and sunsets and sunrises.scans 090512 015

And delving into new stories to share. Eventually that first book will come along, or at least the location and characters. Thanks for hanging around to the end!

In case you’re wondering, My Killer My Love right now is a stand alone though I have a follow up novella in the works.

Teach Me to Forget is related to Sometimes When We Touch (just about to go in to Lauri) which is set in Willow Springs, New Mexico. There’s a good chance Paul, the veterinarian from TMTF will be moving to Willow Springs in the future.003

A Question of Honor is set on a ranch near Willow Springs, as is Tyler’s story (yet to be named) and that first book is on a ranch nearby. New Mexico is a magical place if you like wind and green chiles.images[3]


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Get Over It…and Get It Sent. #MFRWAuthor

Chuck Wendig…who never holds back when expressing his opinion, has once again been peeking over my shoulder. Mine, yours, and every other person who has quit before they even got started. He calls it PRE REJECTION {language warning!} and points out far too many of us decide half way through a project that it’s the worst sort of drivel to ever waste digital space.

Finish it anyway. Send it out. Send it out again

“Don’t worry about the things you can’t control. Control what you can — and no, that doesn’t mean to pre-reject, it just means, write the best story, and find your feet with writing.”

Ask that new person for a date. Enter that dog show. Take that drive up to Jemez Springs. Try those photography classes. Write that article to share your off beat idea.


And let me know how it turns out.

We’re having glorious weather here in New Mexico and I feel sorry for my friends back east. Honest, I do! So I won’t share a sunshine pictures. Hmmmm, what do I have? Ah, here’s one

New Mexico Storm Clouds

New Mexico Storm Clouds

Seriously. Send it in. Ship it. Let me know what happens.


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As Promised…A Treat. Almond Butter Cheesecake. #YourTurnChallenge #MFRWAuthor

With the last blog of the My Turn Challenge I promised a yummy dessert recipe. This is easy to put together but difficult to resist.



Fortunately this first time I used small glass ramekins, so I could share with friends. And also so I could avoid that trick of ‘just a tiny slice’ that ends up devouring the entire pie. I’m sure I’m not the only person to try that.

The original recipe was on Buttoni’s wonderful website Buttoni’s Low Carb Recipes, a go to place for delicious low carb ideas.


½ c. (2 oz) Emerald brand roasted cocoa almonds

24 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 c. heavy (whipping) cream

Sweetener of your choice to equal 1½-2 c. sugar  (always add a little at a time & taste)

½ c. water

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin

1½ tsp. almond extract

2 T. almond butter

DIRECTIONS:  Process or crush cocoa almonds until evenly crumbly.  Spread all but 1 T. (for topping) onto the bottom of a pie plate as evenly as possible.  Place softened cream cheese into large mixing bowl. Place water in a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over the water and heat on medium heat until gelatin is completely dissolved.   Pour gelatin over softened cream cheese and whip with hand mixer until creamy.  Add in almond extract and almond butter and whip another couple seconds until well blended. In a separate bowl, whip whipping cream until thick.  Gently fold that whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.   Now gently dip up the filling mixture and gently place atop the crumb bottom crust.  Try not to disturb the crumbs any more than is absolutely necessary.  Smooth the top of the cheesecake with a rubber spatula or spoon.  Sprinkle the reserved tablespoon of crushed cocoa almonds over the top and chill for 3-4 hours.  Cut into 8 pieces and serve with or without cherries or strawberries for garnish.

crust with a touch of cocoa

crust with a touch of cocoa

Nutritional information is available on the link above. I saw this recipe a while back but didn’t get around to trying it until the last heavy snow fall. I didn’t have any of those roasted cocoa almonds in the cupboard (really, how long do you think they’d stay?) But I remembered making a sort of graham cracker crumb crust with almond flour. So my crust was 1 cup almond meal, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and some Truvia (what I had in the cupboard…your choice which sweetener you want to use) The proportions I read called for 2 tablespoons, I used one. I also added about 1tsp of cocoa powder. Press this crust into your pie pan or in my case the ramekins. Bake at 375F for 8 to 10 minutes…keep your eye on it, you want it to begin to brown. Let it cool completely since this is a no bake cheesecake.

The touch of chocolate in the crust was an extra yumminess. I plan to make this for an upcoming writers’ meeting so I’ll do something extra pretty for the topping.

I like preparing my own foods. Not only do I avoid the cost and taste of prepared foods I can also control the ingredients. I’ve been known to plot how to adjust standard recipes into something that fits my low carb way of life but this recipe has the advantage of easy adjustment to sugar. You could use a store bought crust (graham cracker or chocolate) and sweeten to taste with your choice of regular sugar. I didn’t use the amount advised since I’m not near as fond of sweetness as I used to be.

And as a friend pointed out, with cream cheese and heavy whipping cream, how can you go wrong??

I love New Mexico

I love New Mexico


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Make Readers Suffer—Great Fiction Goes for the GUTS Great Reminder

Make Readers Suffer—Great Fiction Goes for the GUTS.

An after Christmas gift from Kristen Lamb! I have learned my books just won’t be ready to leave my fingers until the first few pages (if I’m lucky the first line) punch me (and my characters!) in the guts.

A Question of Honor is with Black Opal Books. It took a lot of rewriting and tweaking to make that first scene strong. Sydney realizes she’s going to have to work with a man who dredges up some of her hardest to deal with memories.

I’m pulling together Sometimes When We Touch. It’s pretty much written but that */## first scene just was not working. Until I introduced one of the men who attacked her when she was much younger. He doesn’t seem to recognize her. She wants to turn around and get out of there NOW. Panic and claustrophobia ensue. Bingo, conflict.

I find I’m currently setting all my books in northern New Mexico. Which gives me a great excuse to take lots of pictures to share. I’ll have you hoping you can come visit these places yourself.

The Road to Willow Springs

The Road to Willow Springs

the Circle M Ranch is in those mountains

the Circle M Ranch is in those mountains


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