Wednesday, November 14, 2007

First book-length sale!

Started to label this post first sale, but actually my first sale was the Christmas story to Woman's World, so this is my first book sale. I sold to Red Sage! The book is tentatively titled Double Exposure. It used to be titled Satin and Steel. It's the one Blaze almost bought, the one that won the Golden Gateway contest a few years ago. The one that just never would let go. I loved that book and couldn't give up on it. So glad I didn't.

Many thanks to Theresa, my new editor, and Alexandria, my new publisher. I'm looking forward to lots of good times ahead.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Catching Up

I've been gone for weeks, on the road helping the dh with the photography stuff. I'll be back in a bit to catch up with where we've been and what we've been up to. This post is just to keep my blogger account open so they don't delete me.

Check back tonight for an update.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Headed for Georgia

We've been asked to drive to Georgia to take pictures. Of course, we said yes! Who can resist an all-expenses paid trip out of town with nearly double our normal rate of pay, a per-diem for meals, an extra .10 a mile for gas (and over 1600 miles, that adds up!) We're excited. My dogs won't be, however, when they realize they're on their own.

Okay, not exactly. They'll have company. It just won't be me. They worry when I'm gone, when I come home after dark, etc. They freak out if I go outside after midnight.

I'm really afraid I'll come home to find my Great Pyrenees male, Willie, has passed. He's 10 years old, can barely get around, and wheezes something awful when he breathes. This heat is really hard on him. And if/when he dies, the female, Dollie, will freak. They've been together since she was 6 months old and Willie was 8 weeks old. I may end up having to put her down.

I'm ready to not own animals anymore. It's too hard to watch them die. We sold the cows (which nearly broke my heart, since I'd hand raised most of them) and the chickens. So the cat and the dogs are all we have left.

But with this job, we'll have opportunities to travel, and that's hard to do when you have furry friends depending on you. I'd probably give the two younger dogs away if I could, but I've had them since they were puppies. How do you give away your babies?

Has anyone ever adopted an older dog? How do they handle a new home and family? Do they miss the old ones?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Long time gone

We've been super busy, learning the photograpy biz, working 12 hour days, driving at least 2-3 of those hours. I'm exhausted. We're not making the money we'd hoped to, either, but hopefully that's a temporary situation while we're learning.

I did manage to cut a 400 page ms down to 200 pages at an editor's request and got it edited and sent off. Now I'm back in the waiting game. In the meantime, I got my first fan mail! A lady read The Christmas Wish, my Woman's World romance story from Dec. 2005 and loved it. Yay! That made my day.

Today is my youngest daughter's birthday. She's now 20, so I'm no longer the mother of a teenager. Last time we didn't have a teenager in the family was in 1989. So I can now say my kids are all grown, they're all beautiful/handsome, and they're smart and talented. Good kids. What more could a mother ask for?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Golden Heart and Rita Winners

The winners of this year's Romance Writers of America Golden Heart and Rita Awards have been posted at the RWA website. (click on link above)

I've very excited for two friends, Trish Milburn of the Wet Noodle Posse and my Aussie friend Bronwyn Clarke, who both won Golden Hearts tonight.

CONGRATULATIONS LADIES!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

RWA National

It's killing me that I won't get to attend National again this year. And it's within easy driving distance! But the new job requires my presence at training (the nerve!), my daughter needs help at her place on the weekend, and we have one last concrete job to pour so we can survive until the first paycheck from the new job.

So if you're going to National, drink a Cosmo for me, tell the editors and agents I said hi, and seek out the Wet Noodle Posse ladies and give them a hug from me.

If you're looking for someplace to eat besides the over-priced hotel restaurants, some of my favorite restaurants in or near downtown that serve great food for reasonable prices include El Fenix on McKinney Ave,(best Tex-Mex ever), Spaghetti Warehouse, Olive Garden, and Joe's Crab Shack (they have great coconut shrimp) in the West End.

I will be at the hotel Sunday morning, the 15th, to meet some people, so if you see me, stop and say hello.






The Wet Noodle Posse at the Awards, Dallas 2004

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Where I've been...and Father's Day

Thought this map thing I found on Trish Milburn's blog (click blog title for link) was pretty cool. I can see that there are a few more places I need to visit before I die. And that's just here in the states.

We spent three weeks in Mexico one year, too. Two weeks in Vera Cruz, and a week travelling back and forth in a motorhome caravan. It was an absolute blast.

Most of these states were visited when I was a kid, when my Dad worked for Sperry Gyroscope. We moved at least once a year, usually from one coast to the other, so I got to see a lot of the country. I can remember singing with my mom, dad, and sister (that was before she became such a pain in the ass) as we drove along lonely highways late at night. In those days, you could drive a hundred miles or more and never see another car. (No, this wasn't in the thirties! It was the sixties.) Dad couldn't carry a note in a bucket, but that never stopped him from belting out "Shine on Silver Moon" or any of those other old songs.

That's probably one of my best memories of childhood, singing with my dad. I still miss him every damned day. Happy Father's Day, Dad.







create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

Sunday, June 10, 2007

PIcture Day

Decided to post some pics since my brain won't come up with anything to write. These photos were taken by my husband, an amateur photographer who would really like to go pro.

This one is from a bush in my back yard.







This is my 10 year old Great Pyrenees, Willie, enjoying the pond.








Ducks on my mother-in-law's pond.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Honoring Those Who Have Fallen







My father-in-law, Archie Payne 1923-2005















My father, Charles Maeker 1927-1998




These pictures are indicative of where my thoughts are today...

I don't personally know anyone who died while in service to our country, but I have been priviledged to know many who served our country with honor--some still living, some having passed on. My oldest daughter served in the Coast Guard, my father was a Merchant Marine during World War II, my father-in-law was in an Army tank division during that same time. A friend's husband served in Vietnam and my brother-in-law was a Sea Bee. My nephew served time in the Navy and is thinking about signing back up. I have a number of friends whose children are in Iraq or who are preparing to return.

My prayers today are thanks to those who protect us, prayers for safety to those fighting wars overseas, and prayers for our leaders to find a way out of this war that is costing so many young lives.

My wish for those serving is that our government would realize how great the sacrifices are that you make, and that your families make. I think it's appalling that one soldier I know of has to sell his truck to be able to come home to see his four year old son before he deploys back to Iraq. I think it's appalling that our soldiers don't have enough ammunition, don't have proper safety equipment, often don't have enough food. That their families are many times destitute because their pay for fighting is so much lower than their civilian pay was.

The least we can do, as Americans, is say thank you. Send a card to a soldier today. And if you can, include a $20 bill, a phone card, a book--something to let them know you care.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

We've quit celebrating a lot of holidays around our house, at least in the sense of not wasting money on gifts for what we call "Hallmark Holidays." I don't want my kids wasting their hard-earned money on presents just because someone somewhere decided this should be a gift-buying day. For the last two weeks we've been inundated with commercials on television implying that husbands and kids should be spending thousands of dollars at Zales buying diamond necklaces and earrings for Mom, or buying iPods or cellphones at Best Buy, clothes or dishes at Marshall's, etc.

Yeah, I like presents as much as anyone. But the greatest gift to me is having children who are kind and loving, who are honest and hard-working, who don't drag me out in the middle of the night to bail them out of jail, who don't keep me up nights worrying that they're in trouble, who don't break me financially because they need drug rehab, and don't steal from me to support a drug habit. My greatest gift is four fantastic, wonderful, awesome children.

The oldest has two of the cutest little boys on earth. She's smart, funny, has a good job that lets her support herself and the boys, owns her own home, and she comes to see us several times a year even though it's inconvenient and tiring to make the trip after working all week. The second oldest lives far away, but he makes me proud when I see how he treats the ones he loves. He makes more money in a week than we do in two or three months, but he doesn't spend it on high living. He helps his family when they need it, helps his girlfriend when she needs it, puts some back for a rainy day. Oh, and he sent me flowers for Mother's Day. I can't remember the last time I got flowers, but I'm pretty sure the last ones also came from him.

The second oldest is just about to finish college. One more semester to go. He's held a 4 point average in all but one class, works part-time in the computer lab, comes home for the weekend when I need him to or when there's a family gathering so he can be part of it. He's at an age where a lot of kids pull away from their families, but he hasn't done that. I'm looking forward to the day when he finds that special someone and she knocks his socks off. I just pray she's kind and gentle, like he is.

The youngest is our rebel. She's opinionated and very vocal about her beliefs. But like the others, she's a damned good kid. She's beautiful and smart, a killer combination. We're still watching to see where she's headed in life, but I know, without a doubt, she'll make a difference. And she'll make us proud, as her brothers and sister have.

As for me, I tried to send my mom flowers but I waited too late, apparently. FTD's website and 800 number wouldn't take orders, I tried 1-800-Flowers, Teleflora...all busy. My mom is 800 miles away, so I can't pop by and take her a bouquet from the grocery store. I should have sent a card, but I was so busy helping the third child move home from college and working on my books, I forgot.

So I called her today to wish her Happy Mother's Day and reminded her of the hard backed book I gave her last month in case I forgot this month. Hopefully, like most mom's, she understood.

My kids haven't gotten together for a group photo in many years. Here's one from nearly 15 years ago.



Yeah, I've been blessed.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Retraction

Okay, Wild Blue made it right. The tech guy came by on his way home from another install, on his own time, and got us up and running. For some reason, the dish had moved slightly, probably from the storm, and it wasn't getting a signal. Now we shall wait and see if it happens again. But for now, I'm a happy--and fast--camper.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Faster than the speed of...huh?

Got Wild Blue Satellite internet yesterday. I was looking forward to being able to actually watch video trailers and upload pictures. The dh was excited about finally being able to surf the web without my computer activity slowing him down.

Well, all we did was build ourselves up to a huge disappointment. $300 for equipment, $50.00 a month for service we're tied into for a full year, and I'm still on dialup. The Wild Blue worked on my computer (way slower than advertised) for about 4 hours. Then the clouds moved in and that was that. No more connection. Can't get it back up. Don't know when the technician can get back out here (he's 2 hours away). I was lied to about having back up dial up service (only the most expensive package has that, and only 10 hours a month). I was told it would be as reliable, if not more, than my Dish Network satellite service. Sorry, Dish is on, Wild Blue is not.

I'm so mad at myself for signing up for this. I'll be out nearly $1000 for something that doesn't work. And I'm still crawling along like a turtle at 12.0 kbps at the moment.

Grrrrrrr.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I've been tagged!

Denise Patrick has tagged me to reveal 8 random things you didn't know about me.

Honestly, is there anything left I haven't already revealed on this blog? Well, I'll give it a shot, but I may be repeating myself.

1. I spent 20 minutes backstage with Garth Brooks in 1992. I won a contest on the radio for a limo ride to the concert and two backstage passes, plus great seats up front at the concert. It was my oldest son's 15th birthday and he was a huge Garth Brooks fan, so it was a great birthday present. And Garth was great. He autographed a bunch of stuff for us, showed us the pictures of his first little girl (we were one of the first to see them), and he treated my son like an adult.

2. I graduated from college at 35, after I'd already had four kids. The youngest was just a year old when I started back to school.

3. I used to be an avid scuba diver. The best place I dove was off the coast of Hawaii. Nearly killed myself, though. We'd been at 70 feet for nearly an hour, the deepest and longest I'd ever been down. The water was so clear, it looked like we were only 10 feet below the boat. When the dive master signaled me to ascend because my air was running low, I forgot to do a decompression stop and went straight to the top. Luckily I remembered at that point and descended back down to 15 feet and stayed there for a while.

4. I have a huge Beanie Baby collection I don't know what to do with, thanks to my mom.

5. I'm a pack rat. A huge pack rat. This is my year to clean up my act. Started clearing out my bedroom closet this week.

6. I make pets out of all of my animals, even the cows. They're all named, and they come running when I whistle.


7. I'm a night owl. I don't even start writing until around 10 p.m. and usually don't go to bed until nearly 3.

8. I'm hooked on 24, House, Jericho, CSI: Las Vegas. I hate reality shows, don't watch American Idol, Survivor, or any of those. Don't like sitcoms. I don't like reading books where the author writes in short, choppy sentences. Love thrillers.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Statcounter and Mother's Day

I love Statcounter. It lets me see who's visited the blog, how they got here, what entries they read, how long they stayed, how many times they've visited (1st timer or repeat visitor).

I also hate it. I obsess over it. I keep the log open all day, refreshing it every hour or so. Who visited from New York? Was that an editor? An agent? A friend? Or a bored secretary looking for romance who was led here from Google? Was that really a prisoner, or a clerk at the prison? (Note to prisoners...hubby has a riot gun and knows how to use it.) How do people from China, Brazil, Egypt, Israel, and Chile find their way to my blog, and what do they think about what they read?

You could easily drive yourself crazy with all the unanswered questions. So my challenge is this...after you read this post, leave a comment telling me how you got here, where you're from, and what you think.

On Mother's Day...I'll only have one kid here for Mother's Day, for the first time in a long time. Should be a quiet, peaceful day--because I intend to make sure the hubby and kid take me out to lunch instead of making me cook! Maybe we'll go see Next while we're out, too.

Speaking of Mother's Day, on the Wet Noodle Posse e-zine, some of the Noodlers talk about their mothers. Check it out at http://www.wetnoodleposse.com.

I still have some submissions out with a couple of agents, and one with an editor that I've given up on. It's been two and a half years and the editor who had it is no longer taking submissions. I have no idea if she's even still there. She never responded to my follow-up letters. But that's okay. I'm getting ready to send it to another editor who does answer my emails and seems to like my stuff. Yay!

Don't forget. Mother's day is May 13th. Do something nice for your mom. She's done a lot for you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A tragedy

My heart goes out to the friends and families of those killed yesterday at Virginia Tech. As the parent of two college students, I just can't imagine how they will go on.

The tragedy has set off a lot of emotions among friends and colleagues. Lots of argument for gun control, etc. But I disagree. Had the teacher or other students in the classroom been armed, there wouldn't have been such a large-scale massacre. Or if the students had been taught defensive measures, as some students in Texas schools are being taught, they might have had a chance to survive. One of the things some of our students are learning is how to use a textbook as a shield, to grab their desks and use them to charge the shooter, using the desks as both shield and weapon. The worst thing they can do is dive for cover and wait to be executed.

But that's the natural instinct. Without training, any one of us would do the same. But one man armed with a pistol is no match for 30 charging students. He might shoot one, maybe two, but he would be overpowered before he could kill 32 and wound 26.

A lot of blame going around, too, for school officials who didn't sound the alarm after the first shootings. But honestly, how were they to know? Sure, they should have done more than email 2 hours after the first shootings. They should have locked down the school until he was caught. But that's easy to say in hindsight, isn't it? The students had already been somewhat traumatized earlier in the year by a similar incident and school officials probably weren't eager to alarm them again.

What concerns me now are the copycats coming out of the woodwork on campuses across the country. Bomb threats, notes passed to students saying worse is yet to come. Families need to wake up and get help for their out of control kids. They need to be aware of what's going on with their children. They need to keep their guns locked up, out of kids' reach and they need to ask why if their college-aged child feels the need to buy a gun. A little concern and awareness can go a long way toward averting a potential tragedy.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bored

For some reason lately I've been really bored. So bored, I've resorted to cleaning my house and doing laundry. Even my writing is boring me to tears. I guess this is one of the hazards of living an hour from anything resembling civilization and of not having my own car. The transmission went out on my 13 year old, 300,000 mile Crown Vic and it's just not worth spending the money to fix it. But with our irregular income in the construction biz, borrowing money to buy one isn't feasible and shelling out the dough for another used car--just as old and with nearly as many miles, which is all we can afford--doesn't make sense either. So I'm stuck either going everywhere with the hubby or taking off on my own in his work truck--which I don't do often.

About the only thing exciting that's happened recently is that a friend got the call! And I can't even tell you about that yet until everything's final.

So I'm thinking about posting an online serial of my first book. I loved that book, it came very close to selling to Harlequin Special Edition, but it's not likely to ever see the light of day. My writing has improved big time since that first book and my voice has changed a lot. So, knowing all that, would anyone be interested in reading a chapter a week or so?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

When is it okay to halt progress?

The electric co-op here is upgrading from one-phase to three-phase service--whatever that means. To do this, they want to bring the poles across our property. Um, no. That would mean taking down 4 big trees, chopping off one whole side of about fifty 40 foot or taller trees, and I'd have electric poles in my front yard, my garden, and my pasture.

Why can't they put them across the street, where the people have done nothing with the property, they have no big trees, and they wouldn't look out of place? Because the neighbor across the street is the grandfather to the budding serial killer we've had to deal with for the last ten years. He's an ass.

I'm not going to consent to them putting those line on our property. They'd have to come inside to service the lines, and if they have to go in the pasture, we'd be risking having our cows get out. Besides, here's a picture of my front yard. Would you want poles stuck in the middle of it?



I think the pole that's already there looks bad enough. So I'm voting to halt progress--right in my front yard.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Website update

I've updated my website a bit and added some new book excerpts. If you have a few minutes, click on the title above to check it out, then let me know what you think.

It's a homemade website, so it's not too fancy. When I actually get a book contract, I'll hire someone to do a professional one for me.

Or do you think I should suck it up and shell out the dough now?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Congratulations to the Golden Heart and Rita Finalists!

The Wet Noodle Posse did very well in the Golden Heart and Rita contest again this year.

Trish Milburn is a double GH finalist in the YA category.
Mary Fechter finaled in the Single Title category.
Theresa Regan finaled in Paranormal Romance.
Moni Thompson finaled in the Inspirational Category.

Terry McLaughlin is a Rita finalist in the Long Contemporary category.
Stephanie Rowe is a Rita finalist in the Paranormal category.

Congratulations ladies!

Also, congratulations to my friends Bronwyn Parry and Katey Coffing for their Golden Heart finals as well.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The appalling state of education

Click the title above and you can read story after story involving teachers. Teachers having sex with their students. Teachers calling for the execution of anyone who's ever voted Republican. Teachers spreading the poison of communism and socialism to an impressionable generation.

This truth was brought home this weekend when our children were visiting on Spring break. After all the efforts to get them a good education so they could live successful lives, what we ended up with is at least two who have fallen hook, line, and sinker for the agnostic or atheistic teachings of their college professors. Though they claim to think for themselves, you can hear the dogma of socialism, the pat lines used by liberal teachers to sway young minds to their way of thinking.

If teachers spent their time teaching grammar and spelling, you wouldn't have a generation who can't spell even the most basic words. If they spent their time teaching math, you wouldn't have a generation who can't balance a checkbook or do basic calculations without benefit of a calculator. If they spent their time teaching science, this generation wouldn't be so far behind the rest of the world in scientific knowledge. If they'd teach real history instead of a sanitized version, kids might learn from the mistakes of the past and not repeat them.

But education in this country is not designed to enlighten. It's designed to indoctrinate. And they're doing a damned good job of that.

Writers bemoan the advent of the computer in that so many are jumping on the writing bandwagon, increasing the competition. But I say not to worry. Most of those would-be writers can't spell anyway.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Extreme Makeover-Home Edition-March 11 episode

Did you see tonight's episode of Extreme Makeover? In this month's edition of the Wet Noodle Posse e-zine, I did the Superheroine article on one of the teenagers involved in helping make a dream come true for a family who suffered a triple whammy of tragedy. First, they lost their home to a fire. Then they lost their son/brother in a head on collision while trying to rebuild their home. Then Faith Tipton-Smith lost her job and they were unable to finish rebuilding the home her son Ransom had designed before his death.

The community came together and applied to Extreme Makeover to have the house finished, and tonight we got to see it happen. Did you watch the show? I don't know about you, but I've never watched that show without bawling at least once. Tonight, I cried most of the way through it. Partly because I heard about the accident at the time it happened through the mother of Chelsea Korzenko. Chelsea was one of Ransom's many friends, and the loss was devastating for her, as it was for all the student's at Cherokee High.

It was very moving, watching those two girls see their new home for the first time, to see the very obvious love that family has for each other, and to see how moved the other teens were by the whole process. And seeing the girl who got Ransom's heart was very emotional, especially when she met Ransom's family for the first time. And she's amazingly talented.

Tonight's show reminded me once again not to take life for granted, not to sweat the small stuff with my kids, and to not forget to tell them how very much I love them.

Thank you ABC for all you do for families who've had their lives turned upside down.

To read the story and see the pictures, click on the title above.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Extreme Makeover-Home Edition

Be sure to visit the Wet Noodle Posse this month (click on the title above and it will take you there) and read the SuperHeroine article. Then don't miss Sunday's edition of Extreme Makeover, where you can view the rest of the story. Have tissues handy. You're gonna need them.

My own home needs an Extreme Makeover. It desperately needs painting (have you SEEN the price of exterior paint these days? Oy!) It needs airconditioning and all new appliances, a new hot water heater. And I need a real office. I've been using the back porch, which the dh closed in for me in a temporary fix, but it's hotter than Hades in the summer and damned cold in the winter. It's dusty (you should see the inside of my computer. Yikes!) and crowded with the 60 one-gallon water jugs we keep filled for drinking and misc stuff that has no where else to go. I feel cramped and crowded and disorganized, and it makes writing a chore.

But my life has been good, and Extreme Makeover is only for people who've had a real tragedy, so there's not much chance one's going to happen here. But I still dream of the day when I can afford a real place to write, a place where I feel comfortable and relaxed.

If I can find the link again, I'll post a pic of my dream office tonight.



Here it is...my dream office. Isn't it gorgeous?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Prayers For a Fellow Writer

Please pray for Cec Murphey, who ghost wrote Ninety Minutes in Heaven for Don Piper, and his family. His home burned to the ground this morning and his son-in-law was killed in the fire. His agent, Deidre Knight is trying to put together a gift certificate to Target for immediate / short term essentials. They want
to do one for Cec and Shirley, and also his daughter.

If you would like to participate, please send a check to:

Deidre Knight
The Knight Agency
577 South Main St
Madison, Georgia 30650

Make sure the memo line of the check reads "for Cec Murphey."

He has no email access at this time and doesn't need to deal with phone calls, so please just pray for them and send a donation if you can.

A Time For Romance

Fellow Wet Noodle Posse member Teresa Ragan scored the cover of the Granite Bay View. Check out the article, which I thought was really good. Just click the title of this post and it will take you there.

Don't forget to check out the newest edition of the WNP ezine, premiering tomorrow. I wrote the SuperHeroine article this month. http://www.wetnoodleposse.com

In other news...I've finished the web writing, almost finished my taxes, have yet to do the kids' financial aid applications, and I'm itching to get back to the novella. I also woke up with an idea for a new book, which I'm letting simmer on the back burner for a while.

This is my year. I can feel it. I will sell, and hopefully not just one book, but two or three. I am so ready to put the concrete business behind me, and so is my husband. He wants to find a way to make a living with his photography, and I want to make a living with my writing. This time when my ship comes in, I'll be waiting at the dock instead of at the train station. :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Yes, You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

This new job has taught me several new things. Textile Markup, product research, and how to use Excel, for starters. I've even been teaching the dh how to input product features and use Excel. (He's an older dog than I am).

But you know what I've learned that's been the most valuable? That I can make myself do it even when I don't want to. Well, not every time. There are days when 4 hours straight is all I can manage before I have to take a break. But I've been putting in 10-12 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week, doing work that can be tedious at times.

So, if I can do that, I know I can make myself write on my books even when I'm tired. Even when there are other tasks calling my name, even when I...don't wanna.

Now all I need to do is convince this old dog that this new trick is fun.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Another bunch of Nitwits

Goingtoday.com. I thought it was a great place at first. Bought the dh some guitar strings for a great price. Then I made the mistake of ordering some stuff for him for Christmas. Most of it was cheaply made, not worth the price, and the software I paid $30 for didn't work right. I emailed them, several times, about returning the item and they ignored me. Are still ignoring me. Dumb of them, because had they bothered to stand behind their sale, I would have continued to buy from them. I would have been a bit more selective, but I would have spent, over the course of the year, much more than a refund would have cost them.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Rancher Needs A Wife by Terry McLaughlin


RNW-cover-blogtour

About the book:

How can two people so wrong for each other seem so right?

After his divorce, Wayne Hammond hesitated to make anyone the second Mrs. Hammond. Topping the list of the women he shouldn't pick is Maggie Harrison Sinclair.

Maggie has already left Tucker, Montana, once. She's back only to lick her wounds and figure out her next step. Not exactly the ranch-loving, stay-at-home wife and mother that Wayne has always wanted.

But once Wayne and Maggie cross paths, the impossible-to-resist rancher and the bright-lights-loving woman succumb to their hotter-than-heck attraction, resulting in an even bigger complication.

Bright Lights, Big Sky
When Malibu meets Montana, it's magic.


What people are saying about The Rancher Needs a Wife:

"...full of smart dialogue and great characters."
4 stars, Romantic Times BOOKreviews

"...an enchanting novel that provides everything we look for in a great romance...plenty of humor, burning passion, a plot that entertains with every page..."
Nadine St. Dennis, Romance Junkies

"Heartwarming and poignant...have the tissues handy just to be safe."
Lettetia, Contemporary Romance Writers

"Look for more from this author as each book of hers gets better than the last."
Connie Payne, Once Upon a Romance

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Almost-Valentine's Day

Are you one of those people who love Valentine's Day, or do you just absolutely hate it?

I can take it or leave it. I call it a "Hallmark" holiday, one of those days you're supposed to go out and break the bank buying over-priced cards and expensive gifts. My husband and I don't do that, at least not any more. There was a time when I wanted so badly to get a pretty card and some flowers, but I learned my husband was a practical kind of guy and not a romantic. Oh, he's done that a few times, but it's not something he enjoys. For our first Valentine's Day he brought me a dozen roses, and they were beautiful. I've never forgotten them. The next year he bought two rose bushes and planted them in the front yard. Seems he hated buying flowers that died in just a few days.

Year three I got a gardenia bush, which he planted outside our bedroom window because I love the scent. A few years later, when we were starving Bible school students living on hot dogs and bologna sandwiches, he came home with two small steaks. We were in heaven for at least one day.

The last few years, he's gotten lazy. A bag of Hershey's kisses sometimes, even though I'm on a perpetual diet. But that's okay, because he shows he cares in other ways. If my computer needs parts added, he's quick to do the job. He washes dishes when I'm busy writing or working, takes care of the animals when I don't have time or if I'm off at conference, doesn't say a word when I fix chocolate chip cookies (while still on that perpetual diet.)

But I've gotten lazy, too. I used to try to find just the right card, just the right gift. Now I skip the cards, and his gift is usually....Hershey's kisses.

Hmmm. Maybe it's true what they say about couples who've been together for years. They start to think alike.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Love/Hate relationships

When I got my first PC back in 1996, I fell in love. We'd had computers before, since around 1987 or 88, but they were monsters with big floppy drives and the only thing you could do with one was play simple games or get on Prodigy. The PC opened up a whole new world. There were people out there! Through the Internet, I discovered RWA, eHarlequin, other writers! I found out I could write stories without having to painstakingly type them out, then retype the whole thing if I decided to change something or found an error. I discovered Free Cell. I found Pogo.com. Email!

Then I learned to hate computers as well. They freeze. They crash. They die. They eat important stuff. They enslave you, making you sit in front of them 16-18 hours a day. (I work my day job from home at the computer, as well as write and hang out with friends online). When you try to upload your work, you get error messages and lose what you'd worked so hard on if you forgot to save it first.

Then they send you ugly emails, saying "I'm sorry. I loved your writing, your characters are wonderful, and it's a great story, but..."

And sometimes they send you great emails, like "I want to buy this, once it's finished." Uh-huh. Like the computer is ever going to turn me loose from the day (and now late into the night) job long enough to write something besides website copy.

So my computer and I have a love/hate relationship.

And I'm beginning to feel the same about the whole publishing business. I watch friends get slammed by rude and inconsiderate editors and agents. Some agents will swear up and down to your face that they work for you. But then they get their hands on my friends' work and sit on it. One friend's agent submitted one manuscript to 8 editors--in the course of 3 years! Another one never got around to sending even one thing out in the year before my friend fired her.

Then there are agents like Miss Snark and Kristin Nelson and Jessica Faust who not only work hard for their clients, they blog about the business to help us get a better grasp on how things are supposed to work.

An editor requested a full from a friend, all excited after reading the partial. My friend got the manuscript back in the mail with the form rejection slapped on top, her cover letter still in the pile. Did the editor even read it? She'll never know, because the editor didn't say one single solitary word.

Where would the publishing industry be without writers? Are we so unimportant that we don't deserve respect? We don't deserve a word of explanation, of encouragement?
Yes, I know editors and agents are busy. But you know what? So are we. We have full-time jobs and families and houses to take care of, meals to cook, errands to run, groceries to buy. We steal time from sleep to put our hearts on paper. We take time away from our families. We miss out on parties and vacations and fun.

How do they know that author isn't the next Stephen King or Nora Roberts? Who knows where that author will be ten years from now when that agent is dying to get them on their client list, not realizing this was an author they brushed off with a form rejection? And I'm not talking about baby-faced writers who haven't even finished a book. These friends are award-winning writers. They know how to write. I've read some of their work and it's better than a lot of what I've bought off the shelf. A lot of books I buy I end up throwing at the wall. But my friends' work keeps me rooted to my computer chair way past my bedtime or way past time I should be earning my living.

So, I have a love/hate relationship with publishing, too. I love the Woman's World editor who loved my story enough to buy it. I love the editor who loved my books enough to try to talk her boss into buying it. I don't love her boss, who turned it down. I love the editor who is waiting for me to finish this book that I don't have time to touch right now.

I'm not real happy with the editor who's had my partial for 18 months without so much as an email. I'm not too thrilled with the agent who had a partial for 14 months and never got around to reading it, despite several promises to get to it. But I do learn my lessons. I won't submit to them again. My time is worth as much as theirs, and so is my pride. I hope my friends have learned their lessons as well.
And like agents and editors, writers also talk amongst themselves about who did what, and to whom.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

And then there were six

My profile says we have 5 cows. As of yesterday, we have 6. A new calf, solid black with a white diamond on her forehead--a beautiful little girl.

What's strange is that she was born in January instead of March. Our cows always calve at the same time each year. You normally could set your calendar by them. But the same day the calf was born the robins arrived in our yard--also 2 months ahead of schedule. My yard needs to be mowed. The clover--also normally a March emergent--has already come and gone.

Are the seasons changing? Is this just a one time weird event, or will summer come in April this year and leave in July? Will cold weather hit in October?

It's all very, very strange.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Nibble...

Got an email from an editor a couple of days ago. She loves the partial I sent her for a novella. It needed a minor change in the premise, and of course I have to finish it before she can make an offer, but...

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Greek's Virgin

The Greek's Virgin by Trish Morey

The Greek's Virgin

Seduced for revenge, taken for pleasure!

When Alexander Koutoufides seduced the young Saskia Prentice it was for revenge! Now she is back and Alex decides to finish what he started...for pleasure!
Saskia cannot forgive the sexy Greek who nearly stole her innocence, or forget the stormy passion they shared! She knows Alex wants her, his ruthless reputation confirms that he will have her.

The only uncertainty is...how long can she resist him?


The Reviews

4 Stars from RT - "Alex and Saskia are well-written characters and Morey does an excellent job of revealing the intense passion they share in both their arguments and their love scenes, making this story a pleasure from beginning to end." ~ Stephanie Schneider - Romantic Times Magazine

"Another superbly plotted romance from Trish Morey, THE GREEK'S VIRGIN will scorch your senses — it's so passionate. This novel is full of sensuality and angst, a heady mixture that really combines well to deliver a story one can't help but become enthralled by. THE GREEK'S VIRGIN sizzles with sensual heat and is definitely a must read!" ~ Leena Hyat - Author Sound Relations


Join Trish's mailing list to enter her latest contest and win a basket of downunder goodies. Simply email Trish at trish@trishmorey.com and you'll be sent all the details!

The Rest Falls Away


Beneath the glitter of dazzling 19th-century London Society lurks a bloodthirsty evil....


Vampires have always lived among them, quietly attacking unsuspecting debutantes and dandified lords as well as hackney drivers and Bond Street milliners. If not for the vampire slayers of the Gardella family, these immortal creatures would have long taken over the world.


The Rest Falls Away

In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake.

But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous, moonlit streets, Victoria's heart is torn between London's most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her enigmatic ally, Sebastian Vioget.

And when she comes face to face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make the choice between duty and love.

What Others Are Saying...

"Sophisticated, sexy, surprising! With its vampire lore and Regency graces, this book grabs you and holds you tight till the very last page!"
--J R Ward, NYT best-selling author of Lover Awakened

"A promising, enthusiastic beginning to a new paranormal historical series, Gleason's major label debut follows the adventures of a conflicted young vampire hunter in Regency England...Gleason quickly establishes an alluring world all her own. Her Buffyesque lead (Gleason has acknowledged the inspiration) is similarly afflicted, but the change of setting makes an intriguing, witty and addictive twist."
--Publishers Weekly

The Rest Falls Away trailer

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Most of the blog posts I've seen the last couple of days have been about making resolutions. I'm not doing that this year. I've set some goals--to complete the rewrite of Last Breath and write the sequel, and to find a new source of income--but that's pretty much it. Yes, I have habits I need to break, weight I need to lose, etc., but I find that if I make those into New Year's resolutions, then I feel like I've failed when I eat that first bite of chocolate or yield to temptation and buy that first Dr. Pepper, and I give up. So this year it's going to be more about daily discipline and less about all or nothing.

To that end, my goals include writing 3 pages per day, every day, or 90 pages per month. Hmmm, that doesn't sound like much. But hopefully I'll have days when I write a lot more, but no days where I write less. And I'm checking into franchises and other ways of earning an income way out in the boondocks where jobs are scarce and rarely pay more than $6 an hour.

I've already accomplished one goal I'd set: to write a will. I've put it off for years, but I decided it was time.

What are your goals for 2007?