Monday, June 4, 2012

I Need a Title!

Titles are my nemesis. Usually, when the book is nearly finished, I have a stroke of inspiration. Often it's a line or word from the book. But this time, I'm stumped. I can't decide on the perfect title. So, I'm giving you my top four choices. Please leave a comment here or on Facebook to share your favorite. Final edits are nearly complete, and I'm getting a little desperate!

This is my historical from hell, written, and rewritten more times than I can count over the last 20 odd years. But, I'm loving the final version, and I hope a publisher will, too. But I can hardly send it off without a title. So, here's the unofficial blurb:

Haunting visions have plagued Megan Pendrake her entire life, hints of the future... In 1692, Salem, Massachusetts is a hotbed of suspicion and persecution. When Megan and her brother flee England aboard a ship bound for the colonies, trouble looms. Though Megan knows to stay in Salem is courting disaster, her heart won't allow her to leave.

Nicholas Thayer is mesmerized by the beautiful, quirky young woman who came aboard his boat posing as a boy. But his future is predetermined, including a fiancee waiting for him at home. When Megan faces unimaginable peril, Nicholas must make the ultimate choice between family and faith and the woman he's grown to love.

And now an excerpt:

He reined the horse to a stop before her cabin but held firm when she tried to slide down. The moon rose above the trees, shedding soft light across the yard. Nicholas rested his cheek against her hair.
“I wish it had been me instead of Penny,” he whispered in her ear.
Her body quivered. “It was a careless thing to do.”
Need surged through him. “I want to kiss you, Megan. You can’t imagine how much.” His lips moved along her neck, caressing the smooth column. “Would it be so wrong?”
“Yes.” Her voice lacked conviction.
“It doesn’t feel wrong.” Longing held him in a vice and made him forget his convictions. When he stroked her cheek, her skin was soft beneath his fingers. Her warm body pressed against his.
“It feels right. Too right,” she said with a gasp.
He kissed her, his lips slanting over hers. Turning her more fully against him, he buried his fingers in her hair and drank her sweetness. The first kiss was followed by a second and a third. When the mare shifted beneath him, he forced himself to release her.
Megan pushed against him and slid to the ground. “You shouldn’t have done that.”
Moonlight gleamed on the white skin at the base of her neck as she stared down at her feet. He wanted to kiss the vulnerable patch, run his tongue along the angled jaw. Cursing softly, he squeezed his eyes closed. “I’m sorry. I wish…”
“So do I.”
Before he could answer, she ran across the porch and wrenched open the door. The solid thud of the door slamming echoed in the night. With a second curse, he wheeled his horse and galloped out of the clearing.

Here are my top four title choices:

Before the Dawn
Season of the Witch
The Darkest Hour

Please leave me a comment with your favorite here or on Facebook. Thanks for your help!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Nothing But Trouble - The Reviews Are In!

I've gotten some really terrific comments from reviewers for Nothing But Trouble, and I thought I'd share.

From Alberta at Manic Readers 4.5 Stars:

In the way of immovable objects meeting irresistible forces, their goals change, their conflicts are overcome, and they manage to find a middle ground for their romance. Nothing But Trouble is a cute little story, which you’ll enjoy at the beach or lake, or on your way to exotic places.

From Heather at Sizzling Hot Book Reviews 4 Stars:

I adored the the characters in Nothing But Trouble, especially Honor. She's a tough as nails girl, with vulnerability that lingers just under the surface. She's caring and sweet with a lot of love to give. I admired her ability to stay strong in the face of crisis and pain. She's a heroine that you will be sure to love. On the other hand, you won't just adore Chase, you will literally fall in love with this cowboy. He's sensual, sexy, and down right hilarious. He tells it how it is, all the time, and he will never tell you otherwise. He's got this sweetness to him that he tends to hide under his masculinity, and that alone is pure awesomeness. These characters made Nothing But Trouble a fun and lighthearted romance.

From Vonnie at Vintage Vonnie:

This is a classic love story, full of emotion, endearing characters and honesty. It's a keeper, in my opinion. One I plan to read over and over.

A big thank you to the reviewers for taking the time to read my book. I'm so pleased you enjoyed it! For the full reviews, click on the links.

Nothing But Trouble is available from TWRP, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nothing But Trouble Blog Tour

I am so excited that Nothing But Trouble is releasing on April 25th from The Wild Rose Press. To celebrate, I've planned stops at several wonderful blogs to talk about my book. I hope you'll join me and leave a comment or two.


April 24 - Sharon Buchbinder's Blog  Talking about Beginning with a Bang!

April 24 - Cowboy Kisses  Interview with fellow Honky Tonk Hearts author, Sylvie Kaye.

April 26 - Claire Ashgrove's Blog  Because there's just Something About a Cowboy...

April 29 - Mariposa's Musings  An author's roundtable discussion - How do you cope with set-backs?

April 30 - Sherry Gloag's Blog  Find out what my heroine, Honey Jackson, has to say in a personal interview.


May 1 - Calisa Rhose's Blog  I've been interviewed - a little about my writing process and some fun facts!

May 2 - Roses of Prose  Fellow Honky Tonk Hearts author, Sylvie Kaye, and I talk about mothers in our books.

May 6 - Wild Woman Author Blog  My hero, Chase Paladin, reveals what makes him tick in an interview.

May 7 - Emma Lai Writes  I answer Emma's questions.

May 8 - Sarah Grimm's Blog  Why Do You Read Books?

May 9 - Honky Tonk Hearts Launch Party  Lots of prizes - join the fun.

May 23 - Wild & Wicked Cowboys  Guesting along with fellow Honky Tonk Hearts author, Brenda Whiteside.

May 24 - Rachel Brimble's Blog  Interviewing with my pal, Rachel.

There's more to come. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Release Date for A Deadly Love!

I just got my release date for A Deadly Love. I've been very quiet about this book up to now, focussing on Bittersweet, which released last month. But I had to share. August 17 is the big day!

In the heart of the redwoods, a madman waits...

Recovering from a broken engagement and determined to start over, Brooke Wakefield flees to her grandmother's home deep in the redwood forest. Discovering her teenage crush lives next door is a less than auspicious beginning. The last thing she needs is another man to break her heart, but every time Dillon glances her way, her heat level soars.

Dillon Tremayne isn't looking for a relationship. With a young son, an eccentric grandfather, and a logging company running him ragged, he can't afford any romantic entanglements. But Brooke's humor and strength are hard to resist.When a woman from his past is brutally murdered and another disappears, Dillon is heartsick—and terrified the killer will target Brooke next.

Can Brooke and Dillon find love in the heart of the forest? Or will a madman's twisted dream destroy their chance at happiness?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blog Awards Abound!

I am the honored recipient of the prestigious Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award, presented to me by Sharon Buchbinder, a terrific writer and all around swell person. All the dessert recipes I've posted on my blog may have something to do with earning this distinction. LOL

Receiving this award means sharing 7 random fact about me, so here goes.

1)  I grew up in a town of 400 people and went to a 2 room school house. K-4 in one room and 5-8 in the other. Yes, small town schools still exist!

2)  I live in Lake Tahoe, but I don't like to ski. I'd rather snowshoe with my dog.

3)  My favorite National Park is Yosemite. When I camp - I do it in a tent!

4)  I can't write unless the house is quiet. But I can edit when it's noisy.

5)  I love the smell of dirt after it rains, and trees, white and glistening with fresh snow, beneath a cold cerulean sky.

6)  I've never found a recipe I didn't feel the need to change at least a little.

7)  My dog is so spoiled, I'll sit on the carpet rather than kick her off the couch!

Now that you all know how strange I am, I'm giving the award to these 10 stellar bloggers. Ladies, it's time to reveal 7 facts about yourselves and pass the sweetness.

Rachel Brimble
Kat Henry Doran
Jerri Hines
Brenda Whiteside
Margo Hoornstra
Jana Richards
Alyson Reuben
Silver James
Barbara Edwards
Laura Breck

I would also like to thank my good friend, Margo Hoornstra, for honoring me with the Liebster Award. This award is for a stick-to-it attitude, and while I'm only supposed to give it to 5 bloggers, all the above ladies have the perseverance to deserve this one, too!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Who can resist chocolate on Valentine's Day?

The Ultimate Chocolate Cookie

¾ cup shortening
¼ cup peanut butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 Tbsp. milk
2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
Dash of salt
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375°. Blend together first 7 ingredients, shortening through milk. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Stir in oatmeal and chocolate chips. Form into walnut sized balls. Place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes. Yields 3 dozen cookies.

I made up this recipe, combining bits and pieces of other cookie recipes. The oats give it texture, the hint of peanut butter adds that extra something, and a double dose of chocolate - yum! Enjoy for Valentine's Day or anytime.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Perfect Valentine's Day Salad

Avocado and Hearts of Palm Salad

2 lettuce leaves (Bibb, Butter, or Romaine)
1 ripe avocado
½  14 oz. can hearts of palm drained and sliced ¼ inch thick

1 Tbsp. lime juice (1/2 a lime)
¼ tsp. minced, peeled fresh gingerroot
¼ tsp. sugar
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 ½ Tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. sesame seeds

Line two plates with lettuce leaves. Halve avocado and cut into ¼ inch thick slices. Arrange slices on lettuce, overlapping. Top with hearts of palm. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, gingerroot, sugar, and cayenne. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until dressing is well combined. Drizzle over salads and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serves 2

This is a tasty, pretty salad, perfect for Valentine’s Day! It’s one of my husband’s favorites.

Today, I'm also visiting with Amber Leigh Williams, talking about my all time favorite romance novel. Please stop by The Cozy Page to chat.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Exciting News - Bittersweet Releases February 1st!

Today's recipe has been pre-empted! Finally, the news I've been waiting for. Bittersweet, my western historical romance from Whiskey Creek Press, will be available on February 1st. Friends and fellow authors have stepped up to help me promote. I'm forever grateful! Here's my list of blog stops. I hope you'll visit me on my tour and leave a comment or two...

February 2 - The Roses of Prose
February 3 - AJ's Tattered Pages
February 4 - P.L. Parker's Blog
February 6 - The Cozy Page with Amber Leigh Williams
February 7 - Penumbra with Silver James
February 9 - Vintage Vonnie
February 12 - Rachel Brimble Romance
February 17 - Wild Woman Author with Kat Henry Doran
February 18 - The Roses of Prose
February 27 - Author's Lunch: A Bite of Reuben Sandwich

Eight months after her husband is killed in a train robbery, Tess Moran knows she must pick up the pieces of her shattered life and build a future for herself and her infant daughter. Daniel Moran’s love for Tess is bittersweet. Acting on his feelings for his sister-in-law will betray his dead brother’s memory. Watching her search for love elsewhere may very well destroy him.
In 1880, life in rural Colorado is filled with hard work and simple pleasures, but trouble looms on the horizon. Together Tess and Daniel battle drought and the outlaw who killed the man they both loved, but the greatest challenge of all is finding solace for their battered hearts.

Buy links will be found on my website just as soon as they're available. Thanks for sharing in my excitement!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Happened to Winter?

January 2011 The girls and Ginger buried!
Is anyone else having the weirdest winter in the history of...well, forever? We live in Tahoe. This is January. To me that means - SNOW! Last January, we were buried in the white stuff. This year, nothing, nada, zip! The ski resorts have been relying on man made snow to limp along. My kids' Nordic ski races were cancelled.

January 2012 Not enough snow to roll in!

Then, finally, a series of storms that left us with a couple of feet of snow. Hope was renewed. Winter had finally started. The skiers were happy, happy, happy. Nordic races were rescheduled. Then today, it's RAINING! Let's not get into global warming, but seriously, where's winter?

Happy Dog in the snow - last winter!

Is your winter as crazy as mine? Let's hear about it!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chili for a Cold Winter Day

A writer friend was looking for a chili recipe, and I offered to post my favorite. I devised this through trial and error, and you can easily adjust it to your tastes. This recipe is fairly hot, so if you prefer mild, you may want to leave out the cayenne pepper. Kidney beans can be substituted for pinto. A cup of frozen corn can be added. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
2  15 oz. cans pinto beans rinsed and drained
1  15 oz. can tomato puree
1  15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1  4 oz. can diced green chilies
2 Tbsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef in large pot, draining any grease. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for approximately 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Chili can also be prepared and then cooked in a slow cooker on low for 8-9 hours. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Serves 6

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ginger's World - Let the Barking Begin!

It’s a dog’s duty – and no one appreciates it. When intruders invade our space, we bark. It’s in our genes. Telling us not to bark is a complete waste of time and energy, and a smart human would simply give up and let us do what comes naturally.

There’s my squirrel bark. Don’t even get me started on those little teases. Coming oh so close, only to scamper up a tree and chatter at me. Grrrr… My squirrel bark is high pitched, maybe a little too excited, but what’s a dog to do?

Then there’s the other dog bark. I mean, seriously? If a strange dog walks past the house, am I supposed to sit there and not say a word? I don’t think so!

The doorbell really sets me off, resulting in a barking frenzy. There’s just something about that loud ding that turns me into a lunatic – or so I’ve been told.

Then there are the coyotes that yip from the meadow, just begging me to come get them. Barking isn’t a sufficient response, but my people won’t let me chase them. As if those mangy creatures could hurt me!

Probably the most bark-worthy occasion was the night the bear sat on our deck, licking the barbecue. The nerve! I nearly barked myself horse, and that bear didn’t even move. Not even after my human turned on the light. I’m having palpitations just thinking about it!

Who’s with me on this? Shouldn’t a dog be allowed to bark?


Monday, January 16, 2012

Blogging in a New Year

My New Year's resolution is to start blogging more! Hard to believe considering my pathetic track record. On Mondays I'll post recipes. Thursdays will be devoted to all the pet lovers out there with blogs about my dog, Ginger. I hope you'll stop by.

For this Monday, I'm starting off with a dessert recipe I served at my book club recently. The ladies were kind enough to ask for the recipe, so I think you'll enjoy it!

Lemon Freeze Pie

¾ cup cornflake crumbs
2 Tbsp. sugar
¼ cup melted butter or margarine

Combine in an 8 inch pie pan. Remove 1 Tbsp. of crumb mixture and reserve. Firmly press on bottom and sides of pan.

2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon peel
1 can sweetened, condensed milk
3 Tbsp. sugar

Beat egg yolks until thick. Add lemon juice and peel. Beat well. Add condensed milk and stir until thickened. In a second bowl beat egg whites until stiff. Add sugar gradually while beating. Fold egg whites into lemon mixture. Pour into pie pan and sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Freeze at least 3 hours before serving.