Monday, April 14, 2014


Hello dear friends--

So glad to get back to blogging! There are so many pulls in so many directions, it seems whole days and weeks go by with many things undone. But I like blogging. Why shouldn't I do more of it?

I have been nominated for the "My Writing Process Blog Hop" by Kathararina Gerlach, a German writer who writes wonderful historicals and fantasies, for both adults and younger readers, who posted her own answers to the questions below on her blog on April 7th.


1) What am I working on?
But no, it's not all that bad. I'm really just working on two historical romances, plus cover art, plus planning a major trip, plus... OH LOOK! A SQUIRREL!

Right now I'm in the midst of the third first draft of a no-longer titled historical romance set in 1812 England and the Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal. This is one of those impossible to write stories that has nagged me for about twenty years, and morphed in and out of several major plot changes. My hope is to sell it to Montlake or to self-publish it. To me, this is the most difficult story I've ever written, but it's a very important one that I feel I must write. Since it's told in large part in letters, but the slow travel times of the day meant delays of up to a month before letters arrived makes timing the plot difficult. The plot itself has to be structured like a romantic suspense.

The other story is GILDING LILLY, a Regency Historical I've been wanting to finish for a long time since it's had to be shoved aside for other projects so often. It's a lighter story, which makes it a good foil for the darker war story.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don't think I write a standard romance. Yes, I follow the genre formula, and yes you will always find the genreic happy romantic ending in my stories. But I have a very strong interest in human psychology and emotional growth, and I love stories of people overcoming huge adversities. So I have to write stories that are boh heavily character-oriented and heavily plot-oriented. I have heard some instructors say you can't have both. But I can't NOT have both.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I have a compulsion to create, and I particularly love creating stories with words.

I also have a strong love of history. I want to see history as it really was lived, not romanticized to the point of contemporary American heroines in pseudo costumes try to pretend they live in some foreign time and place. I want it realistic. And that's so important to me, I'd rather not sell a story than to make it into a mere costume party.

4) How does my writing process work?
This last year I've been working on changing my writing process. Organization has not been my greatest asset since I quit the day job, so I've been working harder to establish my routine. I am one of those people who must know at least to some degree where my story is going, so I must begin with a story outline then flesh that out enough to be sure it works and that what happens is truly what my characters would do. From that, I begin and write an average of ten pages a day. Research will often stop me cold because I hate writing something that has to be completely discarded. I usually write straight through, but I'm not afraid to skip a section that isn't making sense. And I often make notes on the page using ALL CAPS (and marked by XXXXX to make it easier to find when editing).

I often work on two or more books at once, and sometimes I stagger tasks. It' hard to plan ahead for revisions especially when they're what an editor wants. This can disrupt routine. But I normally go from creative first draft to edits. Polishing, and other author tasks like cooperative critiquing, editing, promotion, etc., have to somehow be worked in, too.

And then there's the cover art, which I really do for fun. But I do have clients, and when they need covers, the need covers. Sometimes the two jobs are more in conflict than in harmony.

Now I get to nominate three more authors for next week, April 21st.So far I have one, so I will have ro get busy and find two more, and wil add them as I find them.

HEATHER HIESTAND, a.k.a. ANH LEOD always has a hundred things to do at once, and yet she gets them done. So I'm dying to hear more about how she does that.

Check them-or Heather- out next week. And thanks to all of you for putting up with my scatter-brained ways!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

The marina and Columbus Tavern (closed)
from our room.
Daughter Lori and I loved the hot tub.
Great place for aching feet.
The Columbus Tavern.- a.k.a. The Ghost Bar

Feet up for the Superbowl (actually I got
bored and went off to surf the  net).
The Atlantis Resort from the sea
As close as we could get to the lighthouse

Our last dinner. On the Poop Deck (That's a nautical
term, not a dog walker's one.)
I only had one lobster.
And fried plantain. 

Lori was hungrier. But then she
did all the work.

Alas, back home...You can see where Mama Squirrel
romped along the railing for her daily handout

Friday, February 7, 2014


Hello, my wonderful friends--

I'm in the Bahamas with my daughter, on our first ever trip together for just the two of us! We've had a wonderful time, and I'm garnering some great ideas for more stories. I'm not getting good connections so I'll probably have to add more notes on the photos later.

Athena Cafe, Nassau, The Bahamas

Clifton Pier, The Bahamas
a historic beautiful beach that is almost unused.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Special Countdown Deal for LADY WICKED

Click here or on cover to buy!
I'm pleased to announce LADY WICKED is a Countdown Deal on Amazon Kindle's new promotional program for their Kindle Direct Publishing authors. For one week only-Nov. 3-10, it is 99 cents! At midnight PST Nov. 10, the deal is gone!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Meeting the Real Heroes

A few fun things about being an author. You get to meet real heroes.

From the Emerald City Writers Conference in October. Montlake generously arranged a morning breakfast with these marvelous firefighters serving doughnuts and pastries and posing with authors.

The rest of the conference was fun too.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I'm tinkering with my web-blog again-please be patient with me. I'll have it the way I want it pretty soon, but the header is not yet right. I don't necessarily like this beveled oval in the design-probably too much conflicting detail-yet,I do like it. In any case, it's a very complex effect and I wonder if I could ever even duplicate it again. So I want to look at it for awhile. You know how I am about learning things. Must learn. Must experiment. Must keep on going down that road!

And of course every time I change one part, I have to change the rest. The width I have here is probably too wide for a lot of viewers, and I would like the best viewing experience for all of my viewers.

I'm setting up a separate website. Yes, I know I said I wouldn't do that, but I think it will be a good idea now. And I have help now, which is a very good thing. More on all that, too, later!


Sunday, July 28, 2013


Buy Lady Wicked Here
It's taken awhile-I had a number of things I wanted to do to make this story even better. This is the LADY WICKED I want the story to be, and with the cover I want it to have.

Buy In the Land of the Long
White Cloud here
To celebrate, I'm giving away another author's book, IN THE LAND OF THE LONG WHITE CLOUD by Sarah Lark, one that is very special to me, for it was the book that sustained me and gave me solace and strength during my husband's final illness.

If you'd like to have this book, no strings attached and no re-use of your email address without your permission, I will be giving away 10 ebooks and one print or audio book.

DEADLINE: midnight PST, Monday, July 29, 2013.

 You do not have to buy LADY WICKED or anything else. I'm doing this because I want to, and because I find it hard now to imagine how I would have gone through that so difficult time in my life without the place to get away and recuperate, regain my strength, if I had not had this book at that particular time. I can't say why-there are many truly excellent and wonderful books available that can really touch the heart. This one is all of those things, but in particular, it was the only book that could reach me then.

Getting into the drawing is easy. Just send me an email at Let me know if you only want to be ing the drawing for one of the 10 ebooks or would like to be in the drawing for a print or audio version. And IF you would like to be added to my newsletter list to receive EXTREMELY RARE news of releases, major news events and contests, just say so. Otherwise your email address will not be used in any way except to send your book if you win.

About Me

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I write write write. Sometimes I travel. Then I write some more. And I have a great family who understand that I write write write.