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.

Monday, July 1, 2013

One BEST SELLER Leads to Another!

#12 Amazon Top Seller!
FAERIE has hit the top lists again! Yesterday Amazon featured FAERIE as a Kindle Daily Deal, with a one day reduced price of $.99. By midnight my lovely gal had reached her highest point ever on the Amazon rankings- #12. And here I had merely hoped she'd reach the Top 100! Currently she's the #1 Historical Romance, #1 Fantasy Romance and #1 Paranormal Romance. And not only that, I've been propelled into the Top 100 Authors list, currently at #38.

Don't blink. It could all go away just that fast.

Yet, Amazon is not through with me for this cycle of promo. Today FIRE DANCE began a feature in a different promo: for one month, FD will be featured among the 100 books under $3.99, now called the Kindle Monthly Deal. Already it has climbed significantly in ranking.

But how well will this promotion work in comparison with the one-day-only, shooting-star approach? And how much will this month's promo capitalize on past promo?

Last month, and back into May, both FIRE DANCE and LOKI'S DAUGHTERS were featured in other promotions. I think this is part of the current success of FAERIE. And this might explain why it's important for authors to find visibility not just for their books but for themselves.

Well, folks, I have to say that Amazon and Montlake really keep me hopping and my head spinning, and there's no doubt their promo is very effective. While as an indie author I do love the independence and control over my books and career, there are just some things I can't do, people I can't reach on my own. Some indie authors have done promo extremely well, while I've merely done it well. It's Amazon and Montlake that have capitalized on my endeavors and got my books in front of readers I could never have reached. And I love sales. So I also love offering my books to readers at a sale price.

Now back to the cave. LADY WICKED is in its last editing, and due for release, ASAP!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I Saw vs. She Saw

What a difference the Point of View makes! (Wait for it...)

What I saw:                                                     What Pam saw:

A few minutes later--

What I saw:                                                       What Pam saw:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Walking Into Doors-With Flowers

Red Heliconia
So how many ways can a person Walk into Doors? Several, it seems. And like Wearing the Water, they're all closely related. Answer coming up.

Pam, Delle, and the God Ku
On Thursday, we took a long trip all the way around the island. And looking over my photos, I realize I have well over a hundred of them, so I'm dividing the trip into two parts: The Hawai'i Tropical Botanical Garden and The Volcano-Kilauea. I hope I can get some pics from Pam on the Kilauea crater, then find my older ones from 1991 and 2009, to show you how much it's changed. But today I'll take you into the Garden.

Monstera Deliciosa
I first went to the Garden in 1991 when Hubbubs and I went to Hawai'i with another couple for their wedding on Oahu. Like most of the Big Island, everything resurrects memories.

The Hawai'i Tropical Botanical Garden, located in the Onomea Valley just north of Hilo, is a place of wonders, in its natural state a place of beauty, but in the hands of people who love growing things, something never to forget. The plants, the design, even the paths have changed in 22 years, yet everywhere I went, I remembered. That was a good thing. You see, Thursday was the 32nd anniversary of our marriage. And this was the first trip since Hubbubs passed away in January. So this was a day for celebrating the joy of the past.


The path into the valley is steep and I'm no longer good at walking uphill so I made arrangements to be hauled back out in the golf cart for that purpose. I noticed a lot of people made that choice. So I didn't feel so bad. There's a planked path into the valley, an improvement because it's hard to keep one's footing in wet gravel, and this is a very rainy part of the world.

Going down, we passed through a very cultured but natural-appearing jungle. The giant vine on the tree is a plant commonly called Split-leafed Philodendron. My dad would have a cow whenever he heard that because it's not a philodendron at all, but in fact is Monstera Deliciosa. He grew a giant one in our garden dining room in Illinois, and achieved a small miracle of producing one very incredible fruit that looked like corn and tasted like banana and pineapple combined.  It lives up to its delicious name.
Pink Ginger

And speaking of fruit, there are lots of bananas in the valley. I didn't realize they have such beautiful blossoms.

Ginger is common, but wasn't as visible as I remembered before. I loved this pink one, but never did see a good red torch ginger.

Spots of color were everywhere among the thousand shades of green. I've heard-and even though an anthropologist told me, I've been a bit skeptical-that some tropical peoples have no equivalent word for green. Instead they have many words for different kinds of green, not so much the shades of green as the plant or part of the plant the shade of green represents.
Window to a Spot of Color
Close-up on the Spot of Color

Here you can see a spot of red I caught through the dense forest. I couldn't tell what it was, although I suspect it's ginger. I enlarged it, and still can't be quite sure so I won't name it. If I could see its leaves, maybe I could tell.

Phalaenopsis Orchid
There's an entire garden devoted to orchids, although nothing here grows alone. Orchids are often found growing on trees, as this Phalaenopsis does. My dad grew orchids too, and I've always loved them. I remember how Jeff was so amazed at all the orchids in the garden, growing in their natural settings.

Kelsy and the Peace Lily
But it was the flashy heliconia he loved most. There's a photo of him somewhere grinning widely as he drapes a bright yellow and red one over his shoulder.

Orange Heliconia
Somewhat like this flashy smile Kelsy is wearing. There are Peace Lilies everywhere. They're a common houseplant here on the Mainland-I have two. But I've never seen a blossom stalk as huge as this one, so Kelsy graciously bent down to let me compare the bloom's size with her face.

Don't know what this is
There's a beautiful koi pond, and a waterfall. My pics aren't so good of those, but they're worth seeing.

Onomea Bay
 At the very bottom of the valley I found my biggest memory. As I walked the path along the edge of the little bay, I remembered the way the tide had rushed in back in 1991.
Onomea Bay and Rushing Tide

I remember how in awe we were at the magnificent color of the sea, of the way the driftwood juxtaposed with the coarse rock, and how the sea gathered into the triangular bay and met the spot where the stream had cut its way downhill, fresh water meeting saltwater.

Where Sea Meets Stream
Jeff's Daughter Pam at Onomea Bay
I remember wishing I could see it in full flow after a heavy downpour. There would be a small waterfall, and the wild surf would throw it back upon itself. There's still an overhang where the tide is slamming the rock beneath the falls' steep descent.

 Pam, Betty and Kelsy were wonderful traveling companions. And they understood how much this trip meant to me on so many levels.

Yes. Many happy memories. And now, many more.

But wait, I forgot my punchline again. So-- how many ways are there to walk into doors? Guess I was wrong-there's apparently just one: Having taken a gentle, cooling shower after yesterday's nasty sunburn, and stepping out of the shower, catching your shoulder against the plastic mounting trim of the door. Ouch, Kelsy!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Wearing the Water

My intrepid traveling companions Betty, Kelsy and Pam
All of us ended up wearing the water yesterday, one way or another.

But more on that later. We went to the Waipi'o Valley, no mean feat, I tell you. It's a good thing, too. It's an extraordinary, remote place on the north side of the Big Island, and to get there, you drive on the main highway to a small town called Honopaa.

You can go down a narrow road to a lookout over the valley, but unless you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, you're not a allowed to go farther. Let's put it this way: it's not only illegal, but once down there in an ordinary car, you can't get back out.

Lest you think we're all a bunch of panty-waists, here are some facts: The cliffs surrounding the valley tower around 2,000 feet above it. The one lane road zigzags down the side at a 25% grade. There's a guard rail- a fairly recent addition. But the road has been used since the time of the original Hawai'ians. An ancient foot trail can be seen zigzagging up the cliff face on the opposite canyon wall. It's even steeper.

Our guide/driver told us about two young women who spoke little English that she found stuck on the trail in a downpour. She told them only four wheel drive vehicles were allowed on the road. One one of the women nodded pleasantly, pointed to the car. "Four wheels," she agreed.

Tracy with The Boys

Mules are very interesting animals. They combine the best of both donkeys and horses. They're very strong and smart, and they pull well. But yes, the wagon jerks into motion. And on the bumpy road, they plodded faithfully along, with the dogs running alongside. One of the dogs always goes the entire trip, and sometimes the other two do too.

Sorry no more explanations but 
everyone wants to get going now and I need a quick shower.

I'll post our volcano tour tonight if I can, but we fly back early on Saturday so the rest will have to come after I'm back home.

Oh yeah, Wearing the Water. Well let me tell you all the ways one can wear the water: accidentally stepping in front of the man holding the sprinkler hose at a garden; squeezing bottled water just as you remove the cap for the first time; stepping into a stray puddle when you're not looking; leaning over a railing to take a photo of the ocean just as a wave comes crashing in... 
Horseback tours are also available.
There are a number of horses just outside this photo.

Taro farm with end of valley in background

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hawaii! There again!

So here I am on the Big Island once again! I'm here with three women, friends and relatives. Very relaxing. We don't have to do anything if we don't want to. And tomorrow we're going to take a mule drawn wagon tour through the Waipi'o Valley. I'll tell you more on that after we get back.

It's been a bit cloudy and we haven't been into the mountains or down to the beach yet. And there's an infinity saltwater pool I'm dying to try. But in the meantime, here's our condo. The goats in the last one are our backyard neighbors.

I also owe you the rock story. Maybe tomorrow when I've got a bit more ambition.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Patience, Please!

I'm working on a new look-that's actually an old look I always loved but need to revise. Either that or I'll go to a whole new look, which will mean going back to separating blog from website.

Place-holder "Rock" (Yellow Lucas Creek Agate)
Now you know me-I have trouble keeping up with just one combined "webble", especially since I ought to be writing anyway. So doing both doesn't necessarily look like a good idea.

Getting someone else to do the website? I've tried that in the past. My problem is that I need to have more direct input, and need to be able to try out ideas and content. I drive webpage designers crazy. Or I forget to send them updates, or don't send because I haven't made up my mind, so I defer while going back to writing and cover design. So the update doesn't get done when someone else is in charge, either.

Guess I'll go back to playing around with the site. I'll be done soon. Promise. In the meantime, here's a rock to serve as a place-holder. I'll tell you all about it soon. It's special.

Thank you!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The She Cave Takes Shape

Dear friends,

I know you've been worried about me. I still get so many wonderful letters and notes, it really makes me feel safe and loved. I haven't been sick-a little sometimes, and I can't say I've been depressed. Sad is an under-used word and it is not the same as depression. Feeling loss, grieving, hurting from the loss-that's not depression, which is an ongoing condition. I think I can say I've under-estimated the grief cycle. But that's okay. I'm just letting that ride. I've learned well from so many social work clients, from friends who have suffered losses, and from friends who are wonderful professionals that I need to listen to myself, pay attention, and learn to let things be. That's working, although it's hard sometimes. I can be so very avoidant.

I'll have some new things to tell you soon as far as books and publishing go, but they're not yet ready for disclosure. In the meantime I'd like to share with you the long project that is nearing its completion, the conversion of the former family room (aka family dump) into a She Cave suitable for writing, cover art, even craft projects. It's a part of a huge reclamation project (sorry, Jeff, I still love you muchly, but you were such a mess-maker). The entire house is being relieved of its excess burden, and is getting a lot of fix-up, clean-up and even new building in small doses. (Today, brother John is installing new shelves in my closet. Last week he built hanging storage in the garage. New sprinkler system next week.)

But this is my special project, partially inspired by my daughter Lori, who built her own She Cave. There isn't actually a lot of new stuff. I had the bookcases built a number of years ago, and they hold maybe a third of my books. This is a cold room-it is the lowest point in a tri-level, and while it's wonderfully cave-like and cool in summer, it's hardly bearable in winter, so we're re-vamping a lot of things to change that. The fireplace is an electric heater. (I had to give up on wood smoke years ago). A lot of decorative pieces have been relieved from over-burdened places in the rest of the house, and these are mostly nostalgia pieces. The mini horse is a gift from friend SamMarie Ashe in honor of the novella we co-wrote, THE BOSS WORE RED.

The burgundy leather chair and ottoman is the one new piece, that I bought with my first Montlake check. I am so glad I did. It's the most comfortable chair I've ever had and perfect for writing. John replaced the top on my laptop stand which had been previously used outdoors and ruined by damp weather despite always being under shelter. His woodworking skills are wonderful. He can turn a piece of plywood into a thing of beauty.

The Van Gogh screen is turning out to be a great buy too. It wasn't expensive, but it's very versatile as well as attractive. The other side is "Starry Night", which I love as much as "Irises", the side visible here. You can't see my framed antique maps, of 1812 Europe. But you can glimpse the coaching prints on the narrow wall above the ceiling, as seen from the kitchen.

The daybed has sure moved around a lot. We had moved it down to the dining room for Jeff when he got sick, but then realized we would have to use this room. Before we could move it again, he had died. But that's what gave me the idea for changing the room's purpose.  On the  table closest to the fireplace, you see a white knitted table cloth. I knitted this maybe 20 years ago, using an old lace doily pattern on a larger scale. It's an odd yarn-maybe dacron-that is strong, washes well, and was extremely cheap, so I ended up with two different round tablecloths. The other one is Battenburg lace, which I found cheap years ago because it needed repairs. My cats used it for hide-and-seek, unfortunately, so once I finished most of the repairs, I put it over this file cabinet, and now they can't hide under it. It's old, fragile, and was probably never of great value, but I love it, and will keep on working until all the hundreds of thread breaks are fixed.

Frankie Blue-Eyes and Jinx have taken over, you can see. But they'll get bored soon. It's already become my favorite place. They'll come around for treats and occasional love laps. And now I have to get back to writing. Thanks for dropping in to my cave!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


HIS SECRET HEROINE is finally available on Kindle! To give it visibility, I'me making it available FREE on Wednesday, March 14, 2013 only.

This book is a special one for me for several reasons, but I think more for Reggie, the quirky hero, whose energy and enthusiasm propel him in so many ways. There's also a strange (but not kinky) relationship between Chloe, the heroine, and Reggie's father, because the man has got a screw loose and only Chloe can help him find it. But he won't go easily into his own salvation. He's a man who needs to control everything, especially his family. And Chloe unwittingly is the biggest obstacle the duke has ever met.

This is not a story about death and grief, although it does have its sad moments. But it is about getting past the grief and finding new directions. And it's about control getting out of control. And about learning to accept that sometimes to change things we have to stop trying to change things.

Some other time-maybe even this week if my life will just settle down a little, I'll tell you a bunch of stuff about Reggie's boat and how it went from a brig in the original published story, LADY VALIANT, to a topsail schooner, and finally became a ketch. And why.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Dear friends, I must thank you for being so patient with me. The past several weeks have been extremely difficult, but we're moving onward. As you might know, my beloved husband Jeff passed away on January 19. If there is a blessing, it is that all of us were deprived of what could have been a very long and painful illness. It was shockingly quick. And sometimes still I feel like it's not real, that he's going to be coming back, and he'll be so mad at me for giving away his things.

It's okay. Really. I know how it has to be. I've counseled many grieving people in my life, and I know the pathway grief must take.

Many, many thanks to my friend Dr. Debra Holland for her wonderful book, THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO GRIEF AND GRIEVING . And many, many thanks to all the friends, relatives, close professionals and fans, even the many people on Face Book and other social places who have stood by us. Don't ever let anyone tell you those condolences from distant people you have never met have no meaning. They do.

Now it's time to get back to work. I have several overdue covers, and must finish them. And I'm determined that my next indie book title-changed yet again, to HIS SECRET HEROINE, will be finished and published. I'm setting my own deadline of March 1, and I think I can make it.

So off to it now!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A few memories

I have tried today to tell everyone how much I appreciate the love and kindness they have sent in their condolences. I've always thought I was strong, but today I know I am not. Instead, my fingers touch the keys and they shake. And yet again I burst into tears. He was my great love. For many, many reasons. He always will be. Perhaps tomorrow will be easier. My thousand friends, I love you too, and you touch me so deeply because of who you are, and also who he was, is, to me.

Someone sent me a quote from Khalil Gibran: "When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sad Tidings

My dear friends, readers and fellow authors,

I think you won't be hearing much from me for awhile. As I'm sitting in the hospital room, I'm watching Jeff sleep, and am glad for it. He's on a lot of drugs today, and the nurses tell me they think the drugs are just hanging on a bit longer. It's very hard to be hopeful at this point and the best I can pray for is that whatever happens will be for the best.

I'm not going to give you hundreds of updates or anything like that. You don't need every gory detail-neither do I. But I just want to let you know that right now I have to put all my concentration on family because all of them need me to help them and I need them to help me. /and Jeff needs all of us.

Hugs and many thanks.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Trouble in Paradise

Jeff and Delle in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, 2006
Things are not going well at home. Sorry I have not been posting much. We have some serious medical crises going and they're taking my time and energy right now. Very, very sick hubby. I'm putting up one of my favorite photos here for you all to see. this must seem like an odd mix of images, but that's me right now, an odd mix of emotions. And I think it's good to say there's nothing I've done in the way of writing and art that hasn't been influenced by Jeff.

I'm also making an effort to be doing what would, I hope, please you the most, writing more stories. It keeps me sane, but keeping my concentration is hard. I'll do my best to finish The Secret Heroine, a Regency in the more traditional vein which was previously published in 2004 as Lady Valiant.. To give you a little book cover eye candy, I'm posting the cover here. Also working on Beloved Stranger and hope it can be out soon.

Thanks to all of you for your support. It's good to know I don't always have to be smiling to have people care.

About Me

My photo
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.