Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Giveaway of Whisper Cape!

Please join me over at "Read Between The Lines"

 My Photo

Thank you, Anna, for the awesome




Monday, December 19, 2011

Thank you all for participating in this awesome giveaway and thank you to Drea for hosting it. I’m sorry everyone couldn’t win.

Drum roll please … da da da da da da da …

And the winners are:
Donna from Donna’s Blog Home is the lucky winner of the print copy of Whisper Cape

Stacey won an eBook copy
Shadow won an eBook copy

Congratulations to the three of you and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Peace and love to all,


Friday, December 16, 2011


MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Today starts the STUFF YOUR STOCKINGS giveaway!!!
A jam-packed weekend of prizes. Don’t miss out. I’m number 165 so come over and see what I’m giving away.
 Prizes Galore:
$450+ In Gift Cards to Amazon, B&N, ARe, and Other Publisher Sites
150+ In Ebooks of all heat levels
Kindle Fire, Jewlery, Gift Baskets, Christmas Ornaments, and all kinds of goodies
The rules are simple. Just click on the Stuff Your Stockings link below to see the prizes. Then leave a comment here with your email address. That's it. Oh yeah, I would love it if you'd "like" my facebook page and  follow me here and on twitter.

I hope you all have a wonderful safe and prosperous Holiday!



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Immortals D-Box Experience

We don't go to the movie theater often. No time, too expensive and well, we subscribe to Netflix, so when we decided to go the movies the other night, it was a toss-up between Immortals and Breaking Dawn.

I knew my husband really didn't want to sit through another Twilight movie, so we picked the one with promises of lots of action.  

Besides, Immortals was produced by the same producers of the cool movie "300" with Gerard Butler.

Yes, the same Gerard Butler that makes my heart go thump, pound, skip, and thump thump and my knees turn to jello. 

So, I figured, hey, Immortals has to be good too, right?
 More about that later.

When we went to purchase our tickets, we were asked if we wanted D-Box seats. What's the D-Box?
Good question. D-Box is a high-technology motion system in the entertainment industry. Did that help?


Here's the official definition from the D-Box company profile:

D-BOX Technologies designs and manufactures leading edge high-technology motion systems mainly suited to the needs of the entertainment industry. With its unique, patented technology, « D-BOX Motion Code™ » uses motion effects specifically programmed for each film, TV series or video game, which are sent to a motion generating system integrated within either a platform or a seat. The resulting motion is perfectly synchronized with all onscreen action, creating an unmatched realistic immersive experience. To date, D-BOX Motion Code™ is available on more than 900 titles. Accordingly, many prominent Hollywood studios have started embedding D-BOX Motion Code™ on many Blu-ray™ format and theatrical releases. By reaching agreements with the leaders of both the motion picture and gaming industries, D-BOX’s award-winning motion technology is gradually proving itself as a new global standard in the entertainment world. 

D-BOX is a publicly traded company listed on the TSX (Canada) exchange under the symbol DBO. 

D-BOX® is a registered trademark and D-BOX Motion Code™ is a trademark of D-BOX Technologies Inc. Other names are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

In simpler terms, similar to the "Star Wars" ride at Disneyland© where the seat moves with what's happening in the picture to make you feel as if you are actually in the movie. Got it? Not yet? Here's an interesting video.

Always up for a new adventure, we went for the "motion" seats. Haha. Motion we got. In fact, I wasn't really prepared for the sudden jolt the seat gave me before the movie even started and I actually let out a shocked, short little scream followed by a little embarrassing giggle.

Every time there was a punch, our seats vibrated and swayed. Every time someone got stabbed with a sword, our seats vibrated and swayed. Every time the scene panned in and out, our seats swayed along with the vision. This was a fantasy movie that promised a lot of action along with a little romance and as I realized the hero and heroine were going to "hook up" I began to wonder if my seat would vibrate along with their love scene. Anyway, I was a bit disappointed when my seat remained perfection still while Theseus, played by Henry Cavill, drove hard into Phaedra, played by Freida Pinto. What does that say about me? Never mind.

So how was the movie? I know I promised more about the movie, but, well, Henry Cavill is a gorgeous guy, but it takes more than a gorgeous guy to make a movie good. That's really all I can say about Immortals. The D-Box experience was interesting. I don't know if I would pay the extra $$$ again unless it was a  movie with car chase scenes or some something like that, but then, that might make me a little dizzy. 

Guess we should have gone to see the new Twilight movie instead.  J

Thanks for reading. Feel free to add your comment.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Baby Has A Baby

My youngest child, now a wonderful man, now has a son of his own. Lukas James Hamilton was born at 2:24 am, November 17, 2011, weighing in at 7 pounds and 19.5 inches. I hear he has a lot of brown hair.

Picture to follow soon.

 My son, Michael, a fire fighter in the U.S. Army and his wife, Stephanie, are stationed in Germany. So, at 2:24 a.m., November 17th, Weiden, Germany time, and if I did my calculations correctly, it was 5:24 pm, November 16th, here in California, which could mean that our little Lukas could technically have two birthday dates.

Well, I suppose that’s possible for just about everyone, no matter where they are. And since Lukas was conceived there in Germany, November 17th is his birthday. But I have to wonder, if he had been conceived here in California, and born in Germany, then I would just have to celebrate his birth two days in a row each year, starting on November 16th.You know, I just might to that anyway. J

Welcome to the world, my newest Grand Angel, Lukas James Hamilton!!!!


Monday, October 24, 2011

A Great Time and a Great Cause. Fun, Fun Fun for All

Every year, well at least for the past six years, we, meaning my husband and two other couples (the amount of couples varies from year to year, this year we were five) take off with our blankets and backpacks full of picnic paraphernalia and goodies (somebody forgot to pack the meatballs and it wasn't me) to The Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountainview to attend the Annual Bridge School Benefit concert. This year’s fantastical event marked twenty-five years.

Neal Young and his wife, Pegi, have hosted this benefit concert for the past twenty-five years, (rain or shine, and believe me, the show does go on in the rain. Last year we sat huddled while rain dripped off the edge of our plastic hood visors, since you can’t have umbrellas) where there are, oh, anywhere from ten to twelve different groups and performers. It is a two-day event—a Saturday show and a repeat show on Sunday. This year the weather was perfect.  

The event is a very special acoustic concert to benefit The BridgeSchool, located in Hillsborough, California. Neil and Pegi Young’s Bridge School offers a program for the communicative and educational development of children with severe speech and physical impairments. The school is an internationally recognized leader in the field of augmentative and alternative communication. Visit their website at

The concert’s an all around great time and a win, win for everyone, kids, performers and us, the lucky audience. This year’s line-up consisted of:

Of course, Neil Young
Dave Matthews
Arcade Fire
Foo Fighers
Eddie Vedder
Los Invisibles, featuring Carlos Santana
Tony Bennett
Mumford & Sons
Norah Jones and The Little Willies
Devendra BanHart

Like I mentioned above, I have been to six, maybe seven of these concerts (I lost count) and I have to say that, IMO, yesterday’s was, by far, the best one I have attended. I had never heard Mumford & Sons before, but I think they just might be my new favorite group. Tony Bennett was amazing. Do you know he is 85 years old? Oh and I can’t seem to get Norah Jones and The Little Willies song, “Lou Reed” (Cow Tipping–heehee) out of my head.

Here is a sample of Neil Young and Mumford & Sons performing “Dance, Dance, Dance”.

Enjoy and thanks for reading.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Escape to a world where the impossible becomes possible.

Whisper Cape is NOW available IN PRINT at and on

It is also available at Barnes and and in ebooks and Kindle on



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Review of Whisper Cape

Please join me over at Jewel's World for a wonderful interview with me and an equally wonderful review of Whisper Cape

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Welcome K.C. Blake

Please join me in welcoming K.C. Blake as she promotes her two new Young Adult novels, Crushed and Vampires Rule

Crushed: The Noah sisters rule Titan High with their beauty, brains, and magical powers. Each year they play a secret game: Crushed. The girls pick their targets carefully and blow enchanted dust into the boy’s faces, charming them, but this year Kristen makes a grave mistake. She chooses the wrong boy and almost dies that same day. Coincidence? Maybe.

But something isn’t quite right about Zach Bevian. He doesn’t behave like a boy who’s been Crushed. He goes from hot to cold, from looking at her with contempt to asking her out on a date. She doesn’t know what to think. Does he hate her or is he truly falling for her? Is he trying to kill her, or is he trying to save her?

Vampires Rule: They don't call him Jackpot for nothing.

Jack has always beat the odds... until now. When a werewolf tried to kill him, vampires saved him. When he got tired of life as a vampire, another attack gave him back his mortality. Now Jack just wants to live a normal life, but what's normal about having a hunter for a girlfriend, a brother who wants to stake him to be on the safe side, and a werewolf building an army to rule the world?

Werewolves Rule, the second book in the series is already available at Amazon, Smashwords, etc.

Favorite quotes from VR:

1. Funny how blood didn’t taste good when it was your own.

2. When Jack is injured:

     Cowboy: “Vampires Rule, buddy.”
     Jack didn’t feel particularly grateful to be a vampire at the  moment.

3. Silver: “He isn’t a vampire anymore, idiot. Look! Do you see that big, yellow thing up in the sky? That’s called the sun. It’s shining down on him, and he isn’t exploding. His fangs are gone. He’s as human as we are. Case closed.”

Billy stared up at the sky, his jaw slack. “Not possible.”

Jack mumbled, “They don’t call me Jackpot for nothing.”
For more from K.C., please visit her blog
Thanks for sharing, K.C.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Revisiting An Interview with Cael and Addison

It’s overcast. The forecast said it might be and then it should clear up by noon. I pull up to the little beach cottage and glance at my watch, 11:45. Well, so much for the clear skies. This is the Oregon coast, what did I expect?

I open the car door and climb out of my rented 2011 SLK 350 Roadster—nothing but the best to visit the two most amazing people I know. I am in awe of my surroundings. Even through the haze, this place is spectacular. The “beach house” is located on the ocean side of the road. The front door is actually around back, facing the ocean. I walk slowly in that direction through a beautiful, well-kept white trellis overflowing with wisteria, lovely, with purple flowers still blooming this time of year.

The interview is to start at noon. I’m early so I decide to take the extra fifteen minutes and walk across the expertly manicured lawn to the edge of the cliff. Wow! It looks just like the picture on the cover of the book.

I get out my camera and take this shot, and hear someone calling me from behind. I turn to see Addison waving from the door.

“Come on in,” she shouts.

I wave and start walking toward her. I almost swallow my tongue when Cael comes out and stands beside her. Yeah, he is as gorgeous as always. His dark hair is a little shorter these days, but it looks great.

If I could post a picture of them I would, but circumstance prevent me from revealing their identity to the world, so I have found two celebrities that I would want to play their characters in, Whisper Cape, the movie.

My pick for Cael is Henry Cavill

Mila Kunis could play Addison. I think she is quirky enough.

When I reach them, we all hug, I try to keep my cool and follow them inside. The fireplace is lit; the room looks inviting with fluffy cushions in the corners of the red sofa and an open bottle of wine, a Chardonnay, and three glasses on the coffee table waiting to be filled. A spot of Dubliner cheese, my favorite, along with some fancy looking crackers embellish a crystal dish to the side. How did they know? Man, I am going to love this interview.

Addie gestures to the big comfy chair sitting adjacent to the sofa for me to sit. They sit on the sofa, Cael pours the wine and Addie offers me some cheese. I take a small piece, I have my weight to worry about and cheese just sticks to my hips, but I do love it.

Cael holds up his glass and says, “Here’s to Whisper Cape, a rewarding and exciting endeavor.”

“Hear hear!” I say and we all take a sip. “Hmmm … nice.”

I flip open my folder and say, “I have several questions from fans, so let’s begin. I’ll just read the name of the person who asked the question, followed by the question, if that’s okay.”

They nod.

Our first question is from Renee, author/contributor to Ménage à 20, Tales with a hook . “I'd like to ask Cael where his name originated. I've always liked this name and wondered if (for him) it has special meaning.”

(Cael smiles, that killer smile. I’m ready to melt. How does Addie deal with that?)

Well, let me start by thanking you on behalf of my mother, since she gave me the name.

Let’s see if I can get this right. From what she told me, CÁEL is an Irish Gaelic name derived from the word caol, meaning "slender." In Celtic mythology, Cael is the name of a warrior of the
Fianna. The correct spelling would have the accent above the a; however, my mother left it off my birth certificate, so I would have an easier time in school. The Fianna, also called the Fianna Eireann clan was a warrior band, established to protect the King of Ireland. The Celts divided their people by clans and by social classes. If you just think of it as Kay-el, it is a little easier to pronounce.

I have another question from Renee:

“Cael, why didn't you just play the victim when you and Addie first met? You might have had an easier time of it.;)” She added one of those little winked smiley faces for you.

When I first encountered Addison, or was it she who sort of ran into me? (He grinned and took a sip of his wine) I didn’t know who she was and there was no reason, at that time, to think I would need to do any explaining to her. Keeping my secret and avoiding any confrontation about my abilities was far more important. But you are right, of course; it would have been easier just to play the victim if I had known I needed to connect with her. Too bad we don’t have hindsight, right? Or would that be foresight in this case?

This next question comes from Eden Chase, author of Snow Angel and Saying Grace. “I would like to ask Addie if she is curious about any women that might be in Cael's past. I mean, the man is drop-dead-gorgeous, so he has to have attracted the interest of other females before her, right?”

Cael is drop-dead-gorgeous? I hadn’t noticed. (Cael frowns at her and she grins, showing that cute little dimple at the left side of her mouth that he adores.) Just kidding. Yes, he is, but we wouldn’t want that going to his head. (She fiddles with her fingers then brushes her hair behind her ear in an nervous sort of way). I don’t worry too much here in Whisper Cape. It’s such a small town, so everybody knows we are a couple now. His past is another story. He has told me a bit about his former relationships, or as he claims, lack of same. It is understandable, to be quite honest, that he might have had a difficult time in that area with anyone other than someone like me. I do believe that it would be difficult to hide what he is capable of doing from someone he was close to, intimately that is. He is too honest and I’m sure it would kill him not to be able to share that side of himself.

I pause here and take a sip of that excellent wine and then place the glass back down on the coffee table.

Here’s a question from Pam Ripling, aka, Anne Carter, author of Point Surrender and Cape Seduction and various other great novels. “It's been awhile since I read this wonderful book, but I do remember wondering about Cael's ability to transport. Wouldn't he just be tempted to go places all the time? Where else has he traveled (besides the speedy trips he ‘took’ Addie on, LOL).”

Funny you should ask this. Addison and I just returned from a trip to Bora Bora, a magnificent place. (He takes Addie’s hand in his and they smile at each other.) We were there for three weeks. A much-needed and deserved rest for both of us, I might add. Yes, I’ve always been tempted to take off when the situation allows and I have seen the world, but I found traveling by myself to be a huge bore. It is much nicer now to have Addison to take along with me. Hmmm … you’ve just given me an excellent idea.

I have a question of my own for Addie. Does it hurt when you shoot flames from your fingertips?”

Actually, yes. (She glances at Cael who looks a little shocked at her answer.) I’ve never complained about it before. I was always too busy being freaked out about it to notice. I guess I’ve become used to it. It only hurts right before I do it though, so it’s not really all that bad.

At first, it was all so scary and I didn’t really want anything to do with my abilities, but now that I know how it feels to lose control of my mind, I am glad I have them. That pain has become more of a comfort, knowing what comes from it. Meeting some of the others at the Sectorium has made it little easier for me to accept who I am. Just knowing there are other people in this world capable of some pretty remarkable stuff is comforting and the pain doesn’t seem so bad.

“Addie, didn't you ever ask questions about your mother when you were younger?”

All the time. I think I drove my father crazy. When I was, I don’t know, maybe a pre-teen, Maia and I would spend hours sitting on the floor in the living room, looking at pictures of my mother and my grandparents. We were never able to do it when my father was around. He simply couldn’t deal with seeing her face. He never got over her death. Whenever he went out of town though, I would beg Maia for a night of no TV and just talking and looking at the photo albums. Maia really didn’t know enough about my mom to actually give me much information, but it was nice to look at the pictures and listen to stories of my grandparents. It helped Maia too, I think, to talk about her mom and dad; she was so young when they died. By the way, I love Grace’s last name.

I have a question for each of you. Addie, you first, what is the thing you love most about Cael?

(Blushes). Um … that would be—

(She stops here, shakes her head.) I can’t.


Okay. It would have to be the way he talks to me when we’re lying alone in bed. The sound of his voice close to my ear, the way his skin feels next to mine, and the way he makes me feel special. Cherished.

(She sighs and looks at Cael and we sit in silence for a few seconds.)

What about you, Cael? What is the thing you love most about Addie?

(Swallows). She has this quirky little habit, (he smirks and shakes his head). Okay, I won’t go there. Addison is the most sensual woman I’ve ever encountered. I love the way her mouth curves into that dimple on the left side and I love the way she looks when she’s defiant and being stubborn, and … when she is completely satiated. I love the way she smells, a mixture of apricots and peaches. She has this new stuff, too. I haven’t been able to pin point the scent, but it’s been driving me crazy.

(He looks to Addie; she shrugs.)

Addison makes me feel like the man I’ve always wanted to be. I care about life more, about how she feels. I’ve never cared about another person the way I do her. She’s become my world. Everything I do now, I think of how she will react. I want to share everything with her. I would die to protect her.

At this point, the interview is basically over and we enjoy a little idle chitchat, off the record. The bottle of wine is almost empty. I did eat a few more squares of cheese than I had intended.

Thank you both very much for the warm welcome into your home. It is absolutely lovely. What I wouldn’t give to live here.

Susan, you know we love you and we always enjoy your visits.

Come back anytime and if you ever need some inspiration or story ideas, you can call on us. We’re always here.

Right. I will and thank you so much for the wonderful visit. I loved the wine.

I gather up my notes and recorder and walk to the door. Cael and Addie follow. I turn to leave, pause, and glance back at them. I have one more question. “Any chance of a baby in the near future?”

Cael says, “Yes!”

Addie counters with, “No!”

I nod and walk back through the trellis toward my car, grinning.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Post Your Questions for An Interview with Cael and Addie

If you had a chance to interview Cael and Addie, hero and heroine of Whisper Cape, what questions would you ask them?

This seemed like a fun thing to do. Who better than you, the reader to ask the questions. Post your question/s in the comments. The interview will take place right here at on August 30th. Come join the fun!

WHISPER CAPE is a town of secrets and Addison MacKenna soon becomes tangled in a web of them. Plagued with nightmares of her father’s sudden and brutal death, Addie struggles with her anguish and refuses to believe his demise was accidental.

Fighting to shake off one of those devastating early morning nightmares, Addison finds it even harder to escape from the vision of a man lying on the side of the road—a man she may have just killed. When she frantically tries to locate him, he seemingly disappears, just the beginning of strange occurrences in her life. She also cannot ignore the weird sensations in her own body. Suddenly, the impossible seems possible, but is that a blessing or a curse?

Believing that her continual and worsening nightmares are both the key to her own new abilities and the clue to her father’s death, Addie knows she will not rest until she has the answers she craves. As she strives to cope with her new remarkable talents, someone else learns of her abilities—a disgruntled maniacal psychopath with his own agenda that involves eliminating Addie. The only one who can protect her, instruct her in the use of her powers and teach her how to destroy the murderous monster is the same man who makes Addie’s heart race and her blood heat with passion. The same man she’d left for dead.

Cael Sheridan may be arrogant and mysterious but he's also undeniably gorgeous. A member of a secret society, he is sworn to protect the woman he believes to be the daughter of his recently murdered mentor. In the process, he finds it impossible to resist her magnetic sensuality, complicating his efforts to shield and guide her as she learns to manage her newly acquired skills. At the same time, Addison has much to teach him about trust and commitment. Fate has brought them together, but will it make them stronger or destroy them both in end?(less)

Don't be left out of the conversation.
Buy it and read it now!

Oh and if at all possible, in respect to those who have not yet read Whisper Cape, please try not to give any spoilers in your question. I know that may be difficult, so we will see how this goes. Thanks


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wine and Sign

The El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce sponsored a “Wine and Sign” event, the first one they’d ever had. I’m hoping that future ones attract more people. There were three authors featured and, I think, four wineries. In my opinion, they could have gone with three wineries and four authors instead, but that’s just me. The room was small and moving from booth to booth was fairly easy.

Of the three authors present, I visited with two of them. The one I didn’t talk to, Debbi Preston, is the author of 48 Dog-Friendly Trails in California’s Foothills and the Sierra Nevada. However, my husband spoke with her for at least thirty minutes. He had purchased her book at one of the local wineries last year and he’s the one all excited about hiking around the area. I was too, until we came across that rattlesnake last year. If you know me, you know I hate snakes.

I chatted with Cindy Sample, author of Dying for a Date and fellow RWA member. I purchased her book because I’m a sucker for romantic suspense and the cover of her book is simply scrumptious with a picture of a chocolate chip cookie—yummy –beside a gun sitting on top of a broken red heart. I mean, who can resist that? She gave me some great advice and suggested I check out the local RWA Sacramento chapter, which she said meets once a month. Sounds like fun. I will check it out. Thanks, Cindy.

The third author was an interesting surprise. Turns out Gaelyn Whitley Keith, author of The Father of Hollywood, is a distant relative by marriage, way back in the days of Betsy Ross, to my husband. So of course, they had a nice long conversation. I purchased her book also, a true story based on the life of her great-grandfather, H. J. Whitley, “The Father of Hollywood.” Using her great-grandmother’s journal and memoir, Ms. Keith recreates the story of H.J’s life. I was drawn to the book because of a story I had started with a friend about the kidnapping of a young heiress in Hollywood back in 1933. Maybe someday we’ll finish that story, but I thought it would be interesting to read about the man who created Hollywood and took part in building the film capital of the world.

I ended my tour of the event booths with another surprise meeting—an author not participating in the book signings, but pouring wine for one of the local wineries. When I told him about my book, he said he also wrote a book. I was instantly intrigued and asked him his name. I blinked in surprise when he told me. Jeff Hamilton. You see, my previous married name was Hamilton. So naturally, I had to find out more about this writer. He told me he wasn’t a writer, or at least didn’t think he was very good, (Don’t we all feel that way? Well, maybe not all, but I know self-doubt is a big part of my day) but he wanted to write a book about his time spent in Rwanda and a boy he met there named Momomba. (sp?) He gave up writing the story, but his agent decided the story needed to be told, and with the help of editors, his book was picked up by Random House. He gave me his website and, of course, I looked it up. But unfortunately, he must have left something out of the address, because I couldn’t find anything about him or his photography. I did give him my card, and maybe if he visits my blog and reads this, he will offer the correct website address.

So, that was my evening at the first EDH Chamber of Commerce “Wine and Sign” event. I’m so glad I went. I got two awesome reads and tasted some great wine and most of all, I got to see what to expect when it’s my turn, which should be in a few months. I can’t wait.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I sat at my computer most of the morning pretending to write, but realized soon enough that it wasn’t going to work as I kept skimming website after website looking for something interesting. I couldn’t write, I had an ear infection and the last thing I wanted to do was sit at my computer and think. I read a book outside for a while, but it got too hot, so I came in, a little antsy and needing something mindless to do. Sometimes when I’m down in the dumps I like to bake. Well, last week Bud and I went cherry and berry picking with the grandkids. We picked about four pounds of cherries and about two pounds of blueberries. Had a blast too!

Well, what do you do with four pounds of cherries and two pounds of blueberries? I went to my daughter’s over the weekend and took her half of the cherries. When I came home, my house smelled suspiciously like burnt sugar or something. My ever-caring, always thoughtful husband wanted to surprise me, so he made a blueberry cobbler—a dark brown hard as stone blueberry cobbler. Too bad, we had to throw it away. He was sad and heartbroken. But I was thrilled that he actually tried it.

Right about now, you’re asking me what does this have to do with writing?

The answer, my friends, is nothing!

That’s right. I couldn’t write today, and I had all these cherries, so I thought, what do you do when you have too many lemons? You make lemonade. What do you do when you have too many cherries? You make a cherry pie.

I had never made a cherry pie from fresh picked-cherries before and let me tell you, it is a very messy and tedious process. I think the tips of my fingers are permanently stained black, especially under my fingernails. I stood in the kitchen pulling pits out of each cherry, staring out the window, thankful that my ear stopped hurting—thank God for Tylenol—and thinking about this past year, the friends I’ve made here on WWW and other groups I belong to and how they have touched my heart. Some more than others, of course, but none-the-less, all have made some impression on me and have helped me be who I am today. It is strange to think how some people entered my life like a ship coming into port and sailing off again with the next new dawn. Okay, that sounds corny and a bit clichéd, but you get the picture. I didn’t like the empty feeling I got thinking about the sailing away part. As I looked down at the pot full of cherries cooking on top of my stove I smiled, remembering something I think my mom used to say when she was happy, “Life is a bowl of cherries,” and I thought, yes, it is, if we make it so.

By the way, the pie was delicious!!

I think I'll have another slice.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Makes a Bestseller?

Whisper Cape comes out tomorrow, and I won’t pretend to be calm. I am not, being my first I would say there is not a calm bone in my body. So in order to direct some of that nervous energy somewhere I decided to ask the question … what makes a bestseller?
Everyone has an opinion about this. Here’s mine.
 What makes series like J.R. Ward’s sexy and dangerous Black Dagger Brotherhood, Suzanne Collin’s deadly Hunger Games series, J.K. Rowling’s seven Harry Potter books or even Stephanie Meyer’s seemingly ever-popular Edward/Bella/Jacob triangle, best sellers?
Please don’t tell me it’s plain old simple luck at hitting the market at the right time. I suppose that has something to do with it, but there is something about these series that entices readers to the point of obsession.
 New and different worlds. One thing all of these series have in common is the worlds which their characters inhabit, all different and carefully constructed by the writers to sustain their characters and their situations. Let’s take the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, for example. A world with vampires, but not just your ordinary blood-sucking variety that either kill their prey or make them into vampires, too. These are not your mother's vamps but a new and different species entirely populates this world, where vampires are born and not made, though they don't begin to look the part until they're the right age. They can even die during their transformation if not given the proper nourishment from a vampire of the opposite sex. But surely, this different world alone wasn’t what brought this particular series such success. I believe it had to be the "brothers" themselves. All of them are huge, fighting-machine-type males capable of love and tenderness with their own set of problems and failures to overcome before attaining the life and love they all so badly desire. The fact that they are all gorgeous helped too, I’m sure.
 Conflict would also be at the top of the list of what makes a book a bestseller. The authors of these series were very good at filling scenes with action/adventure, change, and conflict. The conflict maybe small, but it is still there. Take Harry Potter for instance. Harry, Hermione, and Ron all changed and grew with each new conflict, making them more mature, seasoned, wary and courageous.  Over the course of seven books, the three became like family members, always facing new and exciting challenges.
I won’t bother going into the success of “Twilight.” That was simple, girl loves boy, boy loves girl, but also desperately wants to suck her blood until there is no more. Then throw in the other boy loves (the same) girl and we have our teen love triangle. These are major conflicts, in my opinion, and many young girls can relate to much of it-minus the PN aspects--in their own love lives. Sometimes that boy is just so unattainable he might as well be a vampire.
In the Hunger Games series, there is a continuing stream of conflict consisting of possible death and injury. Where killing to stay alive is the norm and danger escalates with every turn, Katniss and Peeta are so busy running for their lives they barely have time to kiss. But let’s be real. Of course they kiss.
Failure and success. In any great novel, the protagonist’s story must be interesting and include at least one major goal that the hero/heroine is filled with a desire to attain. It’s the antagonist’s job, of course, to see that he or she fails. Strong heroes and heroines are made, not born, and can only be as strong as fighting their villain makes them. So, if the bad guy or gal isn’t virtually inviolable, there is no challenge for the hero, which can make for a very boring book.
I’m sure there is more to a book being a bestseller, but these stick out to me. Please feel free to comment and add any information you may have as I am very eager to learn. Thanks for reading.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Whisper Cape, release date, July 8th.

My debut paranormal romance, Whipser Cape, will be available Friday, July 8th.

WHISPER CAPE is a town of secrets and Addison MacKenna soon discovers she's tangled in a web of them. Cael Sheridan joins Addison's quest to find the truth. These two extraordinary individuals are brought together by destiny and supernatural events all leading to the possible demise of an ancient organization known as the Sectorium, a safe haven for all beings with paranormal gifts. As they fight together to protect their sanctuary, they struggle to resist their attraction, which leads to some steamy situations, complicating their efforts in this sensual and loving tale of good versus evil.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Inspired by Music?

I love music. I really do. I don't believe I've ever met anyone who doesn't. Most writers I talk to tell me they listen to music while they write. I’ve tried this and for some reason I can’t do it. I end up only listening to the words of the song, usually silently singing along and unable to concentrate on the story I’m trying to write.

During the time I wrote Whisper Cape, I listened to Phantom Of The Opera,whenever I wasn't writing.

In my car, jogging, or wherever I was, The Music Of The Night and Gerry Butler's voice crooned in my ears and my mind was instantly with Cael and Addie. Of course, The Phantom of the Opera has nothing to do with the story of Whisper Cape, but the music inspired me. Maybe I was a little obsessed, but it worked.

Now, I need a new obsession. I have three different stories started. I have a full outline for the sequel to Whisper Cape and the first three chapters written, then there’s a completed young adult, Allusive Aftershocks, to re-write, which would need an entirely different musical theme. My other story, The Fawn, is very intense and needs a different style of music. Oh and I must not forget the story that was started with a friend, well that’s another very intense story that needs intense music or maybe something from the 30’s to get in the mood.

Although, I can’t actually listen to music while I write, I do get ideas for my stories while listening to music. I write mostly romance, paranormal and young adult, so no matter what the subplot is in my stories, the main plot is usually about the romantic relationship between my hero and heroine, so it is helpful to listen to love songs, broken-hearted ones usually work the best.

What are some of the types of music you listen to while writing? Or are you like me and need almost total silence to stay in your character’s head? I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some Novel Locations

A great place to visit or a great place for a book setting? I often think about both, but most recently about great locations for a novel. Why choose one over another? I mean a love story can happen anywhere, right? Well, yes, but the location usually has a dramatic effect on how it develops and what the characters are like. Where a story takes place has a great influence on characters’ personalities and descriptions, taking in consideration everything from the clothing they wear to the local customs of the area. I’ve made a list of some of my favorite book settings that I’ve read about or would love to write their scenery into one of my own books. I couldn’t stop at ten so here are my top eleven favorite locations in the world that have or could inspire me.
Starting the countdown with 
11. Good old Southern California. With the many beautiful beaches and dramatic sunsets, there’s gotta be a story there somewhere. Or perhaps a historical romance that takes place in Hollywood back in the 1930’s.

10.  I like to use places I’ve either been to or want to visit in my stories and a great setting for a story would be the island of Bora Bora where I spent my honeymoon. I can already envision a young woman swept up in the beauty of the island, smitten by a handsome local islander who wants nothing more than to show her a good time with lots of sex on the beach. I loved Bora Bora and would love to go back again.

9.  The Mendocino coast comes in at number nine. Some of the most beautiful landscape in the world is right here in Northern California and the Mendocino coast is no exception with its sweeping hillsides and winding coastal highway. Man, just thinking about it makes me want to pack my bags.

8.  Italy. I wouldn’t mind writing a story that takes place in Italy. At least, part of the story. Two stories come to mind that do just that. One would be The Villa by Nora Roberts and the other is Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy, a 1996 memoir by American author Frances Mayes, later adapted by director Audrey Wells for the 2003 film “Under the Tuscan Sun.” I have to pick Venice, because well, having been married on a gondola while floating down the river being serenaded by the driver … need I say more? So what if it was faux Venice in Las Vegas. Someday … a girl can dream can’t she?

7.  Okay. I guess I’ll have to include North Carolina in this list since my husband is actually from there and has told me some wonderful stories about his adventures as a boy trapping fox and muskrats. I hear the beaches are pretty nice, too. And who can find fault with a good Nicholas Sparks novel?

6.  New York has got in goin’ on. Everybody loves a great New York detective story, like, J.D. Robb’s Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband, Roarke. Of course, they live there fighting crime in the future, but what the hay. In addition, another fab fave,  J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood takes up residence in Caldwell, New York. So yeah, I could definitely get wrapped up in some sort of creation in that location whether it is the city or some beautiful countryside upstate. Not to mention the beautiful colors of autumn. There’s plenty of good going on in New York.

 5.  Tralee, Ireland. Just look at those pictures. I can’t think of a reason not to go to Ireland and I have to pick Tralee, because a very dear and wonderful friend of mine is named after that town, and, well … who doesn’t like fables of fairies and leprechauns? They could be true. I’d like to visit and find out some day. J But my first stop would be to visit a local’s hangout, where I’d sit and listen to some good old Irish accents. Of course, I may not understand what they are saying but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the Guinness while I try.

4.  Loch Ness, Scotland. Yeah, I’m a sucker for accents and, well, mystery, and there is certainly something exciting and mysterious about Loch Ness that calls to me, begging me to visit. I’m sure I could think of a great plot for this area. In fact …


3.  Well, it would almost be sacrilegious not to have the Northern California Siera foothills close to the top of the list. After all, this is where I live and it’s where my young adult novel, “Allusive Aftershocks” takes place. Looks like a great location for two teenagers to fall in love while trying their best to stay alive. And we have some awesome sunsets. The beautiful orange and red sunset here was taken from my bedroom balcony.

2.  Lake Wallowa, Oregon. I do love the state of Oregon. It has a lot of potential for places with wide-open spaces and I can get there by car to research the area. A great place for a young women to hide out from an estranged abusive husband, I would think. My novel, “The Fawn,” takes place in a small make-believe town near Lake Wallowa, Oregon.


 1. The Oregon coast has to be number one because it’s the location where my very first novel Whisper Cape and its sequels take place. Somewhere in Oregon, half way between California and Washington lays the fictitious small coastal town of Whisper Cape. A town of secrets and mystery. How can you not think of mystery and romance when you look at these pictures?

These are just some of the locations I've thought about. I'm sure I can think of a dozen more. What are some of your favorite settings for your books or places you would like to visit? I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.