Archive for September, 2010


Write Me! Write Me!

Posted under Writing Thursdays 4 Comments

This week’s question is from Lynn…

What is the one book you’re dying to write? Are the characters calling out to you?

The one that I’m chomping at the bit to write has been written…it just needs about 20,000 more words. It’s a suspense novel with lots of commercial appeal. When I’m going to get back to it, though, is an entirely different matter.

That said, I’ve got a new idea (for more of a women’s fiction novel) that’s been tickling my thoughts for a few months now. In fact, just recently, one of the characters revealed herself with such clarity I can already see her (and the issue she must grow from).  This particular idea, however, needs two more characters–neither of which have spoken as of yet. So it’s still on the back burner. Brewing.

I suspect some of that brewing is out of necessity. I’m working on the fifth book in the Sewing Circle series at the moment and that has my complete writing-time focus at the moment. Once that wraps on October 31st, though…


Lynn, I’d say that my stories tend to percolate for a while before I write them. I don’t jot down notes when they come to  me because I think they’ll still be there when I’m ready to write them (if they’re meant to be written). This percolating phase, as I like to call it, is when the characters take shape in my mind. I need to see them before I can write them. Sure, they tend to grow and evolve during the writing process, but I need to have enough of an outline to bring them to paper before I can start.

Does that help?

Anyone have other questions related to this or other writing-related topics?



A Dash of This, A Dash of That

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 5 Comments

I’ve got lots to share today so let’s get to it, shall we?

**My Me, A Friend, and My Library Contest closes to entries at noon on Friday (Oct. 1st). If you haven’t entered, click on the “latest news” tab at the top of the page for rules.

**A fun little twist involving Leona came to me this past weekend and I’m positively giddy to see it play out in the Southern Sewing Circle book I’m writing now ( # 5).

**My dining room table is currently housing a stack of 500 postcards awaiting labels and stamps. Their final destination? Southern Sewing Circle Mystery fans. Their purpose? To (hopefully) send those same fans to the stores in droves next week when PINNED FOR MURDER hits shelves!

**My upcoming holiday romance, MIRACLE BABY (November 2010), earned a perfect 4 1/2 star TOP PICK from RT Magazine!!! It’s my second such rating from RT this year!!  Here’s what they had to say about Miracle Baby

“Both Maggie Monroe and Rory O’Brien have known the devastating pain of losing people they loved, but Maggie hasn’t moved on yet. Slowly, Rory insinuates himself into her life, bringing her joy and hope. A truly romantic hero swoops in to save a woman from her fear of living her life. Rory and Maggie are soul mates and Bradford’s story is touching, romantic and perfect for the holidays.”

While Miracle Baby won’t be in stores until November 9th, it can be purchased at starting Friday (Oct. 1st). If you’d like a signed bookplate, let me know!

**Today is the day all of my adorable fall decorations come down from the attic (insert happy squeal here). Scarecrows, ghosts, pumpkins, cute little bowls for all that rapidly disappearing candy corn…  Sigh.  I. Can’t. Wait.

*I’m blogging HERE today (as romance-writing me).



By the Book

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 5 Comments

I’ve got some book-related questions for you today…

1) What are you reading right now?

2) Has there ever been a book-turned-movie that you actually think was better as a movie than a book? 

3) How many hours a week do you devote to reading for pleasure?

4) Has a book ever kept you awake literally all night? What was it?



Genie Time

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 7 Comments

Sometimes, as adults, we get so caught up in our own needs and wishes (pay off debt, take a vacation, accomplish some lifelong career goal) that we overlook the fun that comes from granting someone else’s wish. 

About six weeks ago, my youngest accompanied me to Office Max so I could find a new pocket calendar. On the way out of the store, she veered from the  main aisle and said–off hand and in a rather wistful way–how much she’d always wanted a desk for her room. You see, this particular kid loves to color, write, read, make lists, etc. And when her big sister had gotten one years ago (when she was just 5) she’d been in total awe.

Total. Awe.

So, when she said that in the store six weeks ago, I guess I wasn’t surprised…I just hadn’t thought about it. Besides, her room was too small. There wasn’t any room for a desk.

Or was there?

And that’s when I got the bright idea to loft her bed and put a desk underneath it. I ordered the loft and hid the box next to my car. I found the very desk that had caught her eye and hid that box in my office…  All in anticipation of her 12th birthday.

Saturday morning, bright and early, the assembling took place. First the loft. Then the desk. And finally, the chair.

Sunday morning brought a trip to Michaels for ways to make it attractive and fun.

By 5 p.m. last night, it was finally finished and I’m not sure who was more excited–me, who saw the way it looked, or her, who knew only that I was doing something in her room for her birthday but had absolutely no idea what. 

Shortly thereafter, we had the cake, we opened a few other presents, and then down the hall we went (I was in her room first to record the expression with my camera). And oh my, she was THRILLED.  T-H-R-I-L-L-E-D. The expression on her face, the joy in her voice, the sparkle in her smile absolutely blew my expectations out of the water.

And in that moment, I remembered just how special the simple things in life can be.

So tell me, have you ever made a wish come true?

Happy Monday!


Here’s a peek at the new room (since I forgot to take “before” shots, all I can offer is an “after”)…complete with leaf wrapped loft poles (for a foresty/fairy feel) and little mini Christmas lights along the rail behind the desk (for a dreamy feel). Cute, huh?

Now, if I could show you a picture of her face the moment she saw it, that would be really cute…


Party Time

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 7 Comments

This evening, seven little 6th graders will be descending on my home for a “Red Carpet” birthday party for my youngest daughter.

She made the invitations by hand and we’ve come up with some fun things to do to carry out her chosen theme. As for the cake…I’m turning it into a stage with seven little bodies. Each girl will get a vanilla wafer to decorate to look just like them, which I will then put on top of the bodies.

All so it can be eaten after we sing.

Fun stuff. 

So, in honor of today’s party, I’m coming to you with some Birthday Bits & Pieces…

1) What birthday stands out most for you as a child and why?

2) Favorite party game as a kid?

3) Least favorite party game as a kid?

4) What “theme” would you pick for a birthday of yours now?

Have a great weekend, everyone!



Beyond the Writing

Posted under Uncategorized, Writing Thursdays 7 Comments

Today’s writing-related question is one I received via email a few months ago, yet opted to save until now due to its timeliness.

From Melissa:  Other than a few signings, is your obligation done once the book is written?

This is a good question. And, as a pre-pubbed writer who didn’t really know any published authors six years ago, I always assumed it did. I figured you wrote the book, turned it in, and the rest took care of itself.

I soon learned how wrong that was. Or, rather, how wrong it is if you want to succeed in this business.

The best way to illustrate the answer to this question is to talk about what I’m doing right now…

I’m currently writing the fifth book in my Sewing Circle Mystery Series. It’s due to my editor on November 1st. However, the third book (PINNED FOR MURDER) in the series releases in 12 days. In those next 12 days, I must send out my mailing announcing the book’s release (this includes labeling and stamping nearly 500 postcards), write some guest blogs, wrap up the contest I’m running right now (see my “Latest News” tab above for more information) and finalize my itinerary for my launch weekend.

The day PINNED FOR MURDER comes out, I plan to do some stock signings in my area as well as participate in a live online chat with Berkley readers as arranged by the publisher.

The next day I hit the road (or, rather, the air) to do stock signings in the St. Louis area before hosting a launch party in St. Charles, MO the evening of October 8th. Then it’s on to Houston the next morning for a signing the evening of the 9th, followed by more stock signings in the Houston area on the 10th. While traveling, I’m building my mailing list for the release of my fourth book (in April).

Then it’s home to write (which I’ll be doing while traveling, as well) before a second weekend of signings is upon me. During this time, I’m in touch with my editor regarding any best seller lists we may have made (keep your fingers crossed, okay?), and fielding any emails from fans who have read the latest book (I LOVE emails, by the way).

So there you have it–a quick glimpse at the world beyond the actual writing.

Any new questions to add to my lineup (Lynn, I’ll get to yours next week)??



Spreadin’ The Love

Posted under odds and ends 2 Comments


In honor of the upcoming release of PINNED FOR MURDER (October 5th), I’ve decided to have a kick-off contest that will give a nod to my main character Tori Sinclair’s work as a librarian and the importance of good friends!

One lucky winner (as randomly chosen on October 2nd) will receive the prize packet outlined on my “Latest News” page. Additionally, they will also win one for a friend of their choice AND their local library.

Sound good?

Now click on the “Latest News” tab at the top of your page for more details/rules! Oh…and spread the word to any book lovers you know, okay?

And good luck!



Lasting Repercussions?

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 3 Comments

One of the best parts of wandering around a bookstore is seeing all of those great covers. And, let’s be honest, covers talk to you. They just do.

The book I just finished reading had one of those covers (plus, I’m a sucker for anything beachy).

 Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer was told through the eyes of four different women in alternating chapters.

Here’s what the jacket copy says (my generic question to all of you is below):

Abbie Fox hasn’t seen her father or two younger sisters in almost two years, during which she’s jetted around the world and experienced life, if not love. But now Lily, the baby of the family, is sending Abbie urgent emails begging her to return home to Nantucket. Their middle sister, Emma, has taken to her bed, emotionally devastated after the loss of her high-powered stockbroker’s job and a shockingly unexpected break-up with her fiancé. Also, Lily is deeply worried that Marina, the beautiful, enigmatic woman renting their guesthouse, has set her sights on the sisters’ widowed father, Jim. The Fox girls closed ranks years ago after the haunting, untimely death of their mother, but seeing their dad move on with his life forces each of them to take stock.

Over the course of the summer, the sisters’ lives grow as turbulent as the unpredictable currents encircling Nantucket. When Abbie encounters an incredibly appealing married man, she breaks her own rules in the name of love, fearing all the while that she’ll regret it. Meanwhile, type-A Emma learns a new definition of success, and strong-minded Lily must reconcile her dreams with reality. Even Marina, who has come to Nantucket to forget heartbreak and betrayal, faces an astonishing turn of events that will find her torn between fate and freedom. At summer’s end, these unforgettable women will face profound choices—and undergo personal transformations that will surprise even themselves.

So here’s my you-didn’t-have-to-read-the-book-to-answer-this-question question… 🙂 

The lives of all three of the sisters was shaped by a single event–their mother’s untimely death and, perhaps, the woman’s struggle with depression. Do you think that a single event can have lasting consequences throughout an entire life? And, if so, do you think that can ever truly be changed? Can it be overcome by sheer willpower?



Prequel, Anyone?

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 4 Comments

As most of you know, I went to see Wicked on Broadway with my daughters this past weekend (absolutely, positively loved it). And while I loved the way they told it through music and acting, I found myself intrigued by a different aspect of the overall story as well–the notion of creating a story before the story.


Well, Wicked takes a look at the Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West…before she became the witch.

And then, in the popular Peter and The Starcatchers (young adult) adventure series, best selling author Ridley Pearson teams up with fellow best selling author Dave Barry to explore Peter Pan’s life before he came across Captain Hook.

It’s genius, I tell you.

So here’s a question for all of you. What classic story/movie would you love to see get a prequel??



Mish Mash

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 6 Comments

Today’s Bits & Pieces is a mish mash of topics. Ready?

1) What’s the greatest fairy tale of all time?

2) Greatest romantic movie?

3) What’s the one song guaranteed to make you jump up and dance?

4) Biggest gripe of the week?

Have fun!