Archive for October, 2010


Bits & Pieces If You Dare (Moo-ha-ha)

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 11 Comments

Halloween is one of those holidays you either like or don’t like. Me? I fall into the former camp.

That said, it’s the happy part of Halloween that I like–kids dressing up as princesses and pirates, angels and pumpkins, and whatever else their imagination can dream up (though, I’ll pass on the scary stuff). I like seeing neighbors out and about with their kids, flashlights in hand. And I like watching my kids sitting on the floor together, sorting their candy into piles–the favorites, the okays, and the not so yummies–because it reminds me of Halloweens spent with my own brother and sister.

My favorites were always the basic chocolate/peanut butter variations. I always stuck Almond Joys in the “not so yummy” pile. And I loved taking a piece of my candy to school for snack for the week or so following Halloween.

Before we get into our Halloween Bits & Pieces, I thought I’d share a quick little memory…one my loyal readers will have difficulty believing. When I was little (age 7 and under), I didn’t like candy. At all. In fact, come Halloween night, I’d go to the various doors in our neighborhood, say “Trick or Treat” like everyone else, and then say, “no thank you” and head to the  next house when it came time to get my treat.

Weird, huh?

Fortunately (or, unfortunately these days), I grew out of that weirdism as I got older and grew to love the candy part of Halloween as much as the next kid.

Now, it’s your turn…

1) What’s the cutest or  most clever costume you’ve ever seen (whether you wore it or not)?

2) Have you ever done a group costume thing with anyone for Halloween? What was the theme?

3) Pillowcase or pumpkin bucket?

4) Is there a costume you would never wear?


P.S. For those who are interested, I’m blogging as my romance writing persona HERE today.


The Myth of the Block

Posted under Writing Thursdays 4 Comments

I got this question via email from Sue in Michigan.

Q:  What do you do when you get writer’s block?

A: Oooh, good question. Only my answer might throw things off a little. I rarely get “writer’s block” in the way that expression is meant. I think some of that comes from my days as a newspaper reporter. We had deadlines, three times a week. And we had to produce. Not meeting deadline was not an option. Beyond that, I always have ideas. Always. That said, I don’t always write when I should.

Some of that is simply life getting in the way. Some of that is the time-sucker known as the internet.

Sometimes, though, I sit down to write and the words don’t flow as easily as other times. For me, that’s not being blocked but, rather, more a case of not hitting my groove with a particular scene or my muse trying to tell me I’m going in the wrong direction or making a character do something they’re not supposed to do.

When that happens, I might eek out a couple of paragraphs in the course of a few hours if I try to ignore the internal hesitation. But I’m learning to sit back when that happens and look at the scene with a fresh pair of eyes, considering other ways to get where I need the story to be. When I do that, it starts to flow and I can get 10 pages in that same span of time that yielded only paragraphs earlier.

Thoughts? Questions?



Name Your Daydream

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 5 Comments

It’s one of those days.

It’s dreary and rainy…

My youngest is home from school with a tummy ache…

And I’m oh so aware of everything I need to do (book deadline top on that list).

Which is why, I suspect, I’m daydreaming about books (ones to read), characters (for new books I want to write), a long walk in the woods (love the crunch of leaves under my boots), and a roaring fire accompanied by a mug of hot chocolate (with whipped cream, of course).

It’s daydreams like these, that make days like today a little better.

Anyone else daydreaming today?



Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off To Fresh Fiction We Go…

Posted under Reading Tuesdays No Comments

I’m guest blogging with the folks at Fresh Fiction today (I’m talking about characters and how they worm their way into the hearts of readers and their writers).

Besides making me eternally grateful to see you over there, an added incentive for checking out my guest stint is the chance to win an autographed copy of PINNED FOR MURDER! That’s right, one lucky comment(er) on my Fresh Fiction guest blog will win a copy of my latest release!

Sound good? Then c’mon…CLICK HERE.




Posted under Dreamer Mondays 9 Comments

Look what’s here… 

It’s the cover for book #4 in my Southern Sewing Circle mystery series!

DEADLY NOTIONS will hit store shelves nationwide starting April 5th. For now though, DEADLY NOTIONS is available for pre-order!

In the meantime, how would you like a quick little “Where’s Waldo” kind of tour?

1) The dress on the picnic table is part of the story (it’s a child’s pageant dress) and plays a pivotal role.

2) The tire swing in the back is a clue.

3) The streamers in the trees are a perfect setting detail.

My cover artist did it again, didn’t she? She is amazing!!

As for me, well, I’m in the process of finishing up book # 5 (we work about a year ahead of production)!



Bits & Pieces

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 10 Comments

Somehow, someway everything on my laptop has gotten big (as in, steroid big) and I don’t know how…or, more importantly, how to FIX it. So I’m a little punchy right now.

That said, I’m ready for our weekly Bits & Pieces questions. Are you?

1) Have you ever seen a show on Broadway? If so, what? If many times, what was your favorite?

2) Halloween is right around the corner. What is your all-time favorite Halloween candy?

3) What was the worst thing you ever got in your candy bag?

4) What was the last movie you saw and what did you think?



Is Anyone Out There?

Posted under Writing Thursdays 12 Comments

Day after day I ask you, my loyal blog readers, questions. Questions about life, your taste in books, your dreams, etc.

Now it’s your turn to ask the questions…

Quiz me about writing (specific books, specific characters, habits, whatever), my bookshelves (what’s on them, what’s not), goofs, accomplishments, music preferences, or whatever you want.

Who wants the mic first?




Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 4 Comments

It’s been a busy week…  

**PINNED FOR MURDER debuted at the # 6 spot on the Barnes & Noble Mass Market Mystery list nationwide. This past week it fell to # 7. Bookscan (a more comprehensive national list that includes a variety of venues) debuted it at # 9.  Yay!  

**PINNED FOR MURDER scored a mention on the NPR (National Public Radio) website!! Click HERE to take a peek!

**I’m thinking about doing some sort of fundraiser/book thing for the Multiple Sclerosis Assocation of America. I just don’t know what…or how. Thoughts…advice…offers to help are all welcome (though I’d like to start small and work up in years to come)!

**Large print rights for DEATH THREADS and PINNED FOR MURDER have been purchased. Details to follow…

**I’m writing like a nut right now but, so far, I’m pleased with the outcome.

**Wondering if any of my loyal blog readers have started PINNED yet. Thoughts?

** A reader posted a review of PINNED FOR MURDER on her blog HERE.

**Did you know that the next book in the series ( # 4–DEADLY NOTIONS–release date April 5th) is now available for pre-order?

Hmmm, I think that’s about it at the moment.



Slap A Title On It

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 10 Comments

If you were to title your life as if it were a book, what would it say?

Be serious, be funny, be creative…just give it your best shot, okay?  There’s a small prize in it for the best one!



Priceless Treasures

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 4 Comments

I have a hope chest that is, perhaps, one of my most prized possessions. The chest, itself, is lovely, but the things it holds are nothing short of treasures. 

Inside, you’ll find a sort of tangible walk down memory lane as it pertains to my girls. There’s my youngest’s first halloween costume and very first pair of Elmo slippers (I get teary every time I look at the little eyeballs staring back at me). There’s my oldest’s Baptism dress and Duck-on-the-Backside sleeper that she wore when she was just days old. There’s letters to Santa from year’s past, and artwork that’s progressed from circles sporting legs and arms (love those)…to drawings that still blow my mind. There’s the picture book project my oldest did in second grade that had her sharing the details of her great grandparents’ journey to America, and one my youngest did after a particular trip to the zoo. 

The contents are, in a word, priceless. 

So how about you? If you had (or have) a hope chest, what might we find inside?