Sunday, September 27, 2015

Artistic Pursuit

The Voice is back on the air, and along with the shenanigans of Blake and Adam we are also witness to Pharell Williams. He's quiet, especially in comparison to the two other men, but he never fails to offer a phrase or two that resonate with me, as they could with any artist.

This time his pearl of wisdom was "Whatever makes you different makes you special."

If you read enough author bios, you'll see most of them say their love affair with words and writing began when they were children. A lot of writers are socially introverted, and prefer to spend their time in their own heads. My sister can always tell when I'm trying to work out a plot line, since I stare into space and my eyes go unfocused. She's learned not to bother me when I'm in this state. It makes me different, and according to Pharell, it makes me special. Who am I to argue?

I'm working on the last book in the Cotillion Ball Series now. I'm nearly done with the sloppy first draft, and I like the story line so far. I've taken a couple workshops recently, which I hope have made me a better writer. And I found a good beta reader who will let me know before the book is published if I'm overusing words, or rushing the story. I hope these developments will elevate me from being "special" and make me "extraordinary."

The Forgotten Debutante will be available in March, 2016.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Home Alone

My sister is galavanting around the country on a well deserved ten-day vacation to sunny California. I'd be envious, but I have things to do. Writers don't retire, and I have a deadline looming.

I need to set up a routine again, which has been sorely lacking from my life these last few months. First, it was the hip, then the potential move, then bronchitis, and the constant search for a new home that meets all our criteria.

Mary and I are easing into this new normal gradually. Some thunderstorms interrupted us yesterday, since Mary gets very frightened and needs to be cuddled. I can break my routine to cuddle any day of the week.

And, under the guise of going out to lunch, I took myself to the movies yesterday and munched on nachos while I stared at an aging Robert Redford. He's still handsome, but not the steal-your-breath kind of gorgeousness of his youth.

Then, there's the water therapy schedule staring me in the face. Maybe next week.

My goal while Sis is gone is to find the groove again, and get back to writing at least 1000 words a day. So far, three days in, three thousand words. So, I'm on track. Now, to keep it there, until my last book in the Cotillion Ball Series is finished. I think I can, I think I can...

And, if you haven't already done so, I still need two votes for The Duplicitous Debutante to make it to the finals of The Romance Reviews' Readers Choice Awards. Please take a moment and cast your vote here:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ready To Rock

I may have been under the weather these last few weeks, but I have managed to stay busy. Here's what's going on:

Two of my books are up for Reader's Choice Awards through the website The Romance Reviews. Expressly Yours, Samantha is listed as a Western Romance, and The Duplicitous Debutante is listed as a Historical Romance.
I need 50 votes for each title in order to continue to the next round. Simply click on the above links, hit the top button that says Nominate This Book, and you're done. Thank you so much for your help.

My little puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary, is a guest on USA Today's Happy Ever After Column.  Reminds me of the rock song about making it on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. You can see her here:

We had a serious nibble on the house, so my sister and I are spending the afternoon (along with the celebrity, Mary), doing drive-bys of the handful of houses we've narrowed our search to. For some reason, we want to be near water. So it's the Portage Lakes, or the canal, or any random lake or swimming pool. I think we have visions of pool parties in our future.

Hopefully, I'll have good news to report here soon. In the meantime, don't forget to vote!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Special Guest Caroline Warfield

I am so pleased to once again feature my friend and fellow blogger, Caroline Warfield. She has a new book coming out this month especially for all you Regency fans. Here's Caroline!

Becky Lower and I are partners at History Imagined. When we realized we have new books coming out this month, we thought it might be fun to compare notes by answering the same four questions. Becky’s answers will appear on my blog tomorrow.

My answers are here:

Tell me about your new release:

Richard Hayden, the Marquess of Glenaire, strides through life putting loyalty and duty ahead of everything. He never creases his jacket or puts a foot out of place. He views love as a maudlin sentimentality. When an uncharacteristic indiscretion with an attractive woman occurs in Dangerous Weakness,, he knows his duty. He makes the world’s worst proposal since Darcy insulted Elizabeth Bennett.  Lily Thornton refuses to be Richard’s problem to solve, and so she informs him. Her refusal to let him take care of her baffles him. My goal with the book was to bring two stubborn people to the point they could rely on each other, but these two were more stubborn than usual. She runs pretty far. When he runs after her, he has no idea what he’s about to get himself into: dishonest fishermen, friendly stevedores, disbelieving ambassadors, and slave-trading pirates.

How does the release fit into your series?

Richard appears in both of my previous books. He usually casts himself in the role of rescuer even if his sister and his friends would, like Lily, prefer to manage their own lives. Because he always wants to be in charge, I decided he needed a few lessons. I wanted to bring him to the point he was barefoot, in rags, and begging for help. If ever a hero needed his suit shredded and his hair mussed, it’s this one. It turns out he’ll do anything, even that, to protect the woman he loves.

What one thing do you hope readers enjoy in the particular offering?

As much as it was fun bringing him down a peg, I hope the readers see the heart underneath the fa├žade of the Marble Marquess. When Richard realizes he has a family, the concept stuns him. I hope readers, like Lily, come to understand his fundamental need to care for and protect those he loves.

What do you have planned next?

A secondary character that appears in all three of my Dangerous books, Will Landrum, the Earl of Chadbourn, will appear as the hero of a holiday novella in Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem, an anthology published by the Bluestocking Belles. That story is called “A Dangerous Nativity.”   

All of the Dangerous books include children, and they are all clamoring for their own stories to be told. I am in the process of imagining those stories and matching them with worldwide events that took place in the early years of Victoria’s reign.

Here's the blurb for A Dangerous Weakness: 

If women were as easily managed as the affairs of state—or the recalcitrant Ottoman Empire—Richard Hayden, Marquess of Glenaire, would be a happier man. As it was the creatures—one woman in particular—made hash of his well-laid plans and bedeviled him on all sides.
Lily Thornton came home from Saint Petersburg in pursuit of marriage. She wants a husband and a partner, not an overbearing, managing man. She may be “the least likely candidate to be Marchioness of Glenaire,” but her problems are her own to fix, even if those problems include both a Russian villain and an interfering Ottoman official.

Given enough facts, Richard can fix anything. But protecting that impossible woman is proving to be almost as hard as protecting his heart, especially when Lily’s problems bring her dangerously close to an Ottoman revolution. As Lily’s personal problems entangle with Richard’s professional ones, and she pits her will against his, he chases her across the pirate-infested Mediterranean. Will she discover surrender isn’t defeat? It might even have its own sweet reward.

And a snippet: 

 “We will marry of course,” he told her. “Quickly, but not so abruptly as to cause comments.” He walked toward the door, expecting her to follow.
“I beg your pardon,” she called out to him. “We will what?”
He turned on his heel. “Miss Thornton, you will be the Marchioness of Glenaire. That is far from ideal, and the difference in our state will no doubt cause talk. We will have to endure it.”
“Why?” she demanded. “Why this ‘far from ideal’ demand? Has Lady Sarah refused you?”
“Don’t be coy, Miss Thornton. You have led me into folly at every step. After last night I have no choice. I shall have to marry you. My family—”
“Your family would have kittens if I married you, which I will not.”
“You have respectable, if not the highest, breeding, you will show to advantage when properly dressed, and you will do well as a diplomatic hostess. My family, I was going to say, will have to deal with it.” He stalked away. “So will you.”
“I will not,” Lily shouted after him.

Buy links (Kindle only)

Find out more about Caroline here: 

Caroline Warfield has at various times been an army brat, a librarian, a poet, a raiser of children, a nun, a bird watcher, an Internet and Web services manager, a conference speaker, an indexer, a tech writer, a genealogist, and, of course, a romantic. She has sailed through the English channel while it was still mined from WWII, stood on the walls of Troy, searched Scotland for the location of an entirely fictional castle (and found it), climbed the steps to the Parthenon, floated down the Thames from the Tower to Greenwich, shopped in the Ginza, lost herself in the Louvre, gone on a night safari at the Singapore zoo, walked in the Black Forest, and explored the underground cistern of Istanbul. By far the biggest adventure has been life-long marriage to a prince among men.

She sits in front of a keyboard at a desk surrounded by windows, looks out at the trees and imagines. Her greatest joy is when one of those imaginings comes to life on the page and in the imagination of her readers.

Caroline’s social media

Visit Caroline’s Website and Blog      
Meet Caroline on Facebook                
Follow Caroline on Twitter                            @CaroWarfield
Email Caroline directly                          
Play in the  Bluestocking Bookshop

She can also be found on
Good Reads            

Caroline’s Other Books