Sunday, January 11, 2015


EVERNIGHT TEEN turns two this month and we’re having a huge party to celebrate! It may be EVERNIGHT TEEN’s birthday, but you get the presents. So, grab a piece of cake, hop from blog-to-blog and discover EVERNIGHT TEEN! 

Be sure to visit every stop on the hop and answer each question. The more you blogs you hop, the more chances to win the GRAND PRIZE of an iPad Mini sponsored by EVERNIGHT TEEN (one entry per blog). Plus, hop each blog for a host of other fabulous prizes.  Have your TBR list handy because we have lots of new titles for you to add, including my featured book, PHOENIX: THE RISING!
Two years ago on January 10, I celebrated my birthday with the release of my first novel, PHOENIX: THE RISING. It was the launching title for the new teen imprint, Evernight Teen, which now has over 30 fantastic titles! PTR is still one of their top three sellers and even maintained the top seller spot for over 15 months, a fact which I still find mind-boggling, considering the fantastic titles that followed mine. But that stat is because of YOU, my readers. Thank you for believing in me and Evernight Teen!
For a chance to win EVERNIGHT TEEN’s GRAND PRIZE of an iPad Mini and my blog prize, a $10 Evernight Teen gift card, click on my “Excerpt” page and read the first excerpt that begins “Three hundred years ago…”. Once you’ve read the excerpt, answer the question below in the comments section following this post. Be sure to include your email address to be eligible to win! The question is:
Why did Laylah hide herself and the Fire Child under the basket in the council shelter?
The birthday blog hop continues here:


Saturday, January 10, 2015


My idea of the perfect birthday is being able to spend my day at home, at my computer, writing with no other distractions, no other pressing demands pulling me away from what I really want to do. I think if you asked just about any writer how they'd like to spend their day, they would describe a similar scenario. So, here I am, sitting once again in my own little corner, in my own little chair, diving headfirst into my own little imaginary world. I love it!

As my birthday present to all of you, I thought I'd treat you to a birthday scene from THE TIP TOP CAFE', the first of the Four Sisters series I'm querying. Liza Erickson, our heroine, is turning 18 (and happens to have the same birthday is Yours Truly **wink-wink-nod-nod**) and gets a visit from our yummy hero, Jacob Gallagher. Enjoy!
My eighteenth birthday fell on a Saturday, and I, of course, had to get up early to work. The Tip Top Café wasn’t going to shut down just because it was my birthday. Jake had to drive Emma to the airport in Des Moines mid-morning. She was flying out to see her sister in Amarillo for the next two weeks, so I didn’t expect to see him until after the 5:30 mass, which, of course, he was helping Father Kelly with.
I was used to Jake’s absence between 4:30 and 6:30 on Saturdays, and was even a little jealous of the fact that he was so devoted to this. It’s not that I’m a heathen or anything; I’m just Lutheran. Church is supposed to be on Sunday mornings. It’s just not natural.
January 10th turned out to be an unusually beautiful day. It was warming up and was expected to hit the low forties. That’s shorts weather in Iowa. The town was buzzing with activity, and it seemed we were busier than usual at the café. Even Evelyn, one of those strange old birds who frequent the Tip Top, ventured out to grab some pie and coffee. Evelyn is barely five feet tall and one of the skinniest people I’ve ever met. Every Saturday she wears her red polyester outfit with a matching red hat. Her stiff, awkward gait makes me wonder sometimes if she isn’t really a robot. I wouldn’t be surprised if her batteries ran out one day and she just totally shut down in the middle of drinking her coffee.
At about 1:30 we started to shut things down. I was helping Mom clean the grill when the back door opened, and in walked Jake. I ran up and threw my arms around his waist, burying my face in his chest.
“I am so glad you’re here!” 
“Wow!  Nice greeting.”  Jake pried me loose, backed up, then smiled.
“Happy birthday, Eliza!”  He whipped his right hand up, holding a single long-stemmed red rose, or rather, what had once been long-stemmed. The stem was cracked in the middle and the bloom hung awkwardly to the side.
I raised my eyebrows, looking at the wonderful, pitiful thing. “Gee, thanks Jake. It’s ... beautiful.” 
Jake was staring at his gift. “Oops. Sorry. It must have broken when you attacked, I mean, hugged, me.”
“I don’t care.” I took the rose, stood it upright, and breathed in its glory. It really was the most beautiful thing I had ever been given.
“It’s from you, and I love it.”  I cupped his face in my hand, and gave him a quick kiss, remembering not to carry things too far. I’d learned a lot this past month.
Mom filled a vase with water. I cut the stem at the break, placed it in the vase, and set it on the kitchen windowsill. I stared at it for a moment, and bit my lower lip. It was the first real rose I ever received, not counting the corsage from the dance ... and I had gotten it from him.
I turned around to find Jake staring at me with a thoughtful grin on his face. He was obviously enjoying my reaction to this simple gift. I wrapped my arms around his waist and hugged him gently.
“I really do love it, Jake.”  My heart was beginning to pound. Please don’t notice!
“Well, Miss Erickson,” Jake explained as he held me close, ignoring my obviously out of control heart, “I couldn’t wait until tonight to see you, so I thought I’d make a little surprise visit. There’s no way I would come empty-handed.”  He snuggled his nose into my hair and breathed deeply. “Mmm. Eliza Jayne, you smell so good.”
I backed away. Cripes! I knew exactly what I smelled like. “I smell like French fries!” I cried, horrified.
Jake smiled crookedly. “I know. Makes my mouth water.”  He winked. Mom took that as her cue, and popped an order of fries in the deep fryer.
“I’ll have a batch ready in just a minute, Jake,” she smiled.
Jake walked over and kissed her on the cheek. “You’re my favorite, Mom!”  Mom touched the spot Jake had kissed, and turned three shades of red.
“Now, you stop that!” She was smitten. It was hard not to be.
“You better make it to go.” He looked over at me as he sat on a stool. “I’ve got things to take care of. Shopping to do. Plans to make.”  He wiggled his eyebrows at me.
God, he was so sexy sitting there!  He had one leg splayed out with the heel of the boot on his other foot hooked onto the middle rung of the stool. He leaned back, draping his elbows on the counter behind him. It was taking every bit of willpower I had in my body not to pounce and make him mine, right there, in front of my mother. I breathed in deeply, closing my eyes as I tried to get the picture running through my mind to leave.
The fryer ‘dinged’ the image right out of my head, and I pulled out the fries, flipping them into the draining tray. I sprinkled a smidgen of salt on them and packed them in the bag.
Jake’s eyes were focused on mine, and he had this smug grin on his face as I stood about two feet away, holding the bag out to him. He grabbed my wrist and slowly pulled me towards him. I found myself standing in the crook of his legs, a very uncomfortable, very wonderful position to be stuck in. Mom high-tailed it for the dining room, pulling Anne by the arm behind her. I kept my eyes focused on his, giving him my own version of the ‘evil eye’.
“You are a dirty bird, Jacob Gallagher!” I accused, shoving the bag into his chest. “You think you can break me, don’t you?” I was dangerously close to the melting point, but there was no way I would admit this to him.
He slid off the stool. I didn’t budge an inch, forcing the length of his body to slide up mine as he stood.  
I stood on my tip-toes, raised my lips to his ear, and whispered heavily, “Two can play this game ... remember that.” I punctuated that with a soft brush of my open lips and a slight flick of my tongue just under his ear.
“Holy Mary ...!” Jake grabbed my shoulders and shoved me back. “Okay, Eliza, you really need to control yourself. It was just a little test.”  Jake beat it for the door with me in pursuit.
“I AM in control, or haven’t you noticed?” Jake disappeared out the door before I finished my sentence. I grabbed the handle to the upright freezer when Jake suddenly stuck his head back inside.
“Eliza Jayne, wear something special tonight. I have a little surprise for you. I’ll pick you up at eight.”
Still holding the handle of the freezer, I swung towards him, grabbed his shirt and pulled him to me, kissing him full on the lips.
“You won’t be able to handle what I wear tonight, Jacob.”  I ended that with a lift of my own eyebrow.
The look on his face was laughable as he backed out the door. As soon as he was gone, I opened the freezer door and stuck my head inside, pressing my face against a bag of frozen peas. Holy Mary ...!

Friday, November 28, 2014


Okay. I admit it. I am no domestic goddess. Besides not being overly concerned about a dusty shelf or a counter sprinkled with dirty dishes, I cringe as holidays approach, knowing that I owe it to my family to make an effort to decorate for the season. But, no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to conjure my inner June Cleaver (except for soup art at which I excel). So when I walked in the front door the other day after work and discovered that a Christmas Wonderland had exploded in my house (courtesy of my holiday-loving husband)  I was ecstatic at the thought that I wouldn't have to spend my few free hours in the evening trying to find the perfect spot for the fourteen boxes of nutcrackers, Santas, snowmen, and angels we had lugged up from the basement the day before. My evenings could now be devoted to GETTIN' MY BETTE ON! No, I'm not talking about baking. (The only Christmas pumpkin pie smells you'll find here will be coming from the scented candles my husband placed in each room.) My BETTE is a writer, not a pie-maker. My BETTE is an idea-generator, not a cookie decorator. So, I'm writing. Developing story ideas. Searching out the perfect literary agents and publishing houses to query for my TIP TOP CAFE' series.

I'm also curious. How do you get your BETTE (replace my name with yours) on? I'd love to read your comments, which you can leave below (and while you're at it, I'd also love for you to follow my blog.)

Oh, I almost forgot. Here's another snippet from my current manuscript, MOONFLOWER ROAD. Enjoy!
Collin watched as Jeannie turned and rushed out of the kitchen. He was exhausted, but not too tired to notice the gentle sway and roll of her hips as she exited. He felt a familiar tug deep in his groin. Stop it, you fool! A damned woman’s the reason you ended up in Iowa in the first place!  That did it. Thinking about Annette was like throwing water on a fire. Not a pleasant feeling, but it produced the desired effect. He’d be armed and ready with those deflating thoughts and whip them out when the temptation became too great.
The bathroom ended up being a combination bathroom/laundry room. Figuring he could kill two birds with one stone, Collin ran a bath instead of opting for a shower. That way he could run his clothes through the washer while he bathed, which was an absolute necessity since what he wore was the only set of clothes he owned right at the moment. At least he had enough sense to figure that he probably couldn’t attempt a shower and run the washer at the same time without either getting scalded or getting a blast of cold water as the washer moved through its cycles.
Removing wet jeans was harder than Collin realized. After falling over twice, and ramming one knee on the corner of the counter, he finally succeeded by stepping on the bottom of one pant leg and yanking his leg out, then repeating the process with the other leg. Good thing Jeannie wasn’t witnessing this. She would have had a good laugh and never let him forget it. Only after peeling off every stitch of clothing, throwing them into the washer, and deciphering the instructions on how to run the damned thing, did Collin allow himself to slip into the glorious, hot water.  He leaned back and slid under, soaked his hair, then lathered up, and slid under again, running his hands through his hair to get out all the shampoo. Son of a... He looked down at his stinging hands. Blisters, ripped open from the repetitive movement of the scraper, dotted the palm of his right hand.  Sitting behind a desk for the last ten years had softened him up. His skin wasn’t used to this much manual labor. Well, he’d have to grin and bear it. They’d have time to heal up a bit after the bath. Plus, he could just wear gloves tomorrow.
After giving himself a scrubdown, he settled back into the tub and closed his eyes. He’d have time to rest just a bit before he would have to move his clothes from the washer to the dryer...
Collin’s eyes flew open. He was up to his nose in cold water in a bathtub in a strange bathroom. Bam-Bam-Bam! Someone was pounding at the door. Jeannie! He regained his senses, remembering where he was as he hauled himself out of the tub.
“I’m taking a bath!” He grabbed a towel and wrapped it around his waist.
“You’ve been in there for almost two hours, and, might I remind you that this is the only working bathroom in the house?”
Two hours? I must have fallen asleep! Collin ran over to the washer, grabbed his clothes and tossed them into the dryer.
“I need to dry my clothes.”
“Just get dressed and get out of there, unless of course you want me to pee in the bushes.”
Collin held onto the towel with one hand, and opened the door with the other. Jeannie’s jaw dropped as her eyes flashed down to the towel. “Sorry, but the rest of my clothes were stolen out of my saddlebag.”
She squeezed her eyes shut, then grabbed the knob of the door and slammed it shut.
“Just wait. Don’t come out.”
Collin could hear her feet pad across the room, up the stairs and across the floor above him. It was quiet for about ten seconds, then the sound returned as she retraced her steps. Within a few seconds, she knocked quietly at the door.
“I have a robe you can borrow until your clothes dry.”
The door inched open and she stuck her hand through the opening. Collin peeked out to see that she had turned her head to the side. Her eyes were pinched shut. He smiled to himself. The naïveté and innocence of these Midwestern girls was so unlike anything he’d encountered in New York. This woman was actually flustered! He took the navy blue terrycloth, and she snatched her hand away.
“Just hurry, will you?”
Jeannie heard a click behind her. Within a few seconds, the door opened. She turned to see Collin standing in front of the door wearing Jason’s robe. It didn’t help. He might as well have been naked. She already knew what he looked like underneath—well, at least from the hips up, and what she had seen a few minutes ago had knocked the breath from her. His tanned torso and rippling abs had been forever etched into her mind, burned onto her retinas, and she could just imagine them under the robe...
“It’s all yours!”
Jeannie blinked, confused as she came out of her brief reverie. “What?”
Collin smiled. “The bathroom. You said you’d prefer the bathroom to the bushes.”
Jeannie’s face shot a blazing red once again. She knew why he was smiling. That smug, son of a bitch was getting a kick out of this…out of watching her ogle him like a star-struck teenager. She cleared her throat, lifted her chin, and brushed past him, trying to preserve some thread of near non-existent dignity.
“Right. It’s about time.”
Collin turned to face her, but she slammed the door and threw her back against it before he could say a word. She held her breath, waiting to hear retreating footsteps. Instead, she heard a low chuckle.
“You’re welcome.”
Jeannie squeezed her eyes shut in embarrassment.
 Shit. What have I gotten myself into?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Evernight Teen 99 Cent Specials--WOOT!!

I LOVE it when we have special promotions on Evernight Teen!! So, if you didn't get your e-copy of my novel, PHOENIX: THE RISING, here is your chance to get it for $0.99 (that's 99 pennies, folks!) Let's move it up to that Top Seller position again! :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Things are heating up on MOONFLOWER ROAD...

And, as promised, once again, here's a final little snippet of MOONFLOWER ROAD, giving you a taste of some sparks that are soon about to fly....Enjoy!!

Jeannie flipped the light off in her room and peeked out her bedroom window just in time to see Collin ascend the steps of the pool in all his naked glory. She gasped and jumped away from the window, pressing her body against the wall. The pounding of her heart amplified against the daisy-patterned wallpaper and she knew at that moment she was going to look again. Dropping to her knees, she inched her way across the floor, and slowly peeked over the window sill. The lights around the pool illuminated Collin’s glistening muscles as he grabbed a towel off a deck chair and wiped his face and arms. She moaned as he wrapped it around his waist. Oh my god, I’ve turned into a peeping Tom!

As if on cue, his head snapped in her direction and she dropped to her stomach. Shit! Did he see me? Blood shot to her cheeks and she scrunched her eyes shut. He saw me! I just know he saw me! Frozen to the spot, she pressed her ear to the floor and waited until she heard the screen door slam before she rose and made her way over to her bed.

            Jeannie pulled her lone bikini bottoms off, then grabbed a camisole out of her dresser drawer and a matching pair of panties and threw them on her bed. She flicked on the small lamp on her nightstand and was immediately faced with the reflection of her naked body in her dressing mirror. I wonder what he thought when he saw me? She let her eyes trail down the length of her body. Did he find me attractive? She allowed herself a brief glance at her breasts. They still looked pretty good. Very good, as a matter of fact.  She thought she saw a smile on Collin’s face as he ogled them. The thought elicited a warm glow in her cheeks. Her eyes dropped lower. She even had a hint of abs. Definitely not a “hard body”, but better than most of her friends from high school. Most of them already had a couple of kids. Of course, they also didn’t have a husband, or, more precisely, ex-husband, doing time in a state penitentiary. She drew her hand across the smooth flatness of her abdomen. Obviously the lack of the effects of motherhood were a good thing…at least that’s what most people would think. Footsteps in the hallway halted the route her mind was taking. She wiped away the lone tear that had mysteriously appeared on her cheek, jumped into her panties, and pulled the camisole over her head just as she heard the knock. He’s knocking at my door. My bedroom door. She wanted to jump in bed and pull the covers over her head, but she knew she couldn’t...


Thursday, September 4, 2014

MOONFLOWER ROAD: Chapter One continued: HER

And now, as promised, it's time to meet the heroine of MOONFLOWER ROAD....

One month.

Hot, foreign tears threatened to spill down Jeannie Butler’s blanched cheeks as she scanned the page, trying to see beyond the bolded date of October 1, beyond the panic-inducing mention of foreclosure that popped up every few sentences. The tears threatened to spill, but she wouldn’t let them. Not this time. She’d had this feeling before. Two years earlier. The day she got the call. What was it that he said to her? I’m in trouble, honey? She cried the day she got that call—furious, crazed tears. Tears of dreams shattered, of love lost. She cried until there was nothing left. No tears, no anger, no love…and she hadn’t cried since. Jeannie squashed the final notice into a tight wad and hurled it across the room. It hit the wall then rebounded back at her, rolling to a quick stop in front of her bare feet.

When she looked back, she had to admit the signs were there even before she walked down the aisle.  Jason liked to spend money on himself, and on her, and it made her giddy with ecstatic disbelief when he did. She’d grown up not knowing if her mom would have enough money to put food on the table since her father drank most of it away, so when Jason took her out to eat on a daily basis, bought her the clothes she’d never been able to afford on a teenage waitress’s pay, it didn’t enter her naïve mind at the time that gambling might be involved. By the end of their third year of marriage, six months after she took a second out on their dream home to finance the downpayment on the café, it was evident by the collection notices arriving on a regular basis that he was draining their savings account, not for paying bills as he claimed, but for some shady reason. Then the call came, and the next thing Jeannie knew, her husband was serving a seven year prison sentence for embezzlement and she was stuck paying off all his debts. He’d stolen almost everything from her, and now the bank was taking the last two things she held dear to her heart: her home and her beloved café.

Jeannie sighed and reached down, snatching the ball at her feet. She unrolled it as best she could and stretched it out, running the wrinkled sheet across her thigh in a lame attempt to iron it out. She folded the single sheet and stuffed it back into its envelope, then tucked the envelope and its contents into the front of the file cabinet beside the fridge, along with all the other letters. But this one was different. There would be no more letters after this. No more warnings. This was it.
            She glanced at the pile of bills on the table, then to the picture of her, her three sisters and her mom at the grand opening which she’d attached with a rooster magnet to the side of the fridge. The original was on the wall at work, of course, in a fancy pewter frame she’d paid too much for. This was just a copy she made on her scanner, but it didn’t matter. Reading the caption still brought a bittersweet smile to her lips. Jeannie Butler, new owner of The Tip Top Café. She felt so proud at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Finally, she had something of her own. Something she could be proud of. A tear escaped. She brushed it away with a flick of her finger. One month. How could she tell them? What she needed was a miracle, because it was going to take a miracle to save the café, let alone her house.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Soooo, I've been in a funk lately, especially since I took my last child, my baby, my only daughter, to college on Friday. Yesterday, after about four hours of sitting in my chair not accomplishing anything except watching Netflix and taking a two hour nap, my husband turned off the TV and suggested I find my muse and start writing again. With nothing else to lose since my baby was now gone, I opened up MOONFLOWER ROAD, primed the pump by reading my last chapter, and the writing began. Success! I added another thousand words in just a couple of hours! In honor of this auspicious occasion, over the next week I'll introduce you to both my main characters with my first chapter, then spice it up at the end of my celebration with my most recent scene, which is a little naughty, if I do say so myself!

And now, heeeeeere's Collin!

“Wish me luck, George.”

The moment the leather of his soles hit the cobblestone of 15 Central Park West, Collin Jamison knew there was no turning back. He flicked away the bead of perspiration trickling down his temple then tugged at the knot of his Lorenzo Cana charcoal silk. Her favorite. At least that’s what she said every time he wore the damn thing. Today it felt like a noose around his neck...choking him…taunting him to turn and run while he had a chance. He could broker multi-million dollar deals, bang heads with Trump and his cronies, but this one little deed, the utterance of four simple words, had him sweating like Fat Bastard in a Santa suit.

George closed the door behind him as only George could do. Noiselessly.

“Ain’t no such thing as luck, Mr. Jamison. Either the woman loves you, or she don’t.”

Collin’s hand slipped over the obscenely expensive lump in his jacket pocket for the millionth time that morning, seeking some type of palpable reassurance of the decision he’d made. Pffft.  Of course she loves me. Who wouldn’t? I’m Collin Edward Jamison the III, heir to the largest real estate development firm in New York. Manhattan’s Most Eligible Bachelor...

George raised an eyebrow.

He’s expecting me to say something like that…something cocky and self-absorbed. But George knew as well as he did that Annette Bradshaw, the willowy, raven-haired, thirty-year-old Wall Street attorney, was the love of his life. This time, George would have to settle for the truth instead of a smart-ass answer.

“She loves me.”


Shit. Now what?

“Are you sure you don’t want me to wait? In case she chases you off with her briefcase?” George winked and let loose a throaty James Earl Jones laugh, the kind that seemed to start in his toes before working its way up to his deep baritone vocal cords. Collin couldn’t help but smile.

“I don’t plan on needing your services until later in the day, George.” Collin shot him his own wink. “Much later.  Miss Bradshaw and I will have a bit of .... celebrating to do.” He tapped the lump one more time then headed for the door to Annette’s building.


George’s booming voice stopped Collin in his tracks, the same way it did when he was eight years old and George caught him pissing in his mother’s rose bush. Ruined a perfectly good pair of Chuck’s that day. Collin turned, expecting George to give him one last tidbit of unsolicited fatherly advice, or at least a May the Force be with you. After all, it wasn’t every day that a man asked a woman to marry him, and George’s advice was the closest thing he’d be getting to anything fatherly. Instead, George held out a brown paper bag.

“You forgot your bagels ... and I think you’re gonna need your strength, Mr. Jamison. Celebrating takes a lot of energy.” George guffawed at his own joke and shoved the bag at Collin’s chest, but Collin blocked the assault before it crushed the Lorenzo Cana. Her favorite.  Those two words followed on the tail of “Lorenzo Cana” as automatically as the succulent memory of her wearing nothing but that charcoal silk and an I’m gonna make you beg for mercy look in her mahogany eyes the day she gave it to him.  The thought elicited a delicious but inconvenient tug in his groin. At least he didn’t feel like he was choking anymore.

“Thanks, old man.”

“Old? Who you calling old, you little pipsqueak?” George puffed his chest out like a rooster in a henhouse and strutted around the Mercedes to the driver’s door. “I’ve done more celebrating on a daily basis for the last thirty years than you’ll do in the next sixty. As a matter of fact, I think I’m gonna head on home and do some celebrating myself, since you won’t be needing my services for the day.” 

Collin chuckled. “You do that, George.”

George slid into the driver’s seat and, for the first time in recorded history, slammed the door of his beloved Mercedes. Holy shit! Seems I ruffled the old man’s feathers.

Collin turned and faced the nineteen story tower as George drove away, took a deep breath to calm his nerves, patted the lump in his pocket one more time, and smiled.

She loves me.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Give the Gift of Education!

Haven't gotten an e-copy of PHOENIX: THE RISING yet? Well, now you can buy a book and give the gift of education! Just click the link below, and make a difference in a young girl's life...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Celebrate the 4th of July!

WHAT??? Did I just say that you can get PHOENIX: THE RISING by YOURS TRULY in an e-format for 25% off this 4th of July weekend? Yes, I did! is offering all titles for 25% off from July 4th through 6th.  Let's move that lovely Eli Sullivan back up into the Top Seller spot!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


That's right!  It's been one year since ET's top seller--Phoenix: The Rising--debuted as the launching title for Evernight Teen, which means both Evernight Teen and Phoenix: The Rising are sharing a birthday! What does that mean? TIME TO CELEBRATE with a BLOG HOP and tons of GREAT PRIZES!!

ET will be raffling off a $100 iTunes gift certificate, taking 25% off all Evernight Teen titles on the ET site from 1/24-1/31, the other authors and reviewers may have their own special prizes, and I'll be giving away TWO $10 Amazon gift cards!

All you have to do to win a chance at one of my $10 Amazon gift cards is A-join my site (just to the right) and B-answer a simple question about the excerpt below. Leave your answer in the comment section along with your email address and I'll contact the winners after February 1!

The excerpt:

“Where in the hell have you been, young man?” 
Eli spun around, nearly dropping the towel he clutched around his waist. Lucy giggled and waved from her spot near the window. “Surprise!”  
“Ah, jeez, Lucy, you about scared the crap out of me! What are you doing in here? Do you know what time it is?” Eli tightened his grip on the towel and marched over to his dresser.
“I was worried. I thought for sure something happened to you.” She strolled over to his bed and sat, crossing one long, smooth leg over the other. “What are you doing out so late, anyways? We do have school in the morning, you know.” One of the straps of her camisole fell off her shoulder, revealing tanned, soft skin and a hint of cleavage.  Lucy didn’t make any attempt to cover up. She knew her body was bangin’, and she wanted to make sure Eli noticed as well. Unfortunately, his eyes landed only momentarily on her legs, barely hesitating on them before he turned and headed towards the closet.
“I’m well aware that we have school tomorrow, and where I was is none of your business.” To Lucy’s delight, Eli’s use of the flimsy closet door as a dressing screen while he changed into a pair of athletic shorts was about as successful as her own attempt to seduce him. Lucy bit her lower lip as brief glimpses of muscular, naked ass made her blood race in her veins once again. It took everything in her to keep from pouncing on him at that moment. Instead, she rolled to her stomach and batted her eyelashes at him as he approached the bed. 
“I bet you went to see a gir-rl,” Lucy sang, but the taunting elicited nothing from Eli but a dark, exasperated stare. Lucy slid off the bed and began circling him with the giddy anticipation of a vulture about to dive-bomb fresh road kill. “Hmmm.” She tapped her chin as she pushed further. “Let me see if I can guess who it was. You went to Homecoming with that girl. What was her name?” She raised an eyebrow and smiled in self-satisfaction at her game-playing skills. “Julie, wasn’t it?” The muscle in his jaw twitched. Bingo! She stopped her circle of attack just inches from his nose. God, he smelled good! “You are a naughty boy, Eli Sullivan. I thought you said you didn’t know where she was?” Lucy tapped him on his nose, yelped, and pulled her finger back as a small burst of electricity passed between her finger and the end of his nose...

And now... the question: What was the name of the girl Eli took to Homecoming?  Post your answer in the comment section below, along with your email, and don't forget to join this site so you are sure to be entered into the drawing! Good luck!

Phoenix: The Rising on Evernight Teen                 
On Amazon
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Friday, November 29, 2013


Still yearning for an e-version of PHOENIX: THE RISING written by little ol' me? Evernight Teen is having a BLACK FRIDAY 50% off sale on all titles. There are now 18 and PHOENIX: THE RISING is their #1 BESTSELLER! Here you go!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Today kicks off Evernight Teen's Autumn Scavenger Hunt and you have a chance to win...are you ready for it???
A Kindle!

And that's not all!  Three commenters here will receive $10 Evernight gift certificates! Take a look at the books on Evernight Teen and let them know which titles you’d love to read and why. (Of course, I'm pretty partial to that hottie, Eli Sullivan, who's decorating the cover of PHOENIX: THE RISING!!)

Follow the link below to all the participating blogs, then answer the questions. The answers can be found on each author’s blog.

The question for my blog is.....

What did I "confess" on Feb. 8, 2013?

One winner will be randomly chosen from the participants who answered all questions correctly.

Other participating authors include:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Want to Win a Signed Copy of Phoenix: The Rising?

Hey, all!

The Pufferbilly Days signing event was a success! I couldn't believe all the folks who showed up. I made many new friends and got to revisit some old memories with many friends I hadn't seen in over 30 years! (Yes, I am THAT old!) Take a look at the print I had signed by all those who stopped by. I'm honored to have gotten all THEIR autographs! It's decorating the side wall of this page, and will also be decorating my wall at home. I love my peeps!

In celebration, I'm going have a drawing to give away one signed copy of Phoenix: The Rising. To enter the drawing, make a comment below AND sign up as a member of this blog. If you are already a member (thank you!), then just make a comment. You will, however, need to be located in the continental U.S. to participate. **sad puppy**. (Sorry my other peeps! Shipping costs necessitate this!) Make sure you comment and sign up by 11:59 pm, Central, Saturday, September 22.

Hope to read your comments and see your beautiful faces decorating my side wall soon!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The ELI SULLIVAN EXPRESS is heading to Pufferbilly Days!

Don't you just LOVE hometown festivals?? Boone, IA, my sweet hometown nestled smack-dab in the middle of the Iowa cornfields, will host Pufferbilly Days this weekend and I'll be having my first official book signing event a the local book shop, appropriately named, The Book Shoppe (dontcha just love it?) on Sunday, Sept. 8 from 11-3!

Now, if any of you have read even a part of PHOENIX: THE RISING, you'll know what I'm talking about when I mention the ELI SULLIVAN EXPRESS in the title of this post. My hottie, Eli Sullivan, is gracing the door of the book shop and has garnered more than a few shocked/curious eyebrow quirks, swoons, and tsk-tsk-tsks by the locals, followed by loads of questions. The shopkeeper giggled as she told me of explaining that this is a gritty, upper young adult paranormal aimed at the Twilight audience, and that the cover is a picture of the Phoenix, a fallen angel (see the wings??) Well, all I can say is that the cover is doing its job by attracting attention and sales.

I'm now in pre-signing event mode, making sure I have enough copies, putting books on reserve, making bookmarks, and getting just-the-right-type of signing utensils stowed in my pack.

As far as Pufferbilly Days is concerned, I'll be heading there to visit the beer tent on Friday night, and....possibly Saturday night, maybe take in the parade, and of course, I'll visit the craft fair! I'll eat a bratwurst (or possibly two) with sauerkraut and mustard, drink overpriced Diet Coke, and visit with friends I haven't seen in years. I'll listen to the Standing Hamptons, drink beer, and laugh as the festivities are periodically accompanied by the whistle of trains as they roar through the middle of downtown Boone, always remembering that this is one reason I love being from a small town in the heart of the Midwest.

Watch out Boone, the Eli Sullivan Express is heading to Pufferbilly Days, and I'm heading HOME!!

Monday, August 5, 2013



Julie held her chin high, praying that her eyes and her voice wouldn’t betray her. “I’m fine. Really.” Her voice cracked as a single tear broke through, sliding down her cheek and over her swollen, split lips.
Eli took a step closer and cupped her face in his hands, turning it up to meet his gaze. “No, Jules, you’re not.”

He traced the trail of the tear down her cheek. Her lips parted as his finger brushed them, and she watched in wonder as he lifted his finger, wet with her tear, to his own lips. She shook her head slowly in confirmation as more tears cascaded down her face.
“No. I’m not.”
She knew he was going to kiss her—and she wanted it to happen—more than she had wanted anything before in her life. Her breath hitched in her throat as vivid streaks of color flickered in the sapphire depths of Eli’s eyes, like tongues of fire in the night sky. She couldn’t wait any longer. Without another thought, she reached up and entwined her fingers in the back of his hair, pulling him close.
“Kiss me, Eli,” she pleaded breathlessly.
And he did.
Eli’s breath quickened as he lowered his lips to hers, kissing her softly—almost hesitantly—at first. Julie felt a slight sting on her tender, injured lips, and then a familiar sense of euphoria soaked in as the pain melted away and passion took its place...a passion she had never experienced before. Her mind whirled as colors flew in front of her eyes, and she felt Eli respond with the same urgency she was feeling, his kiss pulling her deeper into the maelstrom of lights that now blinded her. Too soon, the colors swirled into a spiral of white light, reduced to a pinpoint, and then disappeared from Julie’s vision...

PHOENIX: THE RISING $0.99 on kindle for one week only... paperback on sale for $12.98.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Get those KINDLES fired up folks! PHOENIX: THE RISING (by little ol' ME) and all other Evernight Teen titles: Shrapnel by Stephanie Lawton, Disintegrate by Christine Klocek-Lim, Unraveled by S.X. Bradley, Blood Hex by Erin Butler, Slayer for Hire by P.E. Cunningham, and Elysium by Sylah Sloan are on sale for $0.99 (NINETY-NINE CENTS!!) for one week only! Don't have a Kindle?? You can get a free app for just about any computer, tablet, smartphone or Kindle Cloud Reader here:

Annnnd, since you're here, why not become a member? I'd love to have you!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Guy Writing...

I've found that I LOVE writing from the male point of view. After cutting my teeth on Eli in PHOENIX: THE RISING, Collin Jamison, the hot Manhattan executive who has found his way to the quaint Midwestern town of Boone, Iowa, is coming alive in book two of THE TIP TOP CAFE: FOUR SISTERS series, I'LL TAKE MANHATTAN. Here's a snippet from Collin's point of view. Enjoy!
Collin watched from a shadowed spot by the cart shed as Jeannie left the country club. He thought maybe she had called a cab, but when she took off walking down the street, he knew she wasn’t thinking straight. He gave her a few minutes, and as soon as he saw her stumble and kick her shoe to the side of the road, he took off.  She was bawling so hard by the time he came up behind her that she didn’t even notice.
“Need a ride, stranger?” She glanced at him, but didn’t break her wobbly stride.
“Go AWAY!!” The words strangled in her throat.
Collin rolled along silently beside her. There was no way he was abandoning her. He had the full scoop on the suit now. Ross Williams. Former classmate. Banker.  The man who held the purse strings of this woman’s life. The man who could make her or break her, and he knew it. That gave him leverage. She was a sitting duck, and from the look of it, he just broke her.
Jeannie suddenly stopped walking and moaned. “Okay.” She limped over to the Harley, hiked her dress up and climbed on behind him. He took off without a word. As soon as he hit Highway 30 and opened the throttle, Jeannie wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned into him, resting her dampened cheek on his back. He knew he’d just rescued her from something, but he didn’t know quite what.
After a few minutes, her hands slid from his waist to his chest and she clung to him.  He knew she was upset, but the feel of her body pressed up against him, her breasts warm against his back, her long, naked legs straddling his thighs, was just about more than he could take, and he felt guilty for taking any pleasure from it. Still, even guilt couldn’t make this feeling go away.
Collin slowed as he descended the hill that led to her house.  In some silly, selfish way he didn’t want the ride to end. She was totally dependent on him right now. He felt--foolishly and a bit self-righteously--like the proverbial knight in shining armor rescuing the damsel in distress, and damn, it felt good. At the same time, he was madder than hell that a man could have this effect on her, that another man could have this much control over her life.
Collin pulled to a stop beside the garage in his usual parking spot on the crushed, white, limestone. Before he could even turn off the engine, Jeannie swung her leg over the seat and dismounted without a word. The feel of her hands, her legs, her body, separating from him left him cold and empty. The last fifteen minutes he had felt more needed than any other time of his life, and now he just felt … alone.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

ET Summer Kick-Off Blog Hop!

Yowzers! What better way to start the summer than with a BLOG HOP featuring the crazy awesome Evernight Teen authors (including YOURS TRULY) and other amazing YA bloggers. Not only will you be introduced to some fantastic YA authors and their newest releases, but you'll also be in the running for some great prizes, including an e-copy of all our great books (including one of my very own PHOENIX: THE RISING), a $10 amazon gift card, and a brand-spanking-new Kindle Paperwhite offered by Evernight Teen.

And now, for your reading pleasure (and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift-card from me and the Kindle Paperwhite from ET)...simply leave a comment with your email address after this excerpt (and I'd especially LOVE it if you'd become a member of this blog!):

Julie pushed the door open and walked inside. Eli lay silently on the hospital bed, staring at the same game on TV that Simon was watching in the waiting room. He still sported a neck brace, and he looked incredibly uncomfortable. Julie walked by his bed and sat on an orange, vinyl-upholstered chair in the corner of the room. Eli looked over at her and raised his eyebrows. Her heart flipped in her chest. Even in a hospital gown and a neck brace, he was still the hottest guy Julie had ever seen.
           “That was probably the worst three dollars I ever spent. I hardly got to see any of the game at all.”
“You mean you didn’t buy an activity pass?”
Julie shook her head and leaned back in her seat, trying to appear relaxed. “I hadn’t planned on attending any games. I’m not normally a sports fan.”
“Wow, then I feel pretty honored that you came to see me.”
Julie smiled. “You should be.”
Eli started to smile, and then winced, obviously in pain.
Julie hopped off the chair and ran to his side, clutching his hand in hers. A jolt of electricity raced up her arm. She was so glad to feel it, but it immediately began to wreak its normal havoc on her.
“Are you okay?” She was now breathing too hard, and those familiar spots of color were beginning to cloud her vision.
“I’m gonna be okay, Julie, but you look like you’re about to pass out. You better sit.”
Julie nodded. She did feel like she was going to pass out. She took a step away from the bed, intent on heading back to the ugly orange chair in the corner, but Eli still had hold of her hand, and pulled her back.
“Sit here, on my bed.”
Julie had no time to protest. She knew if she didn’t sit, she’d end up on the floor. She sat, pulled her hands out of Eli’s, closed her eyes, and breathed deeply, trying to gain control of herself.  By the second breath, she was feeling a bit better. She opened her eyes to a smirking Eli Sullivan.
“What?” she snapped. His smirk immediately softened into a concerned smile.
“I’m sorry my touch has this ... effect on you. It doesn’t seem to affect anybody else quite like this.”
“Besa Soobedda.”
Liana stood in the doorway. She whispered the words again and nodded towards Julie. The foreign words meant nothing to Julie, but she could see Eli understood them. His brow furrowed.
“No, Liana. It’s too late.”
Liana backed out of the doorway and disappeared down the hall. Julie looked at Eli suspiciously.
“What did she say?”
Eli crossed his arms across his chest and stared at the ceiling. “Nothing you need to be concerned with.”
“It must be something important if you said it was too late. Too late for what?”
Eli started to shake his head, but stopped with a groan and a gasp of pain. “Ah, cripes, Julie. It’s nothing. She’s just a meddling old woman who needs to mind her own business.” Julie was about to push for an answer again when Eli closed his eyes and grimaced. Droplets of sweat spotted his forehead and upper lip.
Julie slid off the bed and grabbed a washcloth. She held it under a stream of cold water, rung it out, and laid it across Eli’s forehead.
“Is it bad?” she whispered.
Eli bit his lower lip. “It’ll pass. It always does.”
Julie sat helplessly by Eli’s side and watched as Eli fought silently against the pain that wracked his body ... the healing pain of immortality. It was mind-boggling. Eli should be dead, or at the very least, paralyzed from his injury, and here he was, on his way to being completely healed. Julie wondered how many times he’d already gone through this. Had he ever actually experienced death?
The grimace on Eli’s face relaxed bit by bit as his breathing slowed. He was asleep. The worst of it must be over. Julie slid softly off the bed, careful not to disturb him, and curled up in the orange chair. She stared at Eli ... at the steady rising and falling of his chest. He just cheated death. Death. It was something she’d spent most of the last five years thinking about. But it was her own death she contemplated. The thought of someone else dying, someone she ... cared about, frightened her, more than the reality of her own death ever could. Her death was inevitable. It was just a matter of time.
 REMEMBER TO POST A COMMENT WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card! (Don't forget to sign up as a member of this blog, pretty please!)
For a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite, just participate in the blog hop! Each time you participate, your name goes into the drawing, so the more you hop, the more chances you have of winning! Also, don't forget to visit the other blogs for a chance at some other great prizes. Thanks for stopping by!
And now for the blog-roll!