Saturday, December 8, 2012


Ecstatic?? YUP! Petrified?? YOU BET!! About ready to pee my pants?? THAT'S AN UNDERSTATEMENT!!!  This is me when I found out that my BLOG TOUR for PHOENIX: THE RISING is in the works:

Pic taken out so I can avoid possible litigation!
(YUM--Love me some Bacon)

I am TOTALLY pumped and honored that the AMAZING blogs by the Girls In The Stacks, My Guilty Obsession, and Kate's Tales of Books and Bands (so far) have welcomed me with open arms. 

Sounds like I'll be doing some guest posts, a playlist, giveaways and **whispering in sweat-inducing anticipation** A PODCAST **gulp**. That last one made me rush to previous podcasts by my girlies to try and figure out what they'll be asking me. I found out two things: 1) There is no generic list of questions because they are really interested in YOU and YOUR story, and 2) there is a LOT of giggling that goes on, which is good, cuz I'm gonna giggle like a school girl on her first date!  

As soon as I know the names of the other blogs on the tour and all the dates are set in stone (this begins 1-12-13), I will SHOUT IT FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP! If you'd like to be part of the tour, just let me know, or contact Emma at We'd love to put you on the schedule!

Meanwhile, I will have a little Irish Mist and REMAIN CALM... :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'll Take Manhattan...Another SNEAK PEEK!

I've been working on my next WIP--I'LL TAKE MANHATTAN--one of my Four Sisters novels--and decided to rewrite the whole thing in first-person-present POV. I've written in first person before, but choosing to go present-tense is a big, risky step for me. New authors can sometimes slaughter present-tense and make it extremely uncomfortable and unenjoyable for the reader, but I'm hoping I can really sink my teeth into the characters and their internal conflict by going present-tense. I at least have to give it a try. Anyhoo, here are the first 750 words or so of I'LL TAKE MANHATTAN. Please let me know what you think...

“Wish me luck, George.” My shoes hit the pavement of 15 Central Park West, and I know this is it. I tug at the knot of my Lorenzo Cana charcoal silk. Her favorite. At least that’s what she says every time I wear the damn thing. Today it feels like a noose around my neck. Choking me. Taunting me to turn and run while I have a chance. I can broker multi-million dollar deals, butt heads with Trump and his cronies, but this one little deed, the utterance of four simple words, has me sweating like Fat Bastard in a Santa suit. Is it worth it? Damn straight it’s worth it. She’s worth it.
George closes the door behind me as only George can do. Noiselessly.
“Ain’t no such thing as luck, Mr. Jamison. Either the woman loves you, or she doesn’t.”
My hand slips over the obscenely expensive lump in my jacket pocket for the millionth time that morning, seeking some type of palpable reassurance of the decision I’ve made. Pffft.  Of course she loves me. Who wouldn’t? I’m Collin Edward Jamison III. Heir to the largest real estate development firm in New York City. Manhattan’s Most Eligible Bachelor...
George raises an eyebrow as he waits for my reply. He’s expecting me to say something like that. Something cocky and self-absorbed. But George knows as well as I do that Annette Bradshaw is the love of my life. This time, he’ll 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 winks and lets loose a throaty James Earl Jones chuckle, the kind that seems to start in his toes before working its way up to his deep baritone vocal cords. I can’t help but smile.
“I don’t plan on needing your services until later in the day, George.” I shoot him my own wink. “Much later. Miss Bradshaw and I will have a bit of .... celebrating to do.” I pat the lump one more time, then head for the door to Annette’s building.
George’s booming voice stops me in my tracks, the same way it did when I was eight years old and he caught me pissing in my mother’s rose bushes. I turn, expecting George to give me one more tidbit of unsolicited fatherly advice, or at least a May the Force be with you. After all, it isn’t every day that a man asks a woman to marry him, and George’s advice was the closest thing I’d be getting to anything fatherly. Instead, I find him holding 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 guffaws at his own joke and shoves the bag at my chest, but I block the assault before it crushes the Lorenzo Cana. Her favorite.  Those two words follow 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 chocolate brown eyes the day she gave it to me.  The thought elicits a delicious but inconvenient tug in my groin. At least I don’t feel like I’m choking anymore.
“Thanks, old man.”
“Old? What do you mean, old, you little pipsqueak?” George puffs his chest out like a rooster in a henhouse. “I’ve done more celebrating on a daily basis for the last thirty years than you’ll do in the next sixty.” George struts around the Mercedes to the driver’s door. “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.”  
I chuckle. “You do that, George.”
George slides into the driver’s seat and, for the first time in recorded history, slams the door of his beloved Mercedes. Holy shit! Seems I ruffled the old man’s feathers.
I turn and face the nineteen-story tower as George drives away, take a deep breath to calm my nerves, pat the lump in my pocket one more time, and smile.
She loves me.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

CHARADE by Nyrae Dawn--A Review

I can't help myself ... I just have to review CHARADE by Nyrae Dawn! That's how much I love it!

Nyrae Dawn has made me fall in love with contemporary romance all over again, first, with her YA hit--What A Boy Wants, and now with her New Adult masterpiece--Charade--a beautiful, heart-wrenching love story of two souls who need each other more than each ever want to admit.

Colt and Cheyenne swept me away in their little charade and it wasn't just the romance that got me, but their stories--the relationship each of them have with their mothers--the lives each have had to endure and overcome. I could feel the hopelessness, the choking fingers of panic around Cheyenne's neck I've experienced so many times in my own life, and the relief and true passion they found in each others' arms.

Charade is a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and order pizza for your family so you can finish reading it. It deserves nothing less than five stars!

Here's her cover (YUM!!) and a blurb about the story!

Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection. 

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom's dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it's what he wants too. 

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blog Tours, Bookmarks, and Bears...OH MY!

My journey into publishing continues, and just like Dorothy and her friends as they entered The Haunted Forest in the Land of Oz, I'm entering into a world I haven't experienced before, full of the unknown. It's just a wee bit scary, but thrilling at the same time!

I just turned in what I hope are my last edits, and on the heels of that comes the marketing plan. I had so many questions for my marketing manager...How do I set up a blog tour? Should I have a separate website and blog? Should I pass out bookmarks? How can I get some pre-release reviews? How can you have a book signing or something similar when your novel is released in e-format and POD only? Without going into detail on all of these questions, the one answer I was ecstatic to hear is that Evernight Teen will set up a blog tour for me! Considering that I don't know the first thing about blog tours, this is fantastic news! I had already given them a list of YA bloggers who added PHOENIX: THE RISING to their to-read list on Goodreads (you can add it, too), so they'll be adding them to their list of blogs they'll be contacting. I can't wait!

With all this marketing stuff swimming around in my head, I'm really curious...
Author friends--What are your top marketing strategies for promoting your work? How do you utilize Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Pinterest, etc.? I would be eternally grateful for any advice you can give this newbie!
Non-author friends--What type of promotional material do you like to see/what influences you to read a book? Do you ever watch book trailers? Do you read reviews before you buy a book? Are you more likely to order a book in e-format or in print? Would you ever attend a book signing?  I really value your input, so PLEASE leave a comment and let me know what you're thinking!

(BTW--Have you seen the trailer for OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL? It looks absolutely fantabulous! Have a peek HERE! )

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paradise by the Dashboard Light....

No, I'm not sitting in my car with my cover model :) ... but I am sitting in front of the warm glow of my monitor in a darkened office, praying that no one knocks on the door to disturb my mid-day me-time. I'm sitting here in the dark because I want to tell you about last night...

Last night, I did something I never thought I'd be able to do...I completed my first round of edits for my publisher. Without screaming. Without crying. Without busting out a neglected bottle of Irish Mist from my top cupboard. You see, editing is a terrifying, gut-wrenching, amazingly exhilarating experience. I had no idea it would be like this!

When I first got my edits, I was almost afraid to open my email. What would she say? Would she want me to rewrite the whole thing? Would she hate it? Would she think I'm a complete idiot?  Taking a deep breath, I hit download, and the whole, red mess came popping up. Actually, it wasn't a red mess. It was more... magenta. And it wasn't a mess. As a matter of fact, besides letting me know, repeatedly, that The Bird (as in flipping the bird) didn't need to be capitalized, the first chapter was left virtually untouched, which doesn't surprise me, since that's the chapter most authors pour 90% of their blood, sweat, and tears into. After that, the little magenta lights lit up my text sporadically, occasionally clustering in areas, indicating I may have been writing in my sleep which resulted in an overuse of commas, an occasional semi-colon, and even one section of head-hopping. These, thank goodness, were the easy fixes.

The challenge came with three panic-inducing comments. Marie, my editor, asked me to develop relationships and emotions in three main areas. At first I thought there was no way I was going to be able to do this. There was a reason I wrote it the way I did, and I thought it was near-perfect. (Authors tend to be very territorial about their babies, and Phoenix was definitely my baby.) But, knowing Marie was hired as an editor for a reason, I dug right down to the bottom of my soul (oh, yeah) and decided to look at my words through the eyes of my readers. And I knew. Marie, my now all-wise editor, was right.

So, last night I put the finishing touches on my first round of edits, reread them for the zillionth time, and I have to say I am forever grateful that Marie challenged me to stretch myself and my characters. I think the result is outstanding! I'm going to languish in that feeling for a while--at least until the next round of edits...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


OMG! I just checked out Evernight Teen and guess whose cover is featured on their homepage???  What a fantastic way to end the night! I just had to hop on here and share my good news before I head off to la-la land. Sweet dreams, everyone!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

COVER REVEAL!!! Phoenix: The Rising

**loosening collar**
**clearing throat** 

And now. . .
as promised . . .
the COVER . . .


MUST . . . 
HOW. . . 
TO . . . 

Seriously, though, it took my breath away the first time I saw it! Evernight Teen caught all the elements I requested, and then some! I hope you love it as much as I do!

PHOENIX: THE RISING now has its own Goodreads Page and I would love it if you'd stop in for a visit and mark it as a To-Read! I also have a Goodreads Author's Page, if you'd care to take a look!

And please, PLEASE, know that I would love it if you'd become a member and follow this blog! It only takes a moment to sign up and I can promise you updates on Phoenix, future novels, and will start posting reviews of books by my awesome writerly-type friends--ala Nyrae Dawn, Kelley Vitollo, Alex Adams, Colleen Oakes, and Stephanie Lawton, to name a few!

Thanks so much for taking the time to be part of my COVER REVEAL!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


My cover for PHOENIX: THE RISING has finally arrived, and it's better than I ever dreamed it could be! Seeing the vision of my hero come alive before my eyes...seeing the title emblazoned across the image... seeing MY NAME in bold type across the bottom has been simply overwhelming! I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time when I first opened the email from my publisher. It's hard to believe this is really happening!

To give you a good idea of what PHOENIX: THE RISING  is all about, here's the jacket blurb:

Every 300 years, the immortal Phoenix returns to Mono Lake to be reborn--but this time it didn't return alone. The Nephilim are back in force, trying to keep it from being reborn so one of them can claim its immortality. But first they have to figure out who the Phoenix is--and any red-haired, green-eyed, seventeen-year-old in the area is fair game. And so, the killing begins...

Julie Mason doesn't believe all this legend crap until she falls for Eli Sullivan, whose hallucination-inducing kiss not only saves her, but makes her the Nephilim’s prime target. But, it's worth the risk. Her death is inevitable...not even Eli can prevent it. All she has to do is keep the Nephilim off Eli’s trail until The Rising. Once Eli is reborn and forgets his past life, Julie’s life is over, whether she’s dead or not. At least that's what she thinks...

PHOENIX: THE RISING  is aimed at the upper young adult (high school-aged), new adult (college-aged), and adult audience. It's most definitely not for younger readers. Although I'd love to share the entire cover with you, right now you'll have to settle for a SNEAK PEEK! Keep checking back for the total COVER REVEAL which will be happening soon. I promise!

And now, for a peek at my banner...I hope you love it as much as I do!


Sunday, October 7, 2012


WOW! I can't believe I finally get to say it, but here goes ... I'm being published!!! PHOENIX: THE RISING (yes, I changed the title again, but an author gets to do that!) is set to be one of the launching titles for Evernight Teen, with a tentative release date of January 2013.  Until then, you can check out my author's bio page at .
If you're a YA author, Evernight Teen has a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS going on right now. Head on over to and get those manuscripts sent in!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Elvis has left the building!!!

It was a long time coming, but I'm happy to announce that I have finally finished writing MONO LAKE. Yes, you read correctly. I've changed the title. Authors get to do that. :) I actually finished almost two weeks ago, but spent the last two weeks editing and writing a synopsis, which (THANK GOD!) I finally finished last night. Writing a synopsis is almost physically painful, since you have to summarize everything from your story in two pages.

In celebration, I'm going to post one final excerpt. This is a scene from the first quarter of the book where Julie finds out her best friend, Charsey, isn't the ditz she thinks she is.

“Charsey Winters. You’re looking delicious, as usual.”

Julie saw Kas’ eyes drift down to Charsey’s cleavage, which was billowing over her tube top. Charsey’s hand snaked up to Kas’ face. She pulled him to her and gave him a full-on kiss, pressing her chest up against his. Julie could swear she saw an exchange of tongues before Kas pulled away from her. Julie cleared her throat and looked up at Kas.
“Kas, could you get me a beer?”
Kas tore his eyes from Charsey’s cleavage.
“Sure, babe. Be right back.”
Julie had no intention of drinking. She just wanted to get Kas away from her for a few minutes so she could talk to Charsey.
“Where’s Eli? I figured you’d be here with him.”
Charsey’s eyes flashed. “Well, you figured wrong. I decided Eli isn’t my type.” Her eyes trailed over to Kas. “Now Kas, on the other hand ...” Julie couldn’t care less if Charsey was interested in Kas. As a matter of fact, she would gladly turn him over to her. But right now, she wanted to know what was going on with her ditzy friend. She grabbed Charsey by the arm and dragged her down the hallway. Finding an empty bathroom, she pulled her in and locked the door behind her.
“Are you drunk, Charse?”
Charsey pulled out a tube of strawberry lip-gloss from her pocket, turned to the mirror and applied a double layer, smacking her lips together in approval.
“No.” She put the tube back in her pocket, then leaned forward and kissed the mirror, leaving a perfect imprint of her lips. “I’m not drunk, sweetie. I am in total control.”
“Then why are you acting like this?  Like a--”
Charsey finished her sentence, “Ditz-extraordinaire?”
She turned back towards Julie and cocked her head. “That is what you think of me, isn’t it Julie?”
Julie lowered her eyes, ashamed that Charsey knew exactly what she thought of her.
“Ummm ... well, yes, sometimes.” 
She looked back up to see Charsey smiling.
“I’m a pretty good actress, aren’t I?” Charsey lifted an eyebrow. “Boys love the ditz, Julie. Well, most of them, anyways. Plus, it keeps me out of your precious AP classes. Those kindergarten courses I qualified for are a breeze, and that’s how I like it.”  She unlocked the door and pulled on it. “You know what they say, Jules, ‘all work and no play makes Charse a dull girl’. A paraphrase of a very old proverb.”
Charsey hesitated, closed the door again, and walked back to a now baffled Julie.
“I like the second part of the proverb better, ‘all play and no work makes Charse a mere toy.’” She leaned in and whispered directly into Julie’s ear, “I like being a toy, Jules. I like it very much.” 
Julie swallowed and stood frozen to her spot as Charsey breezed out the door, humming.
Who the hell was that?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Whatever Lucy wants...Lucy gets! (or does she??)

Just hit the 61K mark on Phoenix, and I'm so close to the end, I can taste it! Here's my latest snippet. Enjoy!

     Lucy waited several minutes until she heard slow, steady breathing behind her.  The feel of Eli's warm breath on her neck just about drove her crazy with desire, but she knew she had to move slowly or she could really screw things up.  Patience, and just a few small movements brought her in full contact with the only body she had ever yearned for, and, as if it were scripted, his arm slid over her, pulling her close.  The warmth of his form saturated hers, eliciting a soft moan from deep within her.  She expected her body to scream for him to take her, but instead, a rush of contentment washed over her, and all it wanted to do was sleep.  She felt something she'd never felt before.  Safe.  Safe in his arms.  Lucy couldn't help but giggle.  God, I must really be tired! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Just Keep Writing...Just Keep Writing...

Just hit the 42K mark on PHOENIX, and made some headway on I'LL TAKE MANHATTAN! It feels so good to get back into my characters! My favorite snippet of the day from PHOENIX:   
     Julie lay silently, her skin swimming in a pale blue light, as if death had visited her and left its mark.  If it weren't for her slow, shallow breathing, Eli would have sworn she had died.
     "Julie." The name was just a whisper on his lips, but it was enough. Her eyelids fluttered and opened.
     "Eli? Are you here?"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What Inspires Me...THE LEGEND

One question I hear whenever someone finds out I write is, "What inspires you?" That's a tricky question. It could be anything! A news story. A picture. A song title. My life. A love letter tucked away in my undies drawer for thirty-three years.

In the case of PHOENIX, I set out wanting to write a young adult paranormal romantic suspense. I wanted my hero to be a Phoenix in human form--one with the power of healing and immortality. I wanted a cool setting--just outside of Yosemite in California, and I wanted to combine it with a Native American legend from that area. So, I began my research into Native American folklore and stumbled upon The Lady and the Giant--a Paiute legend. The moment I saw "Giant", my mind immediately went to Genesis 6:4, where Nephelim (offspring of human women and angels) are introduced. I knew I had my nemesis, and PHOENIX: The Gathering was born.

Melding those three legends, I wrote what started off as my prologue, basing my entire novel on this. Eventually, the prologue turned into a large section of my fourth chapter. I'm now nearing 36,000 words and figure I have about another 30,000 to go.

Curious? If you'd like a peek at my original prologue, click HERE .

I'm also curious. If a book has a prologue, do you take the time to read it? The concensus among authors is that people DON'T like prologues. I happen to enjoy reading them. Do you?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Muse is Back! An Excerpt from PHOENIX...

Well, as I said in my last post, THE MUSE IS BACK! I've had a great time working on PHOENIX, a YA paranormal romantic suspense, and would like to share an excerpt from a recent chapter.


Six miles outside of Bishop, Dan Penemue pulled into a deserted rest stop. "Make it fast. We only have a couple hours before sunrise. All Hell's gonna break loose as soon as they discover the mess we left.  I wanna be sleeping in my own bed with my alibi when they do."

Lucy staggered over to the restroom, pulled the string to the overhead lightbulb, and locked the door. She fought the urge to retch as she yanked the blood-soaked hoodie over her head and threw it by the stool. Dan would get rid of it later with his own. Turning on the faucet, she plunged her hands into the stream of icy water, and watched as the color changed. A spiral of crimson swirled around the drain, and eventually faded back to plain water as she washed the last bit of the girl's blood from her hands.

My first kill, she thought bitterly. Dan considered it an honor, even if it was just taking care of a "loose end". Killing a suspected Fire-Child was one thing, but this girl was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. An innocent.  Even knowing that, it amazed her at how easily she did it. Her hand trembled only slightly. All she could think of as she slid that blade across the girl's throat was her birthright. Immortality.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


So...I've been trying to rev myself up for the last few months to write. I think my muse has been vacationing somewhere warm, and tropical, and secluded. She sure as heck hasn't been anywhere near Main Street in Slater, Iowa!  I believe, however, that she may be on her way least I'm hoping she is! She popped in for a visit the other day, which resulted in me making some headway on PHOENIX, after having been stuck at a crossroads all winter. It's a pivotal moment in the story where I'm introducing a new character, and I think I FINALLY figured out how to weave it all together.

In celebration of my muse's homecoming, I'm going to share an excerpt from THE HOUSE ON CARROLL STREET.  I wrote this particular piece quite awhile ago. I hope you enjoy it! (warning--it's a darker piece and some may find it disturbing)


I could hear them. Little voices. Little voices coming from the trashcan by the door of my brother’s bedroom closet. Little voices whispering so rapidly, so quietly, I couldn’t quite understand what they were saying.

Mom told me the last time I heard the voices that it was just my imagination. I imagined a lot of things at night. Shadows turned into spiders sliding across the wall. Thomas's fat, six-toed paws padding across the linoleum turned into the feet of wicked little gnomes running under my bed. Yes, I knew it was just my imagination, but knowing that didn't make any difference. The fear was too real--and it won. Always. I pulled the covers over my head, and squeezed my legs together tighter, praying that the feeling would pass--praying that I wouldn’t have to walk by that trashcan filled with those scary little people and their scary little voices.

I pissed myself only once before. It happened four years earlier in first grade when Tanya McDonald decided to take a nap in the class bathroom. I didn’t know I could ask Miss Mills to use the one in the hall--so I sat at my desk, crossed my legs, and waited. I waited until the butterfly wings began tickling the back of my throat. By the time I stood, it was too late. Hot pee raced down the inside of my pumpkin-colored cable tights and flooded my new, white, patent-leather Mary Janes. Across the hall, Billy Maynard leaned across his desk and watched me through the open doors with those big, black-rimmed glasses magnifying his chocolate brown eyes. I loved Billy--but he saw me. He saw me piss myself.

And now, the butterflies were back--but, so were the voices.


Mom’s warm body lay motionless behind mine, holding me close. On the other side of her was my sister, Ann, who was two years older than me. A second bed held my younger brother, Mark, and two of my older brothers, Steven and Matt.


“What is it, Jaynie?”


“I have to pee.”

Mom pulled the covers down and we climbed out of bed. I buried my face in the lavender warmth of her flannel nightgown and wrapped my arms around her hips as she walked me across the frigid linoleum floor, past the trashcan full of those scary little people with those scary little voices, to the door of the closet. She opened it, grabbed a flashlight off a side shelf, turned it on, and aimed it at the floor. Two startled cockroaches scuttled out of the light, disappearing into the darkness.

“There you go, honey,” she whispered. “Try to do it quietly.”

The light reflected off the metallic sides of the make-shift toilet.

You see, this is what happens when my drunken father passes out at the bottom of the stairwell. I have to piss in a coffee can.