Sunday, December 26, 2010

More Pictures from Friday Harbor and San Juan Island

Roche Harbor Store

American Camp

English Camp on Garrison Bay

Mount Baker

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas at Friday Harbor

This year my hubby and I decided to spend Christmas in Friday Harbor at our favorite place, Ferry Landing Suites. We try to stay there at least once a year. It was booked for Thanksgiving, so I booked it for Christmas weekend.

The San Juan Islands from the Ferry
The ferry crossing yesterday was the roughest one I've ever experienced. Still not bad, but rough enough that cars were bouncing up and down, and the ferry was being thrown about. My 2nd book in my Seattle Lumberjacks Series is set in the San Juans at Friday Harbor, so I'm doing some book research while I'm here.

As you know, my first two books were set on Orcas Island in the San Juans. I'm excited to be returning to the San Juan setting with Forward Passes, set on San Juan Island.

Here's the view from our room, both this morning and last night. Stay tuned for more pictures.

The ferry landing in Friday Harbor with two ferries in the distance
Friday Harbor at night

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Song--Mary Did You Know

Since it's almost Christmas, I thought I'd share my all-time favorite Christmas song. Clay Aiken sings Mary Did You Know.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Thanksgiving Present: Fourth and Goal has a Home

I am VERY happy to announce that I've contracted with Loose Id to publish my football hero romance, Fourth and Goal, the first book in my Seattle Lumberjacks Football Series. Finally, a new Jami book will be out next spring or early summer (tentatively).

While I don't personally believe in "books of my heart" (as every book should be the book of an author's heart if she's putting her soul into the book), but this book comes close to being that book. Fourth and Goal has been floating around in my head for close to fifteen, maybe twenty years. I've written and discarded pieces of it over the years, put it on a back burner when I found out NY pubs believe sports hero romances don't sell, and a few years ago decided to drag it out. To heck with what does or doesn't sell. After all, I also write equestrian romances, and those don't "sell" either.

I love football, and I know other women love football, too. According to statistics, an estimated 45 percent of NFL fans are female. So do NY publishers think these women don't read? And don't read romance novels? I beg to differ.

The few football hero romances currently published annoy me because the heroines usually hate football and/or know nothing about it. I wanted to write a romance novel series for women who love football, have a decent knowledge of the game, and want to read about a heroine who knows her football.

Rachel, my heroine, grew up in a football-crazed family with a coach dad and football player brothers. She has an uncanny eye for evaluating football talent and diagnosing a player's strengths and weaknesses. She aspires to be a pro football scout.

The book follows Derek, an almost washed-up football player, through his and his team's journey from basement dwellers to Super Bowl contenders.

I'm hoping there's a market for a book like mine. Time will tell, but I'm putting my faith in all those female NFL fans.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Boss

This is Khat. The barn cat who wanted no part of being a barn cat. Now he owns the house. Khat is the star of my latest WIP and Book 2 in my football romance series.

This picture says it all:

Monday, November 8, 2010

New San Juan Romance by Lisa Kleypas

As you probably know, two of my three current novels are set in the San Juan Islands, specifically on Orcas Island, though the characters do venture to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. My fourth book, titled Fourth and Goal, is set in Seattle, but the sequel to Fourth and Goal happens to be set in Friday Harbor.

I was pleased to see that Lisa Kleypas, one of my favorite historical authors, has a new short contemporary novel set in Friday Harbor, called Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor. I purchased it for a Thanksgiving weekend read, but I couldn't hold off that long. I read it yesterday. I loved Lisa's descriptions of San Juan Island and Friday Harbor. I loved her characters in this book also. My only complaint is the book was too short. I hope the remaining books in this series are full-length novels. I wanted more of Mark and Maggie's story!

Lisa is doing a Friday Harbor series on three brothers. I can't wait to read them all.

Coincidentally, my hubbie and I are spending Christmas at Friday Harbor this year. We usually go there for Thanksgiving, but we have other plans so it'll be Christmas.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Football 101 at Seahawks Headquarters (aka VMAC)

Click here to see where I spent last Saturday. Great fun and great book research!!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Weekend

I had the most incredible weekend filled with two of my passions--horses and football. If you know me, you know I love both. I participated in a pilates clinic this weekend. The session on Friday was unmounted, followed by a mounted session on Sunday. Check out Equestrian Ink next Sunday for details on my pilates weekend.

On Saturday, I attended the Seattle Seahawks Football 101 at the Seahawks headquarters in Renton, WA, at Virginia Mason Athletic Center to benefit breast cancer. It was an incredible experience, and my neighbor and I are definitely going next year. I'll post more later, along with pictures on my Facebook.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Emerald City Romance Writers, October 2, 2010

I'll be at the Emerald City Writers Conference Romance Book Fair on Saturday, October 2, from 4 to 6 pm. Drop by, win a Kindle, and buy a few books. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to DAWN (Domestic Abuse Women's Network).

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I've had a semi-productive summer. While I didn't finish many books, I started several.  ;)  I'm finally back in my zone and able to write like I used to be able to write. In other words, truly get into the characters' heads and become my characters.

I've started a new series, Seattle Lumberjacks Football Series. I've been shopping Fourth and Goal around since March. After two tough rejections and some excellent, detailed feedback from an editor, I gutted the plot and started over. I'm within three chapters of finishing my second set of edits. After that, F&G will be back out on the street again, looking for a good home. The Lumberjack series has been in my head for close to fifteen years. As a big football fan, I truly believe there can be a market for football romances. According to statistics, forty to forty-five percent of NFL football fans are women. So some of those women should be interested in romance with a football hero, don't you think?

My book will be different from most sports romances in that one of the subplots involves the team's journey to the championship. Most romances gloss over the sports part of the hero's life. Not me, I LOVE football, and I want the game to be an integral part of my book.

I am so excited to see F&G published, but it's importnat for me to find the right home for it, a task I won't take lightly.

I'm halfway through Book 2 of the series, involving an animal communcator heroine, a bad-boy quarterback, and a spoiled orange tabby cat.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wedding Weekend

I spent the weekend preparing for my stepson's wedding. It's the closest I'll ever come to being involved in a wedding since I don't have "kids of my own." My stepson's mother is out of the picture, her choice, but still unfortunate. His new wife's mother died when she was young, and her dad never remarried. So my hubby and I tried to help out any way we could.

I am exhausted, but it's a good exhausted. Probably not as exhausted as my dear friend, Em, who did all the flowers and decorations. She's so talented. By the time she was done, it looked liked we'd spent thousands on the flowers and decorations. Em, you are a jewel. Everything was perfect. The wedding was unpretentious but classy. The setting out on Hood Canal was beautiful. The weather was mid-seventies. And the bride and groom looked so in love.

This was probably the nicest wedding I've ever been to, despite it not being the most expensive or the fanciest. It goes to show how far you can go on a budget when friends and family chip in to help. Not only that, but the bride and groom went out of their way to make every guest feel welcome and special.

Weddings are funny things, and unfortunately, good and bad memories can be made depending on how they're organized and who really runs the show. I'm still trying to move beyond a painful and humiliatng experience at a recent wedding which was painstakingly orchestrated to make it obvious we were not welcome there and were not considered part of the family. So you can imagine I was a little guyshy at attending another "family" wedding.

Of course, this wedding was different. I had a hand in raising my stepson, and he considered my new hubby and I part of his family as did his bride. Besides, I was involved in the planning. It was important to me that every guest feel welcome and an essential part of the ceremony despite anyone else's negative history with them.

Congratulations to the bride and groom!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Warm Weekend

The Northwest has been cursed with some awful weather this spring and summer. Finally, we're getting a little taste of summer this weekend. As I write this, it's 8 pm and about 76 degrees outside. Lovely. It doesn't get better than this.

Our house is surrounded by trees so we're in the shade right now, but it's still warm and calm. I'm thinking it's the perfect time to sit in the hot tub with a glass of wine and enjoy the evening just watching nature do its thing.

Sunday we're going boating around Puget Sound on my ex-husband's boat. Did I say ex-husband? Yes, I did. After the inital two years of hating each other (which I think is expected when a relationship breaks apart), I forgave him and he forgave me, and we moved on. My hubbie introduced him to his new wife, as she was a friend of ours. We've all become great friends over the past few years. While most people consider it weird, they also admit that's how it should be after a divorce. Instead, many divorced couples can't seem to get beyond the hatred, their zeal for vengance against perceived wrongs, and their quest to make friends and family pick sides to further destroy the hated ex.

In fact, as I'm wandering all over the place, my next book Forward Passes deals with the results of a contentious divorce and how it negatively and tragically affects the children, even long after they've grown into adults. It's a sad situation, and mental health therapists will be the first to tell you that there's no cure for a parent who turns their hatred of their ex into an obsessive passion. You see it happen over and over. I'm sure every one of you has a story to tell from your own experiences or a friend/relative's experiences.

I'm currently shopping Fourth and Goal, book one in my Seattle Lumberjacks Football series, around to larger publishers. Forward Passes is book 2 in the series. I'm about a third of the way done.

I'm looking forward to seeing both books in print.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Currently, some of my favorite songs are:

1.  I'll Pray for You--Jaron and the Long Road to Love (A little too vengeful for me, but I can appreciate the sentiment).
2. I'm In--Keith Urban (just a fun, upbeat song).
3. If You're Going Through Hell--Rodney Atkins (My hubbie's and my anthem from last spring).

There's more... I have to think about it.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Rainy Weather? Who Cares?

My hubby and I are currently on a San Juan Islands vacation. It's pretty much rained the entire time with the exception of a few sun breaks.

We don't really care. In fact, while sun would've been a nice plus, we really didn't expect it.

One of our favorite places to stay, Rosario Resort, re-opened recently, and we jumped at the chance to stay there again. Not to mention, the reasonably rates attracted us, too.

So here we are on our last full day here, unless we decide to spend one more day tomorrow. We're playing that by ear. I'd like to share a few pictures with you of our trip.


This picture is of the rowing pond at Rosario. Robert Moran built it for his guests to enjoy about eight-plus years ago.

 We witnessed this sunset on our ferry trip over. I wish the colors would have come out better. They were much more vivid than this.

This is a view looking out at Cascade Bay from the Rosario Marina.

I'll post more pictures on my Facebook. If you aren't a friend, you can friend me at:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where Were You When...

There are certain events in our lives which will always be remembered by each of us answering the question: Where were you when...? September 11 is one of those. The Nisqually Earthquake is another for those of us who live around South Puget Sound.

If you're a native Washingtonian, and you've been around a while, you probably know what May 18th means.

It's the anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Since today is the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, I thought I’d go out on a limb and date myself by telling you what I was doing on May 18, 1980.

It started out as a hot, spring Sunday morning in Pullman, Washington. My roommates and I were students at Washington State University. It was almost finals week. All four of us hit the books that morning and didn’t turn on the TV. Oblivious to what happened that morning, we noticed an odd-shaped storm cloud heading our way. The thing was huge and black and angry looking.

Mitzi decided to call her parents to check in. The first thing she mentioned to them was our impending store. To which they replied: Mt. St. Helens blew today. Turn on your TV.

We did and studying was put on the back burner. The emergency broadcasting system was activated. Fire station vehicles with loud speakers drove through the parking lots and warned students to stay inside. Breathing ash into your lungs wasn’t something any of us planned on doing. So we hunkered down and waited for the cloud to arrive. Before long the skies were black, the street lights came on, and the ash started to fall like dirty snow. Eventually you couldn’t even see the light from the streetlights. Our balcony was covered in about six inches of ash, which we collected in jars. I still have a few jars full of ash.

For the next few days we stayed inside a stifling hot apartment until we ran out of food and alcohol. We donned our masks and ventured out into a world very different from the one of a few days ago. This new world was shrouded in gray. Everything was gray. Mt. St. Helens had left her mark and saved us from finals, which we were allowed to skip.

It’s an experience I’ll never forget.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Publishing Alternatives for the 21st Century--Part 3: Choosing a Small Press

Not all small presses are created equal or EVEN close to equal. Beware when picking a small press. Some are run as professionally as any large NY press, while others might be anything but. The owner may not have any background in publishing or even business. She may not have a penny to invest in the company, which means royalties may be late or non-existent. Protect yourself and do your homework before signing with any publisher. I hope the following suggestions will be of some use to you.

Choosing a Small Publisher (ePub)
There are a mind-boggling amount of small presses in cyberspace. Each day brings several new ones. At the same time, several existing presses close down and leave authors without a home for their books and often without the royalties owed to them, not to mention a long struggle to get their books rights back.
I’m going to assume you have a preliminary list of publishers you’re considering.
How does a person go about choosing the small presses that they wish to submit their works to?
First of all and foremost: RESEARCH. RESEARCH. RESEARCH. I can’t stress this enough. Here are some great ways to find out about a small press that interests you:
  • Google them. Do a web search on this publisher. Read everything you can find.
  • Ask for recommendations from writers loops and author friends.
  • Check out their website and contact authors published with them. Include authors not just at the top of their bestseller lists, but at the middle and bottom. Most authors will give you the straight scoop if you ask the right questions. If one author expresses displeasure with a publisher, but the majority love that publisher, don’t put much weight on one disgruntled author. If you find several unhappy authors, I’d approach with caution or not at all.
  • Run a business background check. Several Internet companies will do this for you for about $25-40. You’ll need to be able to find the publisher’s name and a physical address in order to do a background check. Check the background of the company and the owner. If the company doesn't make its physical address available, proceed with caution.
  • Buy a few of their books, again, not just from their top sellers but from their mid-list and lower authors. You may find the editing very different for a top-selling author as compared to a beginning author. Also take note of how easy or difficult it is to buy a book from their website.
  • Find out about their editing process. Do you get assigned the same editor for one book or all of your books? Do you have contact with this editor to discuss improvements needed in your manuscript? How thorough is the editing? Do you see tons of errors in their published books?
  • If this small press offers print titles,  buy a few to see the quality of the print books.
  • Checkout review sites to see what kinds of reviews their books are getting. This may give you an idea of the quality of book they publish.
  • Do you like their covers? Covers sell. That's a fact. If their covers are bad, chances are editing is substandard, and everything else about the company may be less than stellar.
If they pass your initial background check, consider what you want from a publisher. Some questions to consider:
  • What kind of distribution do they offer?
    • Are their books available from major distributors, such as Fictionwise, MobiPocket, Amazon (Kindle), Baker and Taylor, Ingram Book Group.
    • Do they offer print books? If so, are they available through major distributors such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble?
  • What do they offer financially to an author?
    • Do they pay an advance? This is very rare in ebooks and not a necessity.
    • What percentage of sales does the author get for each book? What do their books sell for?
    • How often do they pay royalties? Can you find out if they pay on time?
  • Do they offer any type of promotion?
    • Do they have a marketing department? A few small presses do have a marketing person available to assist authors?
    • Do they offer any free promotion, such as advertising?
  • What do you think of their website?
    • Is the website attractive, easy to navigate, quick to load?
    • Go through the process of buying a book. Is it straight-forward? Or is it confusing and awkward?
  • What about their publishing process?
    • How many months/years out are they scheduling slots? How long do you want to wait to see your book in print?
    • What do you think of the quality of their editing? Buy a few of their books and see for yourself.
      • What is their editing process? Do you get to work with the same editor all the time or do you get a different editor for each book? There are pros and cons to each. It depends on your preference.
    • Can you get a copy of their contract?
      • How many years is your book under contract? Five to seven seems to be the average. What happens to your book rights if the company is no longer in business? Do they revert back to the author?
      • Are you required to give them first right of refusal on any subsequent manuscripts? On books in a series?
    • How do they handle reviews?
      • Who’s responsible for soliciting reviews? Do you need to send your own book out for reviews? Do they send to a group of reviewer for you?
    • Are you provided with free copies for contests and to submit for reviews?
      • How many and what kind?
    • Do you get any input into the covers? How much do the covers reflect the story and the characters?
When I was doing my research, I made a spreadsheet of which items were important to me. Then I checked off which small presses offered what I wanted.

From there I read their submission instructions and submitted to the ones that interested me.

I hope this series has been useful to you. Please let me know if I’m missing anything or if you’d like me to cover other topics in the future.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Seattle Examiner

My series on publishing is also being published at the Seattle Examiner:


Publishing Alternatives for the 21st Century--Part 2, Pros and Cons of Publishing with a Small Press

First of all, you need to understand some terminology (at least how I use it), such as small press, large press, vanity press, and print on demand. In the interests of saving space, I posted this terminology in my Part 1 post at this blog.

We'd all love to sell to a large publisher with a huge advance and be on Good Morning America and Oprah. The chances of that happening are slim to none, especially if you write out of the box. Large publishers are reluctant to take a chance on books which don't fit into one of their established slots.

So, you wrote a book and now you want find a home for it. Let's assume you're not interested in self-publishing. Let's also assume you've tried the large publisher route, you're writing something big publishers won't take a chance on, don't have the patience to wait on a big publisher, or you believe ebooks are the wave of the future.

Should you consider a small press or e-publisher and why? Here are some of the pros and cons of small presses to help you make your decision. In this case, I'm referring to small presses that are primarily epubs, as opposed to small presses that do print runs.

Pros (What working with a small press can do for you):

  • Provide a viable option for books that don’t fit into a New York slot. (Small pubs can afford to take risks). Many small presses concentrate on niches which aren't served by NY publishers. Equestrian fiction definitely fits into this.
  • Gain valuable experience (which can look good to a large publisher).
  • Learn to promote your book and yourself.
  • Gain experience working with editors and publishers on professional duties such as cover art and edits.
  • Prove you can meet deadlines.
  • Provide encouragement to finish the book and write more books.
  • Build name recognition the publishing business.
  • Improve writing and editing skills by working with other authors and your editor.
  • Reduce the number of discarded and destroyed paperbacks. GO GREEN!
  • Make valuable contacts with other authors and the book publishing industry.
  • Build confidence in your writing.
  • Enjoy less pressure.
  • Enjoy more creative freedom.
  • Allowed more time to develop as an author even if your book sales are slow initially.
  • Receive more personal attention from publisher and staff (depends on the publisher)
  • Easier to find your books, longer “shelf” life, don’t go out of print.
  • Have a quicker turnaround from submission to publication.
  • Write shorter works so you can write more books. You're not expected to write a novel-length book every time.
  • Provide another publication outlet for category novels.
  • Build a reader base.
Cons (Disadvantages of a small press):
  • Low pay and royalties, in many cases, considering the time investment by the author.
  • Risky if the small press isn’t stable and established. Yet, in this economy, NY is risky as editors move around and lines close all the time. They may tie up your book for a few years and never publish it.
  • Time-consuming, as you often perform the tasks large publishers would do for you, such as promotion, blurbs, cover art suggestions, etc.
  • Lower quality of editing in some cases.
  • Limited chance for the book to be in bookstore because they're usually print on demand and not all small presses send their books to print.
  • Requires extensive research of different companies. (Not all small presses are created equal in royalties, editing, and business practices. Talk to authors, do a background check, search the Internet)
  • Limited possibilities for booksignings.
  • A smaller market of people to buy your book. Even though the Internet should be a large market, it's very hard to target your promotion to the right readers.
  • Limited distribution for your book.
  • Lack of respect in many circles, including professional writing organizations. You may not be taken seriously by fellow authors and considered more of a hobbiest than a professional author.
  • Limited reviews—may be harder to get reviews
  • Exclusion from many contests, as you may find yourself in a no-man's land between not published and published.
  • Print-on-demand books costs 2 to 3 times more than regular pocket novels.
  • Expectation that you will write more books than you would with a larger press.
Does anyone have more to add?

Next week, I'll discuss how to pick a small press.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Publishing Alternatives for the 21st Century, Part 1, Definitions

Do you write off the beaten path? Is your book a hard-sell to New York publishers because it doesn’t fit? Did you write a book for one of Harlequin’s lines, make it all the way to the final editor, only to have it rejected? Should you put that book under your bed or in the dusty recesses of your computer and forget about it?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Today's authors have a great deal of publishing options at their disposal. Well-written books which don't fit in the mainstream are finding niche markets and small presses are eager to satisfy those niches.

Two years ago, I posted a series on Publishing with a Small Press. I'm going to repost that series under a different title and expand it. Next week, I'll post Part Two.

Please post your comments, additions, corrections. This is a collaborative post.
First, I want to start with some definitions:

New York Publisher (large press): These publishers typically have offices in New York City. They do large print runs for their author's books, which are distributed to book stores. They pay royalties (a percentage of the book's cover price, usually about 6-8 percent). The author gets paid an advance before the book hits the shelf.

Vanity Publisher (Self-Published): These presses typically publish anyone if you have the money to pay them. You will be expected to pay for things or provide your own, such as cover design, editing, and marketing. They may have limited distribution, if any. They're good choices if you're publishing something for a targeted group of people, such as a family history.

Small Press (epub or Epublisher): These presses operate like NY presses. They do not charge any fees to the author. They provide editing, cover art, and distribution. The distribution varies between publishers, as does the quality of editing and amout of marketing. Small presses are becoming a home to niche markets. Fiction which only serves a specialized group of readers isn't a good risk for large publishers. The writers might be as good or better than writers for big publishers, but they've chosen to write in an area which is not popular with the masses.
I find that there are two primary types of small presses:

Electronic or ePubs: Their books are primarily available electronically. They usually do not pay an advance unless it’s quite small. The author earns royalties (usually about 30-40 percent) from the cover price of the book sold in the small press’s bookstore and royalties from the distributor (usually a percentage of what the publisher receives). Many of these presses also offer their books in print via print on demand (see definition below) and through distributors such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Traditional Small Presses: These presses do small print runs. Their books may or may not be available via other distributors. They may or may not provide an electronic format. They may pay a small advance.

Other Definitions:
Print Run: NY pubs do a print run of each book published. The books are then distributed to bookstores. Unsold books can be returned to the publisher for a refund. Returns of fifty percent or more are not uncommon.

Print on Demand (POD): This is a green alternative to print books. Over half of the books printed by NY pubs are not sold and are destroyed. Print-on-Demand books are printed when the buyer places an order, usually in a trade paperback format. At this time, they're more expensive to buy as the process is more expensive than a print run. POD books are rarely available in bookstores because in most cases they are not returnable. Small publishers and vanity publishers often uses a POD press to print their books.

My next post will include the pros and cons of small presses.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lucy Monroe's Readers at Home Conference

For those of us who didn't get to go to RT (Romantic Times Conference) this year, I'm participating in Lucy Monroe's Readers at Home Conference. I'm kicking it off with a blog post about animals as secondary characters.

Stop by and say "hi." There's plenty going on all week, including tons of prizes and goodie bags to be given away.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I Want to Write That Kind of Book

As I was doing my final edit on the last 40 pages of Fourth and Goal before submitting it to a publisher, I came to one poignant scene that actually brought tears to my eyes. As I finished the scene and pulled myself together, I thought: Wow, I hope it affects readers as much as it affects me.

I started thinking about books that strike an emotional chord in the reader and how rare they are anymore. Fifteen to twenty years ago, it seemed as if you could read that kind of book on a regular basis. Now, I might read one “can’t put down” book" a year.

If my perception isn’t skewed, then what happened to create this problem? Do writers not write as well as they once did? Do they not put their heart and soul into each book? Has it become too much of a money-making business and less of a creative endeavor.

Maybe it's all of the above and more. I believe the pressure to produce has caused authors to write a technically good book, but often it has no soul. The characters don’t come to life and become your closest friends for the brief time you spend in their lives and their heads. You don’t root for them, cry for them, rejoice with them. You might enjoy the story. In fact, you might enjoy it so much you’ll buy more books by the author, yet it still lacks something. Have we, as readers, created this problem by clamoring for more and more books by our favorite author? Have we inadvertently caused the publication of soulless books? Because in the pressure to produce, a writer doesn’t have time to develop and explore their characters, really get to know them, and give them life.

Many authors I’ve loved over the years are now producing dull, shallow books with characters I don’t remember for five minutes let alone a lifetime. As a reader, I’d rather read one exceptional book a year by my favorite author that read three or four forgettable novels.

All I know is I want to write the kind of book that stays with people, the book they read over and over again with the characters they remember fondly like the childhood friend who moved away. Perhaps, crying when reading my own scene is a step in the right direction.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Join Me at Lucy Monroe's "Reader at Home" Conference

What do tons of authors, tons of prizes, tons of hotties and tons of readers have in common? They’re attending the first ever Readers at Home Conference! During the week of April 26-30, authors and readers will converge on Lucy Monroe’s blog, to celebrate their favorite genre – romance!

We are giving away Swag Bags to the first 50 readers who register for the conference. To register, all you have to do is send an email to Lucy Monroe with your name and mailing address (for the Swag Bag) stating your intention to attend the RAH Conference. The Swag Bags are for conference attendees only and we are trusting that you truly intend to attend the conference and interact with the authors and other readers on the blog. :) Lucy is shipping the Swag Bags at her own expense, but many authors have donated loot for you all, and each Swag Bag will have a free book inside.

Yes, that's right - the conference is FREE. How cool is that?

Every day there will be multiple authors visiting and guest blogging, with new posts going live every 3 hours between 6 AM and 6 PM. Lucy will post a hottie who is definitely hunky enough to be a cover model and there will be daily drawings for multiple prizes (more than 50 over the week!!!), including dozens of signed books, a B&N gift card, a t-shirt, 3 prize tote bags filled with books and goodies (from Sue G at BTRB and Becke Davis), free online subscriptions to Affaire de Couer magazine and 2 more Swag Bags given away each day. What could be better?

Hope to see YOU there!

Readers at Home Conference Sponsors
~ Guest Blogging Authors ~
Leigh D'Ansey
Other Readers at Home Conference Sponsors
prizes, items for the Swag Bags, etc.)

Why Health Care Reform is Personal to Me

I've kept quiet recently on my stand on health care reform, but I've been receiving comments about it from several people who are assuming I am against it. While I really try to refrain from political arugments, this one is really personal to me. Read on, if you want to know why and take me off your anit-health care maiiling lists. This is my letter to congress:

My mother raised two daughters on her own after my father died. I was three at the time. She never remarried.

She also had a disability. Rheumatic fever as a child left her with a weakened heart. In 1961, she had one of the first open-heart surgeries ever performed in by the University of Washington to have a valve replaced. As a result, she was never very healthy. Yet, she worked harder than most healthy people. We survived on what she earned from a small L&I survivor’s pension from my father’s death and made managing an apartment complex mostly of senior citizens.

My mother mowed almost 2 acres of lawn once or twice a week at that complex. In Eastern Washington, the temperatures often reached over 100 degrees in the summer. She didn’t care, she maintained it like a showplace. She did all the bookkeeping, rent collecting, and HUD paperwork. She watched over her “little old ladies” like a mother hen, making sure they were taken care of, often fighting Welfare so their benefits wouldn’t be cut off.

She had a social life, too. She was an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary and the 40 and 8, along with being precinct committeewoman for many years. She loved to go out to lunch with her friends.
Never once did she accept any type of public assistance. Nor did she have any health insurance coverage.
I always knew that she was living on borrowed time. Even as a child I lived in constant fear that I would lose my mother, as she was all my sister and I had left.

When I was 23 and she was 61, she wasn’t well. You could tell her heart was giving her problems. The doctor tried to encourage her to see a specialist in Spokane about 180 miles from our home. She kept putting it off. She didn’t have the money for the visit.

That July, her time ran out. She suffered a debilitating heart attack. As a result, she lived for another year as a mental vegetable and finally died in her sleep. She wasn’t even old enough to receive Social Security.
I am certain, without a doubt, if she’d had health care, she would have lived a much longer life. My mother didn’t deserve to die so soon. My sister and I had already grown up without a father, and now at a relatively young age, we were also without a mother.

Please don’t let other children lose their mothers or fathers prematurely. Vote for health care reform.

I hope you can now understand my position. I hope I've changed a few of your minds on why we need this.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our Weekend Trip

My hubbie and I took a weekend trip to Port Townsend last weekend. It's one of our favorite places to go, and we go there often. The last three times we've gone there, we've tried the bed and breakfast route. I've now decided after three strikes, we're done with B&Bs. Last fall the two we stayed in didn't belive in heat. The one this past weekend didn't believe in hot water.

We have a favorite place we love to stay with gorgeous views of the water and great rooms, not to mention a wonderful restaurant and bar. They also have bikes and lots of places to ride including a nearby island with a state park on it. We're going back there from now on. So much for being adventurous.

I'll post pictures of our trip later.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rose City Romance Writers--Readers Luncheon

I'll be at the Rose City Romance Writers Readers Luncheon. I hope to see some of you there.

The Rose City Romance Writers are proud to host the 10th Annual Romance Readers Luncheon on Saturday, April 17, 2010 from 9 am to 2 pm. This year's guest speaker is bestselling author of classic romance and modern women's fiction, Jane Porter. Jane's presentation, entitled Be The Hero of Your Own Story, is sure to inspire.
Join Us at the Governor Hotel in Portland for good food, great romance authors, and a gift basket raffle like none other. 2010 Cost: $40.00
Some of the authors attending include :
•Amanda Forester
•Anthea Lawson
•Catherine Cade
•Christina Crooks
•Christine Young
•Courtney Milan
•Delilah Marvelle
•Eilis Flynn
•Elisabeth Naughton
•Erica Ridley
•Genene Valleau
•Gerri Russell
•Gina Robinson
•Hanna Rhys-Barnes
•Jami Davenport
•Jean Johnson
•Jenna Bayley-Burke
•Jessa Slade
•Kimberly Fisk
•Kristina McMorris
•Kaylin McFarren
•Lacy Danes
•Linda Wisdom
•Lisa Hendrix
•Lucy Monroe
•Maisey Yates
•Margaret Mallory
•Marianne Stillings
•Mary Vine
•Meljean Brook
•Minnette Meador
•PJ Alderman
•Paty Jager
•Terri Reed
•Terry MacLaughlin
•Theresa Meyers
•Wendy Warren
Sound like fun? Register Now!
For more information, please check out the Rose City Romance Writers website.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Must Read--New Release from Lucy Monroe

Once in a while, I come accross an incredible book I just must tell my readers about. Moon Craving is one of those rare books. The author, Lucy Monroe, is a dear friend of mine, and a talented writer.

New Children of the Moon Book
from Lucy Monroe

Feb 2010 - Berkley Sensation
ISBN-13: 978-0425233047
Children of the Moon Book 2

If it were up to him, Talorc—laird of the Sinclair clan and leader of his werewolf pack— would never marry. But when the king orders that Talorc wed an Englishwoman, the lone wolf is shocked to find his mate in the strong-willed Abigail. And after an intensely climactic wedding night, the two fiercely independent souls sense an unbreakable bond…

Deaf since childhood, Abigail hopes to keep her affliction from Talorc as long as possible. And for his part, he has no intention of telling her about being a werewolf. But when Abigail learns that the husband she’s begun to love has deceived her, it will take all of his warrior’s strength—and his wolf’s cunning—to win his wife back. And Talorc will have to face his biggest challenge yet: the vulnerability of a man in love…

Watch the Book Trailer

As a special thank you to readers, Lucy is giving away a prize pack of pamper yourself products and paranormal romance. All you have to do to enter is send an email with Moon Craving Contest in the subject line to moon_craving at yahoo dot com before February 28th, 2010. The drawing will be held March 1st and the winner will be announced on her blog at