Romance Writers Weekly ~ Self Care ~ #LoveChatWrite

 This week's question of the week, on the Romance Writers Weekly blog hop, is:"How do you take care of yourself? What do you do to practice self-care?"

Is "Not well." an answer? Because I kind of suck at self-care. I know that yoga, meditation, journaling, and eating whole (non-processed) foods are all things that I should be doing, and I do feel better when I can keep up with any of them. But let's be real: they don't happen often enough.

I was doing really good before 2020 threw me off-track and honestly, I'm not sure I'll ever find my way back. In the meantime...or, for now...or for the foreseeable future, I'm having to make do with bubble baths and the occasional wine-fueled gabfest with author friends. 

I do get out in nature on a not-too-regular basis, and I may take up beekeeping, which I've deluded myself into thinking will be a healthy pursuit. We'll see how that goes. 

Now, hop on over to Brenda Margriet's page and read about her self-care practices. Bet they'll be better than mine! Also, be sure to check out her book, Richly Deserved.

More than twenty years ago, Claudia Aronson escaped an abusive marriage. She built a secure, stable life, and is now only weeks away from realizing a long-held dream—opening her own art gallery. But her well-ordered world is threatened by the compelling, abrasive man essential to bringing her new venture into the spotlight.

Artist Titus Wilcox is reclusive, nomadic, and passionate. His solitary, drifting habits have fed his creative soul, but played hell with his love life. Soon after he meets the statuesque, seemingly-serene Claudia, however, he feels a compulsion to paint a new reality—with her.

When an antique painting reveals mysterious documents concealed behind its frame, Titus and Claudia unite in a hunt for lost riches—a pursuit that takes them into the remote hills surrounding the fabled gold rush town of Barkerville.

To these two skeptics, true love is as phony as fool’s gold. But this improbable search for buried treasure could lead to their hearts’ hidden desires.

(Claudia and Titus both 49)

You can buy it here: https://books2read.com/u/3yegNZ

Christmas Angel 
Being fully transparent is good for a relationship, right?
Well, maybe not when it’s literal.

Christmas Angel is a second-chance romance with a celestial twist. Jake’s been sent back to earth to mend fences with his ex. Or has he? Certainly Tony doesn’t seem to think so. 

Tony might have ninety-nine problems—and then some—between dealing with his meddlesome family AND running the family business (a Christmas tree farm in rural Texas) but he's pretty sure that playing catch-up with his ex-husband isn’t supposed to be one of them. It’s a little hard to imagine what kind of future the two of them could have when only one of them is alive.

Available May 16, 2023 as part of Redemption: A  Fallen Angels Paranormal Romance Collection.

Available for Pre-Order now!



Romance Writers Weekly ~ What do you do when you're not writing? ~ #LoveChatWrite

 This week's question of the week, on the Romance Writers Weekly blog hop, is:"Share one of your hobbies. What do you do when you’re not writing?"

Hmm...is there life outside of writing? Some people who know me well would be tempted to answer NO! The truth is that while I have A LOT of interests, and have tried a lot of the things I write (or have written) about, I don't always keep up with them, once I've moved onto the next book. 

I mean...reading's a hobby isn't it? I'm a big reader. Always have been. Writing has really changed how I read, however. There's a part of me that's always noticing word choice and story structure. And, OMG, I've become an obnoxious fact-checker whenever I read something someone else has written.

So, I guess the closest thing I have to a hobby is creating covers and promotional graphics. I've created many of my own covers (not the anthologies, and not the traditionally published books). I  love it. It's soooo much less work than writing and you get to see the results much quicker, too. I could easily (and happily) do that as a sideline--and I might, still. I've done several covers for friends--if it weren't for the fact that I'd also be dealing with some of the most difficult, persnickety clients in the world. AUTHORS (like ME!).   

Next, hop on over to Leslie Hachtel's page and read about her hobbies. And be sure to check out her book, Once Upon a Tablecloth.

Tuesday morning, Lily woke up and showered. As the warm water cascaded down her back, she wondered what she should wear. Did it matter if she looked her best? She tried denial, but couldn't buy it. She wanted to look good. And for what? A man she despised? 

Nick Jordan acquires failing restaurants, then makes them prosperous. But when Lily Mercer called him for help, he didn’t count on falling in love. Or that someone wants to kill her. 

You can buy it here: https://amzn.to/3YHJkQ4

Games We Play trilogy: https://books2read.com/u/4ENoKg

Games We Play 
The Complete Trilogy 

A quirky, family-owned resort on the Jersey Shore is the setting for this erotic, lightly paranormal series. 

Cousins Brenda, Luke and Gwyn are determined to turn their failing hotel business around. They have no time for love. They're in no mood for games. But it's not going to matter. Not when they're up against a handful of ghosts, a mischievous boggart, a family curse, and destinies written in stone. ​ 

The Games We Play trilogy. Three books that prove that holiday fun doesn't begin or end in December!

Never Have I Ever, the second book in the trilogy takes place at Mardi GrasLaissez les bons temps rouler!


Romance Writers Weekly ~ Love Story ~ #LoveChatWrite

 This week, on the Romance Writers Weekly blog hop, we've been asked to tell you a favorite love story. 

How weirdly non-specific is that? I mean...fictional? Non-fictional? My own or someone else's How would I even pick?

So I'm going to give you a very abridged version of the night my grandmother realized she was in love with my grandfather.

Both my mother's parents were born in Ireland but they were from different counties and there was a significant age gap and they wouldn't meet until they were both living in New York.

They were both the eldest of several children and they both lost their fathers at a fairly young age.  They both grew up with the expectation that it was their responsibility to help provide for their siblings and their mother. My grandmother became a nurse. This is important to the story because the hospital where she worked provided housing for the nurses, which was run (I believe) a little like a sorority house. 

The two of them met at a dance that was put on by some Irish association. My grandfather took one look at her and was immediately smitten. My grandmother, young and with enough responsibility on her plate, was very much not looking to settle down. She was a harder sell. It didn't help that the other nurses were against the match. She was high spirited and fun. He was older and quieter and very serious

They'd been dating awhile and my grandmother gradually realized she needed to make a choice. So she prayed for a sign.

That night was some sort of occasion, all the nurses had dates, including my grandmother. I like to pretend it was Valentine's Day, but I don't think it was. It was winter--that I do know--because it had started to snow at some point in the day. By evening, the buses had stopped running and the other nurses began to receive messages from their (much younger than my grandfather--just sayin' )beaus to let them know they wouldn't be coming. 

My grandmother did not get a message, and when my grandfather did not show up at the appointed time, she bitterly concluded that that was her sign: he couldn't even be bothered to let her know he wasn't coming.

Obviously, that was not the case--because otherwise I wouldn't be here to tell the story! 

My grandfather hadn't sent a message because he never had any intention of missing their date. It just took him longer than he anticipated to walk there in a blizzard.  

That's the night my grandmother realized she'd found a keeper. And the other nurses learned not to overlook the quiet, serious types. 

Their story had a lot of ups and downs, grief, heartaches, separations, but they remained madly in love with each other for the rest of their lives.

Next, hop on over to Jenna Da Sie's page and read about another love story. 

Both Truth or Dare (the first book in my Games We Play trilogy) and Put a Ring Around the Rosie (the newest story in the series) take place primarily on Valentine's Day. Why not pick them up and enjoy a little topical romance this holiday?

Games We Play trilogy: https://books2read.com/u/4ENoKg


A "Tail" of Two Logos

So...tail? Yep. Tail. Cue the shifter jokes because I'm diving into the fun and furry world of werewolves! 

See, a funny thing happened on the way to tying up the loose thread that I'd left hanging when I decided to make  Light Up the Night a much shorter story than I'd originally planned. It's what usually happens when I pull on a thread. I  end up with a whole new tapestry.

See, the vampire love story I intended to write for Heather and Drew involved a side trip to the mountains to deal with some troublesome werewolves. But the side trip became a whole entire subplot involving Liz and Jason. So I decided to split the story into two and to call this second story Chasing Daylight.  So far, so good.

But then...I made a crucial error in judgement when I decided to enter Chasing Daylight into a Shifter anthology. Because just because there are werewolves on the page, doesn't mean this particular story was ever going to be a werewolf romance. 

So I  decided to write a separate story for the anthology, which I'm doing and I'm loving. It's called Can't Fight the Moonlight (there's a message there for me, I think!) and now...I've got a brand new shifter series to write and a brand new shifter world to play in and a brand new problem deciding between two different logos. Which is where you come in. Here are the choices and here's the link to the poll: https://forms.wix.com/r/7011191113025323677 do I go with granite gray (with what looks to me like claw marks) or do I go with the shifting shades of moonlight-on-snow blue?

Also, here's the blurb and one version of a possible cover...

The Sierra Nevada foothills have been vampire Josiah Lodge’s hunting grounds for nearly two centuries. Alone since a lover’s betrayal cost him his nest, the former trapper-turned-wild-crafter has given up on ever again finding love or acceptance. If he didn’t have to eat, he’d never venture out of his woods again. But needs must.

When Coldpelt (Cole) Moonwalker’s true shifter nature asserted itself, he was judged an abomination and cast out of his pack. Without a territory to call his own, he’s constantly on the move, constantly in danger—which is how he ends up passed out and injured on Josh’s front porch. While Cole dreams of someday finding a place where he can belong, he knows that place can never be with the scarred and surly vampire who undoubtedly has the blood of Cole’s people on his hands.

Will the attraction they feel for one another allow these natural enemies to overcome their sense of mutual distrust? Is enemies with benefits even a thing? 

Find out when the FREE anthology Shifter Fever debuts April 1st.


Romance Writers Weekly ~ Where do you go for inspiration? ~ #LoveChatWrite



This week's Romance Writers Weekly question is: "Share a place where you go to find inspiration (museum, park, coffee shop, etc.). Why does it inspire you?"

Well, this question gave me something to think about! I like being outdoors--taking a walk by the ocean, or hiking through a grove of trees. It's invigorating and grounding and something about walking around thinking deeply about a story will make things almost magically fall into place. 

However, anything that magically falls into place, can also magically erase itself from your brain if you don't have any way to record it. So, sitting outside somewhere with a cup of tea or coffee, or a glass of wine--and something to take notes on--is almost as inspiring and far less frustrating.

Unless the weather sucks--then it's coffee shops all the way.
Next, hop on over to  Leslie Hachtel's page and find out what she's been reading. And be sure and check out her book, Tied to Morocco

Lady Catherine was kidnapped and taken to Morocco. There, she fell in love with Tazim. But, just before they were to wed, Tazim disappeared and she was told he was dead. Forced into an unwanted marriage with another, she manages to escape and make her way home to England. But Tazim is not dead. Believing Catherine betrayed him, he has vowed to exact revenge.

Can they find each other again? Can their love be rekindled?

 Buy it here: https://amzn.to/3JGgXwL


Christmas Angel

You’ve heard this story, or one just like it, a hundred times before. Cranky guy dies without learning the true meaning of Christmas, is turned into an angel, and sent back to earth in order to save some other poor schmuck from suffering the same unhappy fate.

Usually it’s billed as a romance, or a dramedy, perfect for a night of family fun. Which is ludicrous. Even Dickens, the man who invented cheesy Christmas stories, knew better than that. His Marley was clearly miserable, as who wouldn’t be in his situation?  Which, as it happens, is also my situation. 

Hi. My name is Jacob. I’m an angel. And this is my story. ​

Releases May 16, 2023 in the limited edition anthology Redemption: a Fallen Angels Paranormal Romance Collection available for pre-order now. https://books2read.com/b/br1JkE