I’m at the moment when…

Arrrgh-imageI’m at the moment in my latest mess-in-progress when everything sucks. The plot is filled with holes. The characters are a crazy mess. I’ve thrown everything into the story pot and it tastes like chicken soup gone bad.

Yes, the first draft of Terms of Surrender is complete. You’ll briefly meet the heroine — Harley Jane Davis — in Always Remember. She’s an emergency room nurse who recently lost her twin sister and who volunteers at the local women’s shelter. When she ends up in the middle of a domestic situation, she’s rescued by the hot-guy-who-got-away.

Enter crisis negotiator Gage Toryn.

Gage may look like he has it all together, but deep down, he’s as messed up as they come. A victim of his violent childhood, he fears the monster inside and refuses to let any woman get too close.

I’m turning their world upside down, one road block at a time. 🙂

Duck Tales

Mama DuckFor the last few weeks, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of our ducklings. You see, ever since we moved onto our acreage and built a big pond at the back of the property, we’ve had a pair of mallard ducks stop to nest. We’ve even had a few broods hatch and within weeks, the mama duck is parading them through the yard or teaching them to swim. The photo to the left is of the female duck as she walked past the basement window.

Sometimes, though, the local predators get the eggs before they hatch. If that happens, the ducks search for a new nesting spot.

This year, while my DH was using the grass trimmer along the edge of the front yard, the mama duck came flapping out of a spreading juniper we have in the front flower bed. Later, when he used the small tractor to mow in that area, she came flapping out of the juniper again.

That’s when we realized our mama duck was nesting in the front yard next to the driveway.

IMG_0399She’s been sitting on her eggs for at least two weeks and the incubation period is roughly 28 days. So we’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the new brood. She’s even gotten used to the roar of the trimmer and tractor as my DH takes care of his grass duties.

Sometimes while I’m working in the flowerbed, I’ll peek between the branches of the juniper and see her sitting there, keeping her eggs warm. She flies out only to feed and go for a quick swim in the pond, and then she heads back to her nest to sit some more.

While I finish up the last of the edits on my upcoming book, Always Remember, our family is eagerly anticipating the arrival of our new guests. They’re camera shy, but I’m hoping this year I’m quick enough to get some pictures.

Here’s a few facts about mallard ducks:

1) They mate for life.

2) If predators destroy their nest and eggs, the ducks will lay another batch of eggs anywhere between two to four additional times that year. In other words, they don’t give up!

3) If a mama duck is attacked while in her nest, she will fly away, and only when the danger has passed will she return.

4) While the mama ducks are sitting dutifully on their nest of eggs, the papa ducks are off galavanting with their buddies. I’ve read that they stay near the female duck and nest, in order to protect them, but this year, I haven’t seen the male duck anywhere near the main yard.

Do you have any ducks or other wild animals making their home in your area or any duck/wild animal tales to tell?

Originally posted at Women Unplugged.

Authors Give Back Blog Hop

ThadAndBrendasmBrenda Novak’s annual online Auction for Diabetes Research is running till May 31, 2013. If you haven’t yet done so, please check out this worthy cause. There are lots of great items to bid for and lots of great prizes to win. If you’re new to the auction, all you have to do is register so you can begin to place your bids. And of course, if you’re a previous participant, you can login here.

This year, Brenda dedicated the auction to Author Lauren Hawkeye and her family. Lauren is a member of my local RWA chapter and has been a long time supporter of Brenda’s auction. Just a few month’s ago, Lauren’s young son was diagnosed with diabetes, so head on over to Brenda’s auction, start bidding, and help Brenda raise money for diabetes research.

KindlePaperWhiteNow for the Authors Give Back part of the post…

The WG2E Street Team authors have donated a Kindle Paperwhite (and charger) loaded with over 40 books to the auction. My upcoming book, Always Remember, is included in the package.

The Kindle Paperwhite, charger, and digital books are on the auction schedule for one day only — today, May 28th — so make sure you put in your bid right away. As well, the WG2E authors are holding a separate Rafflecopter at the RG2E site for one $50 gift card raffle and three $5 gift cards. To be eligible for the draw, just follow the instructions on the RG2E post for the raffle.

Good luck, have fun, and thank you for participating!


Always Remember Is Almost Here!

books-stackedFirst off, if you haven’t had the opportunity to check out Brenda Novak’s Annual Auction for the Cure for Diabetes, please take a look at the notification on my righthand sidebar. The WG2E Street Team has put together a special basket which will be auctioned off on May 28th. Go ahead. Click on the link, check it out, then come back here for more news. I’ll wait. 🙂

Great, you’re back. Thanks for returning!

I’m taking a short break from The Marriage Pact. The characters are being stubborn, so while they sort their problems out, I’ve been hard at work on ALWAYS REMEMBER, a book near and dear to me for very personal reasons. ALWAYS was one of my RWA Golden Heart Finalist manuscripts, and I’m thrilled it’s finally ready for publication.

The fabulous Kim Killion at Hot Damn Designs is working on the cover right now. You may recall she created the fabulous cover for The Valentine Grinch and I’m very excited to see what she comes up with this time.

ALWAYS REMEMBER is a full length contemporary romance. To whet your appetite, here’s the story blurb from the back cover of the book:

Get in, get out.

A midnight summons from rancher Nate Coltrane brings singer Jessie Adams back to the heart of the Rocky Mountains — not to see him again, but to say goodbye to her dying mother. Seventeen years ago, Jessie gave up Nate’s child for adoption and she hasn’t been home since. How can she sit by her mother’s side, surrounded by constant reminders of all she loved and lost? How can she face Nate without telling him the truth about the child he never knew existed?

Nate doesn’t think Jessie has the guts to return home and face him, but when she does, he’s afraid of losing everything he loves…for the second time in his life. But he’s made a promise to her mother. Bring Jessie home. Give the dying woman one last opportunity to heal the rift with her daughter. Nate will do anything for Jessie’s mother because if not for her, he might never have known the love of his child.

But sometimes the truth turns out to be a lie…

Watch for the cover to come sometime next week. Until then … happy reading!

I am “The Worrier”

WorrierI worry about driving off a mountain cliff and crashing into the ravine below.

I worry about working in the gardens and being attacked by one of the large predators that wander through our yard.

I worry about dying slow and painful instead of dying fast and easy.

I worry about my mom being alone in her house and having an accident while I’m not there to help her.

I worry about not seeing my siblings when my mom is gone.

I worry about my boys never finding a girl who’ll make them happy or finding one that makes them unhappy.

I worry about my tender new plants getting hit by Jack Frost.

I worry about getting old, gaining weight, going gray, and losing my eyebrows.

I worry I may never finish THIS BOOK or any more after.

I worry about the icy winter roads and the people driving on them.

I worry about the farmers getting too much rain during their spring planting and then again, during their fall harvest.

I worry about the planes passing overhead crashing into my backyard.

I worry about the crickets and frogs in the pond finding their way into my house and <shudder> into my bed.

Frog with boI worry about moving, downsizing into a smaller place, and having to decide what’s necessary and what’s not.

I worry about leaving behind my computer and iPad and iPhone, and not being connected to the world.

I worry endlessly, needlessly, about all things big and small.

Why am I not crazy yet or is that still to come? Or are writers naturally worrisome people?

What do you worry about and how do you keep the craziness at bay?

Originally posted at Women Unplugged.

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