Ta Da! A New Look For The Caught Between Series!

Ta Da! A New Look For The Caught Between Series!

Ever since the release of book three in the Caught Between series (Caught Between a Rock and a Hunka Man), I’ve wanted to change out the series covers to better differentiate the books from my Rocky Mountain series. After all, the Caught Between series is all fun and sass, and as one reader wrote: “This series should come with a warning. Put aside all liquids while inhaling these books!”

On the other hand, while the Rocky Mountain books do have some humor, readers are more inclined to write: “Bring out the tissues!”

Caught-Between-CoversAs CEO of SMS Books, I put the matter before my Board of Directors, took a vote, and the decision to change out the covers was unanimous. Of course, I’m the only person on the SMS Books board of directors, so there wasn’t much concern that I’d be outvoted. 🙂

Have you seen the new Caught Between series covers yet? They’re fun and trendy and I totally love them.

So tell me in the comments…if you were on my board of directors, would you have voted against me? You know I love to hear from you!

Please Don’t Tell Me Your Secrets!

Please Don’t Tell Me Your Secrets!

Caught Between a Lie and True LoveSpecial Note: In celebration of the Memorial Day holiday, I’m running a FREE promotion on the first book in the Caught Between series. For two days only, May 29 and May 30, you can pick up your FREE copy of Caught Between a Lie and True Love by clicking here. So click here, now.

And to pick up other great books, check out the Free Kindle Books & Tips blog.


Now, on to the secrets…

Early this spring, my siblings and I planned a surprise birthday party for our mother. We told her there would be nine of us and we would take care of all the food.

Busy out in her yard, she didn’t bother us for a whole lot of details, but as the weeks passed, every once in a while she’d ask questions…and we would have to think fast or pretend ignorance.

You see, we wanted to surprise her (and trust me, she’s not easy to surprise!). Somehow we managed to find a date that worked for the entire family, and everyone including Mom’s five kids, our spouses and signifiant others, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren would be there. Twenty-six people in all!

A week before the party, I told Mom she needed to get a haircut because we were taking family pictures.

“Who’s taking the pictures?” she asked.

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Ms. Blabbity-Blabbity Seabrook, who apparently isn’t the brightest of the siblings, informed her that her oldest granddaughter, well known for her love of picture taking, would be there with her camera.

Mom, who at 88 is still sharp as a tack, questioned who besides her granddaughter was coming, and if maybe she should invite the rest of the grandkids because she wouldn’t want them to feel left out.

Oops, a bit of the secret slipped…and now the problem…how could I prevent her from phoning her other grandchildren, and risk the possibility of discovering the full extent of the guest list? And if she did call them, would the others be on the ball enough to lie about their plans for the day? Or would one or more get caught in a slip-of-the-tongue like I did?

Fortunately my fibbing skills returned, and I told Mom that this particular granddaughter always came to these family functions, even when she wasn’t invited, so not to worry about the others. And somehow, Mom bought the story and happily returned to her yard work.

Moral of the story…if you tell me your secrets, I just might blab. Not intentionally, but in that moment when my guard is down and my mouth is open, it all comes spilling out.

Needless to say, keeping my mouth shut about my Super Secret Project is killing me. It’s true. I want to talk about it, share details about it, and in a weak moment, posted this.

So please don’t tell me your secrets or I might just—unplanned and uncensored—blab it to the world…

How about you? Are you a blabber or a successful keeper of secrets? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from you!

The Gold Is In The Revisions…and other stories I tell myself.

The Gold Is In The Revisions…and other stories I tell myself.

For years, I’ve had this Nora Roberts quote pinned to my wall. It’s a reminder to just get the story down, no matter how messy that first draft is.

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Mostly, I write seven days a week. On some days—those days when my imagination has gone AWOL—I stare listlessly at the computer screen or gaze out the window at the wildlife in the pond. I try not to take a single day off. If I do, the flow of the story falters and grinds to a halt. It might take days for my characters to reappear. So I show up. Every. Single. Day. Even when I’m on vacation.

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This week, I finished the first draft of my super secret project (coming fall of 2016!!!) and quite frankly, it was hard work. Lackluster work. One of those books where the hero and heroine sat in the corner of the coffee shop and whistled Dixie while I bled each word. And then I began the revisions and found pure gold.

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Stay tuned for more about this story. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you in the coming months. As soon as it’s no longer a super secret project…

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Till next time, happy reading!

Totally Embarrassed But I Did It!

Totally Embarrassed But I Did It!

I’m always taking courses to improve my skills—writing, plotting, and all things business related. Recently I discovered Marie Forleo who is a life and business coach. Her Marie TV episodes are funny and informative and I never miss a single one of them.

Marie also offers two programs: B-School and The Copy Cure. I’ve had my eye on both of them, but I’m currently in another program which runs till the end of 2016, so I decided to register for B-School in 2017.

Then Marie opened up the 2016 registration, and announced that she was giving away scholarships. All I had to do to be eligible was make a video telling her why I wanted to get into B-School, then post the video on YouTube.

I hesitated for about 2.5 seconds…and then I decided to go for it.

You see, I have this huge fear of cameras. I’d rather be behind the camera than in front. Add in the video stuff—the talking and hearing my voice!—and it’s something that I’ve avoided, well, like forever.

By the time the first recording was done, my voice and my body were both shaking. And halfway through, I forgot to breathe, LOL! But after several more attempts, I recorded a video that I felt wasn’t too bad, uploaded it to YouTube, and went back to work on my book.

A week later, Marie announced the winners. Out of over 1000 scholarship applicants, she’d picked 47 people for her scholarship program, and amazingly I was one of them.

Want to check out the video?

https://youtu.be/oQGGWw8LnbU

In other news, my new book is almost here!

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So any exciting news in your world? Share it in the comments below. I love to hear from you!

Inspiration Via A Sprinkle Of Magic & Fairy Dust

The other morning, reluctant to get out of bed but knowing full well that I should, I snuggled into the covers and let my mind wander. I’d spent the last month puzzling over a couple of important plot points that I needed for the end of Caught Between a Rock and a Hunka Man. I wanted them to be touching and emotional and definitely romantic, but up to that Saturday morning, I still had nothing.

Not a single idea. Not even a hint.

The fact that I’d spent the month of December stressing over Christmas preparations (and of course, eating all of those “preparations”) probably had something to do with the lack of inspiration. My muse was hiding in the background, staying out of my way, and waiting for me to chill.

Then bang, on that Saturday morning as I lazed in bed, I got a twofer. Yes, two separate scenes that came like a sprinkle of fairy dust. I promptly thanked my muse for blessing me with the ideas, then charged out of bed to write them down before they vanished.

And vanish they do. There’s a wonderful scene in the movie About Time where the playwright answers the incessant knocking at the front door only to lose the only idea he’s had all year. (Awesome, romantic, funny, heartbreaking movie, btw!) Catch the trailer here:

So that’s how inspiration appears for me, like magic, in a puff of smoke sprinkled with fairy dust. How do your ideas come to you (and I’m not just talking writing here…any old flash of inspiration in your day will do). Talk to me. I love to hear from you!

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