Progress is Made

October 23rd, 2016

OK, so yes, I am still working on Surrender to Ruin. The first round of revisions are done. My plan this weekend were to start a last paper read through before it goes to my editor. Last week I was pleased with the back half of the novel and really glad to see that I had very little work to do for the final chapter, which I finished Friday. Saturday was going to be that paper read through. Only, I ended up being really unhappy with Chapter 1. I love this chapter. I really do, but it wasn’t right and I decided I was done trying to make it work so I deleted it. And then I spent all day rewriting the new Chapter 1, which used to be Chapter 2 and it went really well.

This morning I reworked the new chapter 1 a bit more and then I had an opening I really really like. I printed it off and started my paper read through, with violet ink for those interested, around 11:30 AM. I got up to Chapter 7 without any drastic changes and then I had to go grocery shopping because otherwise there would be no food in the house.

And there is the Progress Report.


The Disguise of Author Services

October 2nd, 2016

Here’s what I’m starting to dread and despise. I hear an interview with an author of fiction, and talk about their fiction etc and what they did to publish and market. And then there’s something along the lines of “Oh, and I put together this free resource, go here to check it out!”

And you do, and every damn one follows the same website format. A long, long, long, long page where you keep getting a bunch of marketing language, usually with big bright arrows and buttons, and all you really want to know is where you can get the material promised at the website/interview, which eventually you do get, along with the requirement that you turn over your email and HEY, HERE’S SOME PAID CONTENT where I tell more more stuff.

And then the content you were promised is really nothing that any reasonably informed author doesn’t already know. And ALL THESE GUYS — because they’re all guys, it turns out, actually got their start in non-fiction of some vague business-y content, and if they write fiction, they often won’t reveal the name their fiction is written under — OR they won’t reveal the name their non-fiction is under.

Because their real business is selling “self-help” which is either completely inappropriate for fiction or is something every dialed in romance author already knows. You have to have a great cover!!! OMG. WHO FUCKING COULD EVER HAVE GUESSED THAT!!!! You have to use the right keywords. Like some how that’s the formula for cold fusion which you can ONLY get from them because they are being so generous. You need a great cover blurb!  Really? Like that isn’t obvious? You need reviews! And on and on and on and just shut up already.

And then it starts to turn out that all these guys know each other from before they started writing fiction/selling self-help to authors.

And I am just really cynical now and it makes me want to cry. That’s all.


In Writing News . . .

September 11th, 2016

Surrender to Ruin is back from my trusted first pass reader. I’ll be diving into some revisions before it goes off to my editor.


A Penny Loaf Made my Head Hurt

September 10th, 2016

I was writing and then I needed to know some details about food in the Regency and so, off to Google Books Advanced Search.  . . . two hours later . . . I came across an interesting recipe for bread pudding, which I happen to love.

image of a recipe. Text below!



Bread pudding

Take the crumb of a penny loaf, and pour on it a pint of good milk boiling hot, when it is cold, beat it very fine, with two ounces of butter and sugar to your palate, grate half a nutmeg in it, beat it up with four eggs, and put them in and beat altogether near half an hour, tie it in a cloth and boil it an hour, you may put in half a pound of currants for change, and pour over it white wine sauce.

To make a boiled bread pudding a second way.

Take the inside of a penny loaf, grate it fine, add it to two ounces of butter, take a pint and a half of milk, with a stick of cinnamon; boil it and pour it over the bread, and cover it close until it is cold, then take six eggs beat up very well with rose water, mix them all well together, sweet to your taste, and boil it one hour.

I figured it would be interesting to attempt this. My first hurdle is figuring out the size of a penny loaf. It turns out the size/weight of a penny loaf was dependent on the cost of wheat. I read a bunch and saw all the formulas and as near as I can tell a penny loaf had to weigh anywhere from 11 to 16 troy ounces.  A troy ounce is 31.1034768 g (1.097142857143 ounces.)  Some more googleing . . . .

16 troy ounces is 17.554285714288 regular ounces.

Let’s just say a penny loaf is about 16 ounces. I’ll get some bread and attempt this. I’ll report back.


The Wired Ear

September 10th, 2016

For people worried about losing their soon to be delivered Apple wireless earbuds, I HAVE SOLVED THIS PROBLEM in what I think is a truly elegant manner.

Drawing of an ear (pretend it's artful) with an earbud attached to the peirced ear via a chain.



Here’s the “In” position:

Drawing of an ear (pretend it's artful) with an earbud in the ear but still attached to the peirced ear via a chain.


Pretty much genius, am I right?



Why I’m Running for Re-Election to the RWA Board of Directors

September 1st, 2016

Some of you may know that two years I was elected as to sit as a Director at Large on the RWA National Board. I’m running for re-election. For interested members, here’s a little more about me and my feelings about publishing and RWA.

I’ve been publishing Romance since 1987. I’ve traditionally published and now self-publish. I’m the poster child for managing a career as a mid-list author with series still tied up with traditional publishers. I’ve been a RITA finalist in historical romance and in paranormal romance. I’m a current board member. I have worked in the Tech sector in highly specialized jobs. Many of my tech skills have crossed over and become very useful and helpful to managing my self-publishing business. I’m an entrepreneur running a profitable business. I bring all that experience to my board service.

The short version is that these last two years on the board brought home to me in the very starkest of terms how unfair publishing is to diverse authors. The facts are depressing, and I am absolutely committed to seeing RWA make progress. Diverse authors do not have the same opportunities as white, straight, authors. Too many doors are shut to them and there are too many obstacles in front of that door and afterward for those who manage to get it open. RWA can and will do better and it can and will work with publishers and the industry to address and solve this issue.

I heartily recommend and endorse all the current sitting board members up for re-election: Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Farrah Rochon, and Damon Suede.

Vote. It matters.




The Fork is Out!

August 21st, 2016
Fork against a blue sky with white clouds

The Fork

People, I’m calling it. Surrender To Ruin is done enough to stick a fork in it. I’ve sent it to my critique partner for a read.


A little help? Romance Dog Needs Name

August 20th, 2016

Romance Dog Needs Name

In Surrender to Ruin, there is a dog that needs a name. At the moment, I am calling her Princess, but I’m not totally happy with that name.  What should I name this dog? Or should I keep the name Princess?

About The Dog

She is obviously progeny of Roger, the Wolfhound-ish mutt from A Notorious Ruin, but it’s equally obvious she is also part Bloodhound.  She is young (less than a year) and has been rescued from the streets. She’s a big, goofy, happy dog and not very attractive. As far as she is concerned everyone loves her.

Let me know in the comments.

FYI, I am up to Chapter 29 in my revisions prior to sending to my critique partner.


Historical Romance Sale: Three Books, One Low Price!

August 13th, 2016

Historical Romance Sale!

I put together a boxed set of three of my historical romances, and right now for a limited time, the boxed set is on sale for $0.99. That’s three full-length historical romances for one low price! Because you guys are my favorites. The price is good pretty much everywhere. Go forth and read historical romance.

3D cover of Historical Jewels because everyone knows digital books have a shape.

A Great Deal!


The novels included are: The Spare, Scandal, and Indiscreet. That’s 300,000 words (roughly) of historical romance. Indiscreet won a Bookseller’s Best award. Scandal was a RITA Finalist. Links below! Sale lasts through August 28, 2016.

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Google Play | Kobo | All Romance



She’s missing a day from her life. He thinks she may have killed his brother.

A delightful battle-of-wills romance, tinged with suspense. (Kathe Robin, Romantic Times)

The Spare is a Regency romance murder mystery. If you like well-plotted tales, engaging passion, and a touch of gothic, then you’ll love Carolyn Jewel’s steamy and mysterious novel.


A proper young widow. A reformed rake. Let the game of love begin.

WOW. Simply, wow. That is the only word I can use to describe this masterpiece. (Romance Novel TV)

Scandal is a Regency romance novel featuring a complex and dysfunctional pair. If you like intense passion, deep emotions, and unpredictable plots, then you’ll love Carolyn Jewel’s pulse-pounding and wonderfully-written tale of love.


A woman disgraced by a lie. A beast of a man with a cold heart. Their love will transcend continents.

Indiscreet moves from Regency England to the exotic locales of Turkey and Syria in the midst of the Napoleonic wars. The winner of the 2010 Bookseller’s Best Award for Best Short Historical Fiction, it features fast pacing, simmering chemistry, meticulous research, and strong central characters.





Harlequin is a Publisher of Books not an Attribute of The Uterus

August 7th, 2016

Sally Jenkins over at the Wapo just blew my mind with this article about the 2016 Summer Olympics. The minute I read about NBC’s plan to time delay on the west coast (where I happen to live) I knew I wouldn’t bother watching. I was already pretty sure I wouldn’t because the last few Olympics I’ve been all “Where’s The Sports??”

Did I mention that I read Romance novels? Yeah. I write them, too. Just putting that out there.

I can get Olympic results for all the sports on twitter. I wish those tweets came with video because I would click the hell out of those. I love the Olympics. I even like lots of sports. True, I’m not a nutso fan of ALL the sports, but I do enjoy watching the very best compete in most all the sports.

The Olden Days, When the Olympics were Manly

Way back in olden times, when I lived in Berkeley and cable TV was brand new and cost me $10 a month, the Olympics came along, as they do, and they had this package where for some amount affordable for me, as a single lady underpaid in her job because, hey, lady person! (words overheard just prior to my leaving the then current job “We can’t pay [male person in a significantly junior position] you more than the lowest paid senior person.” And then my salary got named. Apparently they were later shocked that I was upset by being the lowest paid person and even more upset that I quit. Why didn’t I just ask for a raise? Well, to me, why didn’t you decide you should better compensate your lowest paid but highest performing person? To me, you don’t get to keep employees you fuck over like that. But I digress. One more digression. My office was right outside the men’s room and I was regularly treated to hallway conversations about blow jobs and discussions of the attributes of female employees. Apparently, they thought I was deaf.)

Please sir, may I have another insult?

Anyway I signed up for the Olympics plan way back because you could watch EVERYTHING LIVE and then again later when it was re-broadcast in a West Coast time zone. It was awesome. I watched all kinds of sports. Live and rebroadcast because a girl’s gotta sleep, right? And read and write romance.

And now, Sally Jenkins and the folks over at NBC are at last correcting me of my love of actually watching Olympic events and reading and writing Romance. I did not know those two things were mutually exclusive. I did not know that if you read and write Romance you are, de facto, not a sports fan who we all know would never ever in a million years enjoy romance reading, so the only way to show me and other lady folks the Olympics is to pretend the Olympics is a romance novel without the need to show any sports hardly.

Because, am I right? Romance reading is so horrible and readers of Romance are such an inferior class of lady persons,  and are so incompatible with anything like sports and the Olympics that when you’re trying to point out how badly NBC is fucking this up for everyone and especially women athletes that Romance readers are TOTALLY the correct simile here.

NBC is trying to Romancify the Olympics OMG.

Harlequin is a Publisher of Books not an Attribute of The Uterus

The use of the word “Harlequin” as your straw man, oops! Straw lady, is the first sign that you have failed the intellectual rigor test of your comparison.

Here. Let me fix your complaint about NBC so it works.

NBC is pandering to what men WISH was true about women. That wish is based on stereotype, misogyny, and cliche. There is nothing in NBC’s programming anywhere that suggests they understand what kind of programming women would actually like to see. Women viewers, even viewers who read and write Romance, are also actual sports fans who would like to see actual sports in the Olympics and we would also like to see the female athletes treated in a manner that respects their personhood and their athletic achievements.

The only connection to Romance novels is in the minds of the idiots at NBC and, apparently, Sally Jenkins.