Gentle Reminder

September 1st, 2019

September 1st, 2019 I took over as President of RWA (Romance Writers of America). My term runs until August 31, 2020. However, this is my writing blog and all the opinions here are my own and do not represent any organization.

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Happy Thanksgiving to All

November 28th, 2019

To all who celebrate, a Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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General Updates

September 1st, 2019

A few updates for everyone.

I am in the final, final stages of editing Bound In Smoke. I expect to post the new chapter 1 shortly and send this version to my editor. It seems like forever that I’ve been working on this, and I know that the initial versions went slowly for a lot of reasons, including my mother’s illness and then her passing.

The current version is, in fact, a ground up rewrite and that has been going very quickly, all things considered.

Here’s the cover, just so you can see again and get as excited for the series as I am!

Cover of Bound in Smoke, Book 1 in the Street Witch series. Cover features a tough looking witch admd a fiery, dramatic, urban gritty background.
Cover of Bound In Smoke

It’s fitting that on the weekend the US celebrates Labor Day, I am laboring on writing this awesome story.

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Positive Thinking?

August 10th, 2019

Hello! The RWA National Conference is over, and I’m recovered from the jet lag since the conference took place in New York and I am in California. Next’s year’s conference is in San Francisco, so that will be a no jet-lag conference for me. I’ve been really busy, but believe it or not, I am getting a lot of work done on Bound in Smoke.

You said Positive Thinking!

Yes, I did. I will get that that.

My editor had a suggestion for Bound In Smoke that was spot on and the strangest thing happened when I started working on that issue. Which was that I switched from third person to first person, and the entire story just broke open for me in a way it just hadn’t while it was in third person. I’ve done this before with a story and have found it a useful exercise for a chapter or two, but this is the first time I’m going to leave an entire novel in first person.

Every book is different with a different set of challenges and approaches to the writing of the story, and I am definitely going with the approach that made this story open up to me in a way it hadn’t. It’s the same plot, the same story line and character arcs, but now it doesn’t feel like a slog.

Where is the Positive Thinking Bit?

Right here! About a month ago or so, I decided I needed to personally celebrate my successes, small or large. Nothing huge, just a mental note to myself that hey, you did three things on your to-do list! Mental star for passing up a dessert when I felt like stress eating. The times I did not aren’t the point. What I found was that those small personal celebrations reinforced that behavior and improved my mood in general.

I recommend it unhesitatingly. Give yourself credit for your successes the moment they happen. Reflect back on the things that went well for you.

Carry on.

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Happy 4th!

July 4th, 2019

To all who observe, happy Fourth of July.

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Delicious Pancake Recipe – You’re Welcome

June 23rd, 2019

This morning I decided I wanted pancakes but we didn’t have buttermilk for my usual recipe. So I read a few recipes and remembered another recipe that called for egg whites. What I came up with was DELICIOUS and and made from what I had on hand. Here’s the recipe so I don’t forget what I did and so you can enjoy:

  • 1 cup All Purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp regular salt)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly whisked
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (unsalted)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp (or so) lemon zest

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl

Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites to soft peaks.

Lightly whisk the yolk with a fork, add the oil, butter, lemon zest, and almond milk and combine. It turned out one of my eggs was a double yolker so I think you could safely use two egg yolks. I’m sure any kind of oil would work, but I used walnut. If you use sweetened almond milk, you might want to cut down on the sugar.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Combine until mostly smooth. Fold in the egg whites and don’t over stir at this point, just until everything is combined.

Cook your pancakes at whatever size you like. I used a buttered griddle at medium heat and a cup of batter for each pancake.

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Revision Updates

June 15th, 2019

Yes, I am still revising Bound In Smoke. Although the story retains mostly the same plot events this is a do-over of the first half of the book. But it’s also a do-over of the entire book with respect to some authorial choices about the writing.

It’s been a rough few years with writing because of the demands of taking care of my mother while she was increasingly ill, getting my son through college, etc. That said, I did produce a complete first draft of Bound In Smoke, a story and world I really love.

Every book presents its own writing challenges, and Bound In Smoke is no exception. But this book served me up a major surprise in terms of what broke open the story for me, and that was changing the story from third person to first. The minute I made that change, the story world opened up for me in a way the 3rd person version did not.

Years ago, I rewrote an early draft of a novel as first person, had some great story insights as a result, then rewrote into 3rd person again (because that story was strongest in 3rd person anyway) , which is the version that was published. I have also written several first person stories, so this isn’t entirely out of the blue.

That said, I am excited about Bound In Smoke. I suspect this story will stay in first person, but I guess you never know.

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Revisions!

May 25th, 2019

I have Bound In Smoke back from my editor and I am doing revisions. After thinking about it for a few days, I am redoing the beginning. But things are going pretty well.

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Good Weekend to You

May 4th, 2019

It’s the weekend, and Bound In Smoke is with my editor. While I wait, I’ve started a historical novella with the long promised title of Miss Fiona Harper’s Night of Passion.

That’s what I’m up to. What about you?

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The Fork is Out

April 21st, 2019
Fork against a blue sky with white clouds
The Fork

You guys. I have sent Bound In Smoke to my editor. The fork is out. Photo by yours truly. It’s one of my best on-accident photos.

Repeat! THE BOOK HAS BEEN SENT TO MY EDITOR!

Here is the cover of Bound in Smoke, by the way.

Cover of Bound in Smoke, Book 1 in the Street Witch series. Cover features a tough looking witch admd a fiery, dramatic, urban gritty background.
Cover of Bound in Smoke

Bound In Smoke is book one in a new paranormal romance series. It’s got witches and demons and there’s enforcement zones, and it’s pretty awesome. I do not have a final blurb yet, but you can read a little bit about the series here.

Ember Azuria is a street witch who accepts a job from a trained witch and ends up blamed for the disappearance of a valuable talisman and with a demon warlord sent after her. The problem is, you just don’t want Ember pissed at you.


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