Hot Shot Releases Tomorrow!

Here's an excerpt:

Gabe pushed out of the tent and collided with the soft body of Peyton Michaels. She must have found the showers, because her hair was no longer black with soot, and some fruity scent floated up from her, but he couldn’t stand around smelling her, thinking of her as a woman, as anything other than a reporter. His mind already moved ahead to the mountain. He acknowledged her with a nod and set her aside.

She hurried after him and touched his arm. He stopped, glanced from her hand to her bold brown eyes. “Can I help you?”

She didn’t drop her hand away despite his pointed look. “I want to go with you.”

“Go where?” As if he didn’t know. Just like a reporter. This was not something he wanted to deal with now, on the heels of dealing with Jen. His shields weren’t all the way back up.

“To the camp.”

He glanced back at the tent. Of all the people to overhear, it had to be her. “Eavesdropping?”

She merely lifted her brows. Always challenging him. “I have ears.”

“We had a deal. One shift.” He sliced his hand through the air in a gesture of finality, not wanting the responsibility for her a minute longer. “Your shift is up.”

“But this—rescuing trapped children!” Her voice shook with excitement as she trotted after him. “This is exactly what I’m writing about.”

He scowled. “I’m not doing this for your amusement, Michaels.”

She looked stricken he would think so, and he felt an uncharacteristic stab of regret. Hell, what did she think, making statements like that? That she was going to improve his opinion of reporters?

“No, of course not. But you have to see how important this would be to me.”

All the wrong reasons to go up on the mountain. He shook his head. “And just what makes you think that matters to me?”

Her temper brightened her eyes. “Is it just me, or all reporters?”

He didn’t hesitate. “All reporters.”

She huffed out a breath. “Here I was all a-tingle, thinking I was special.”

Here he thought he was starting to like her wise mouth. He didn’t dignify her remark with an answer.

“What happened?” she pressed, hovering at his elbow. “Someone get on your bad side?”

“Did you hear I had a good side?”

A surprised laugh burst from her. Damn, she was cute, all dimples and white teeth.

“You know, you’re right. An assumption on my part.”

“Comes with the job,” he muttered, and she laughed again.

“What is it?” Her voice was breathless as she tried to keep up with him. He wouldn’t feel sorry for her. “What makes you hate us so much?”

“It couldn’t be the constant questions,” he said.

“Sure, it could be, but that would be an annoyance, not downright hatred.”

He stopped then and faced her. “Will you tell me, right here and right now, what your angle is?” She opened her mouth and he lifted one finger to silence her. “Not what your story is, but what spin you’re going to put on it?”

“Is that it? You’ve been burned by interviews so all reporters are bad?”

“See? You can’t even answer a damned question without a question. I need to go get my crew together.” He turned on his heel.

She came after him, edging around a cluster of firefighters to look up at him. “All right. My series is on heroic jobs and the people who live them. People want to read about real-life heroes.”

He snorted. “Then you’re following the wrong guy around.”


Goals for the Week HOT SHOT IS RELEASED!!!!

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1) Write/revise Supernatural essay
2) Send requested partial to agent
3) Get back to work on Something to Talk About (this is turning out to be Breaking Daylight Redux, with all the interruptions!)
4) Guest blog at Marianne’s and Romance Bandits
5) Blog at Samhain
6) Judge Merritt entries – only 3, thank goodness!
7) Field trip
8) Spring Showers promo
9) Make dr. appt.
10) Starving Artist Show
11) Driver’s ed with the boy
12) Sew pants and skirt
13) Keep up house


The Interview

My step-dad edited the newscast for me. I'm going to hide now ;)

Oh. My. God.

I'm going to be on TV tonight.

At 10:30, I ran to the restroom, and of course the office buzzed my room. The secretary wanted my cell so the principal could call me. A few minutes later, she called and told me that the local ABC affiliate was coming to interview me at 2:00.


It's Friday. I'm wearing my jeans and school shirt. My hair is pinned up. I have base and mascara and that's it. I even forgot to put on earrings. I usually dress pretty nice, but on Fridays.....

So, I'm thinking I'll run to Walgreen's at lunch, since my lunch and planning are together. Instead, I go to the office to see if they have any extra of the nicer collared school shirts. Um, no, but the counselor traded shirts with me. Only her shirt says "counselor" so the teacher next door took a plastic flower off one of her pens and made me a pin to cover that up. The counselor also had make-up she let me borrow, and another teacher let me borrow her earrings.

The kids were cracking up because I picked them up from PE looking COMPLETELY different.

So the man came and we went into the library and he asked me questions and I'm sure I rambled. Some stuff was coherent, but I'm still scared to watch.

And Cindi....we'll know Monday what the results are, but we do know she has to go back into surgery.

Cindi, Money, Rejection


Think good thoughts for Cindi today. She's going in for a biopsy on her lymph nodes. This isn't the same health scare as before - this actually started before the scary hand and feet discoloration. She's going to a rheumatologist for that. She's been getting bumps around her neck that appear and disappear - it's weird. So, anyway, thoughts that it's not bad news. She was mostly happy to get off two days ;)

I got my advance from Samhain yesterday...and a rejection on the second book I sent them. The bad - even with 20 mss (or so), I don't have something else ready to send. I'm looking at my completed ms folder and here's what we have:

Breaking Daylight - needs the last 60 pages to go through my critique group (I don't usually do that with a whole book, but this one kicked my butt) and to be honest, I want to try NY with it first.

Don't Look Back - still with Susan

Beneath the Surface - needs at LEAST backstory revisions and I'd LIKE to make it paranormal and send to NY

Ghost Hunters - needs revisions to make it less of a Supernatural clone

Vamp Hunters - my 2007 Nano book - needs MAJOR revisions

Second Chances - The first 4 chapters are okay, but I want to rewrite the rest of the book.

Spy Girl - my 2006 Nano book - needs MAJOR revisions

Eden's Promise - my futuristic - needs big revisions on the back half

Wow - out of all the books I've written, only HALF even have a revision's chance at getting published. That's kinda sad. What learning curve is THAT?

Cherry Adair did tell me, though, not to expect to sell my previous books, and I can see why. You learn SO MUCH going through the editing process and you can see the holes in books that you didn't see before.

I didn't get home till 7:00 on Tuesday and 7:30 on Wednesday. I've woken up around 3 the last three mornings and can't go back to sleep. Argh -I'm ready for summer!


Congratulations!!!! And Movies


First of all, congratulations to all the Golden Heart and Rita finalists!!! Especially Sarah Castleberry who got her first call yesterday and fellow Noodlers Theresa Ragan (DOUBLE finalist!!) and Priscilla Kissinger!!! And Kelly Parra DOUBLE finalled in the Rita! Congratulations!

If you didn’t final and wanted to, BIG HUGS. I’ve been there. Trust me – I gave some HIGH scores, and I don’t see any of the entries I judged as finalists, though the list isn’t complete. It’s all subjective, and one seven can throw you off. So don’t let it get you down long.

Wayback is with an editor (less than 24 hours between query and request!) and I still haven’t started my Supernatural essay. I’m a romance writer writing about an inanimate object and I just can’t find the tone. Plus, the dh and ds have crazy schedules this week.

I sent out 3 agent queries yesterday before work and got a rejection by the time I got home. Sigh.

I want to talk about movies today. I’ve seen a LOT of movies lately. None have been particularly cheery.
Before he went to NYC, the boy made us watch No Country for Old Men.
Javier Bardem gave me nightmares – I dreamed I was talking to him and he was explaining why he was the way he was. I think that bothered me the most about that movie – why WAS he like that? My son has read the book twice and he said it doesn’t really offer any insight. Hm. I’ve heard people complain that the movie had no ending, but it does. Just not the kind of ending moviegoers are used to. At Easter, my sister-in-law’s family was talking about how they LOVED the movie. My son has seen it at least five times. THIS I don’t get. Though it’s thought provoking, it’s not something I want to see again and again.

Then this weekend I saw Atonement.


The timeline was hard to follow, because they would show a scene in one POV, then show it again in a different POV. While I was watching it, I didn’t enjoy it, though I loved the visuals – the costumes, the scenery. BEAUTIFULLY shot. But after I was done watching it and knew what happened, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I might see it again, but I would never own it.

Then we saw The Mist.
I love Stephen King. Really I do. And this movie was very tense. You could clearly see his 50s movies influences.
BOY was it gross. And really distressing. This is the second movie I’ve seen this year (Gone Baby Gone was the other) where the lead had to make some rough choices. Do not take this as any kind of recommendation, but if you see it, let me know what you thought.

Is it any wonder I bought Enchanted after seeing those 3???


Have you seen any good movies lately? Have you heard ANYTHING about Nim’s Island, Gerry’s new movie with Jodie Foster? I thought it was coming out next week but I haven’t seen previews.

Big Day!!!


Today's the big day for the Golden Heart and Rita calls!!! I know Sarah and Kelly entered - who else should I be rooting for???



More weird dreams - I dreamed I was watching a Jason Bourne movie and Matt Damon was a very awkward and geeky character until the Very Last Scene, where he killed a guy with his own belt buckle. The other dream had Tim Riggins in it, but I don't remember it as clearly. I woke up and started worrying about school. Joy.

I sent in my Wayback query, still have 30 pages to revise. I tried to start my Supernatural essay last night but starting was tough!


Monday, Monday....

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The good thing about today is that we have computer lab for an hour this afternoon. The bad thing about today...I don't know what we're doing between the bell and lunch!

I had some crazy dreams last night - one that the boy was little and all he wanted was Superman markers and milk. Yes, he did used to have Superman markers. Another dream was about the Supernatural boys, where Sam could go into a trance to see the past.

I finished Wayback yesterday - FINALLY. I've also written the synopsis and revised the first 35 pages. I'll write the query today.

Huh....whose picture to use? Well, since I'll be working on my Supernatural essay next....

Okay - funny. I went to go look for this picture, and my blog came up on the second page of Google Images for Supernatural Impala!!!


Happy Easter, Bye Bye Spring Break and Goals


Happy Easter!

Please, please, please let me finish this DANGED book today!

What I’ll Miss About Spring Break

1) naps
2) sitting in my sun room on the couch and writing with the windows open
3) watching the sun come up through my living room window
4) being caught up on DVDs
5) no schedule
6) watching for the mailman
7) watching my yard turn greener every day

Goals for this week:

1) Wayback synopsis
2) revise and submit Wayback
3) work on Supernatural essay
4) agent queries
5) work on driving lessons with the boy
6) cooking again – we ate out 4 nights last week!
7) keep up house (okay, can I say it wasn’t just the boy messing it up? The dh was off Friday and good LORD!)

What I’m Looking Forward To Between Now and Summer

1) Hot Shot releases next week!
2) BSG returns next week!
3) Starving Artist Show next week
4) Teaching the boy to drive
5) Finishing Something to Talk About
6) Hearing from SRS on DLB
7) Hearing from Samhain on Vanished
8) Hearing from WRP on Texas Forever
9) Bones returning April 14th
10) Juno on DVD April 15th
11) My birthday
12) Moonlight returns (not sure of date)
13) Supernatural and Grey’s Anatomy and LOST return April 24th
14) Fiesta
15) 27 Dresses and Golden Compass on DVD the 29th
16) TAKS being over
17) Iron Man
18) Nora Roberts’s THE HOLLOW coming out the same day as PS I LOVE YOU
19) Mother’s Day
20) Indiana Jones!!!!
21) Memorial Day holiday – I can’t remember the last time we had that as a holiday…it’s usually the last week of school anyway.
22) The last day of school!!!!


Maybe Now I Can Relax

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This was me last night. I was so fidgety from about 4:00 on, I couldn't do anything but eat Easter candy. The dh and I (mostly me) consumed an entire bag of gummy bunnies. And I think those last two Milky Way caramels about did me in, because I was nauseated the whole way to the airport and back.

See, I'd tracked the boy's flight home all evening. We live 3 exits from the airport, so when the plane was 5 minutes from landing, we headed out.

The highway was closed. It took us THIRTY MINUTES to go 3 exits. BUT we didn't have to pay for parking. By the time we got there, he was waiting on the curb. We stayed up till 1 talking. He'll probably sleep all day. The poor dh had to go to work at 6 this morning, though!

But I hardly got any writing done. Maybe I can relax this morning and finish my Wayback story, so at least the only thing to do next week is revise.

I do have to see Atonement and Jesse James today so I can take them back.

I got some exciting news yesterday - I made it to NUMBER ONE at Wild Rose Press and I got my first review from Simply Romance Reviews that knocked my socks off.


Amazon, Collages and Too Much Technology

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First of all, I’m on AMAZON!!!!! My friend Patti emailed to tell me!!!! Wow. Just…wow.

Secondly, I’m blogging about collaging at
Wet Noodle Posse. Come say hey.

Thirdly, the dh and I went out to dinner last night, at a pretty nice restaurant ($50 for the two of us, including dessert.) At the next table were four generations of women. The one in my generation texted on her phone the whole time there was no food in front of her. She didn’t even talk to her daughter, who, when the older two ladies went to the restroom, played her handheld video game since Mom wasn’t talking to her.

When I went to the restroom (after about 4 glasses of tea – they have the BEST tea) I saw a young family with a preteen and 3 kids under the age of 4, and they set up a portable DVD player for the kids to watch. Um. Huh. Too much technology? I mean, we’re guilty of watching programs during dinner, but we do actually talk to one another. This was just kinda sad.

I should finish Wayback today. At least I’d better – the dh is off tomorrow!


Missing the Boy

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I keep checking NYC’s radar to see if the boy is having good weather. Of course he forgot to take an umbrella – we don’t really use those much these days.

Our own weather has been wonky. Yesterday AM it was raining a lot. Perfect sleeping weather, but I didn’t want to mess up my schedule. Then when I woke from my nap, it was gorgeous. An hour later, overcast and chilly. Urgh.

Breakfast and shopping with Mom today.

Good things about the ds being gone for Spring Break

1) My gas bill will be down because I’m not driving him everywhere.
2) No competition for the cookies/Easter candy/icy mugs/Tivo/computer.
3) No empty water bottles or dirty glasses.
4) No DVDs and CDs strewn about.
5) No socks everywhere.
6) The hot water is mine – all mine!!!
7) I can go to lunch when and where I want.
8) My own schedule – I can nap or go back to bed or stay up late.

Bad things about the ds being gone for Spring Break
1) No one to talk over Natalie’s LOST theories with or my prospective Supernatural essay.
2) No one to watch movies with (the dh falls asleep)
3) No one to eat lunch with.
4) No one to let the dog out/in.
5) No one to format my DVDs for my iPod.
6) No one to clean the litter and take out the recycle.
7) I’m wishing my break away because I’m counting the hours till he comes home.

I did get quite a lot of writing done yesterday. I only have 3 scenes to go, though I really need to fix those last two scenes from yesterday because I was getting really sick. Part was a crummy diet, part was tension, I'm sure, but I even went to the Med Clinic (but left when they told me it would be a two hour wait!!) Anyway, three scenes to go, but I only know what one of them will be!


Number TWO, the Boy's Off and Guest Blogging

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Where There's Smoke is Number TWO this morning!!! Considering number one is a compilation of several authors, I'm very pleased!

The boy is at the airport in the care of his compadres. I've cried off and on all morning (since 3 AM, when I woke up after having bad dreams about No Country for Old Men). The dh got in at 1 AM from his gig smelling so strongly of smoke that I have to wash the sheets when he leaves today.

Writing yesterday was sporadic - I did some promo, a couple of blogs to be published later and cleaned. Then the boy and I watched O Brother Where Art Thou and No Country for Old Men, pausing every time we thought of something else he needed for his trip. Of course he forgot a brush and an umbrella.

Anyway, I'm blogging today at Writers at Play about heroes! Come say hey!


Happy St. Patrick's Day, TV and Movies


Since I sent Vanished in, I've been catching up on the Tivo and the Blockbuster DVDs.

Jericho - I thought it started slow, and that Jake was a bit wimpy compared to last year. I loved Esai Morales as the Major, and was kinda wanting something to happen between him and Heather. I like that Hawkins's wife is involved in his life now. She looks pregnant to me - did anyone else think that? I love Stanley and Mimi's story, too. Still, Jake wasn't the hero he was in the first season.

But the last two episodes have definitely been edge-of-the-seat shows, haven't they?

LOST - I love the twistiness of it, and how every episode has ended with a hook. But what about Miles? And I'm with Natalie - I KNEW it was going to be Michael because we knew Michael was coming back. The question is, does he have his memory? I love the new character of Daniel, but the last two episodes haven't intrigued me as much. I don't care for Juliet, and how can I care about a character for the next two years when I know that character will die?

SUPERNATURAL - Awesome. I love Dark!Sam, love that Dean wants to live, Ruby is GREAT and HATE what they did to Hendrickson. And still more than a month till a new episode!

THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JONES - I love Gilmore Girls, and Amy S-P produces this new show with Parker Posey (who I also love.) The network showed the pilot and the first episode back to back, which was probably smart, because I would have stopped watching after the pilot. Parker Posey was manic and I despise laugh tracks (the only sitcoms I watch are The Office and Earl, and neither of those have laugh tracks.) The laughs were at really inappropriate times, I thought, and if I hadn't seen PP in other things, I would have thought she was a terrible actress. The second show calmed down a bit, with PP looking more like a Type-A Lorelei and getting to know her "loser" sister. That's what's intriguing me, is the sister storyline. I'll watch it again.

I'm not caught up on Men in Trees yet, and I quit watching Sarah Connor and Eli Stone.

I also watched four movies this weekend.

Nancy Drew might have been good if, well, Nancy wasn't so unlikeable. She was amazingly perfect (and it's been so long since I read the books - was she really like that?) While the writers crafted this well and made it her strength AND her downfall, it didn't make her likeable. I did like how they explained her old-fashioned wardrobe and Roadster - she told people she liked old-fashioned things. And the mystery was pretty good.

The Bee Movie started out cute and had vivid colors. I love vivid colors. But it got really silly in the middle, though it had a couple of good messages. I wouldn't recommend unless you have a little kid who'll enjoy it more than you will.

Dan in Real Life is billed as a feel-good comedy. Sigh. I laughed once. If you liked the Family Stone, you might like this, but to me it was awkward and sad. I did not like.

Something to Talk About was the other movie, and yes, I realize it's 20 years old and has Julia Roberts. I didn't remember it being rated R and we watched during dinner. Oops. I did like the line, "It's just a man on a horse." And I liked the aunt. But man, Robert Duvall was a jerk, and why would Julia Roberts go to Junior League in her stable clothes? Just meh.

Enchanted and Atonement come out chances on seeing a good movie improve.

Only about 7 scenes to go on my Wayback story.


NUMBER THREE!!! Postcards and Vista Print, May 6 and a Boy Band Name

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I'm Number THREE today!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Of course, I have no idea what that means, but I'll take it!

I got my postcards yesterday from Vista Print and they are gorgeous! And they got here in only a week. BUT...I had my addresses in an AppleWorks file and when the dh updated our OS to Leopard, well, AppleWorks doesn't. My physical address book is sadly out of date, so I only have about 30 postcards addressed.

VistaPrint sent me a "free offer." Man, are they good at getting people to buy. I got business cards and magnets for just shipping of $7. Then they showed me address labels. With my book cover. Only $4 - good deal, right? SO I got all that for less than $11.

I have my newsletter done, but when I save to PDF, I lose my links. Does anyone know how to fix that? I have a LOT of links.

According to, PS I LOVE YOU comes out on DVD May 6. 27 Dresses, which was released in theaters AFTER PS I LOVE YOU, comes out the week before in DVD. No FAIR!

Okay, I need a fake boy band name. It's driving me nuts. Any ideas?


How to Celebrate Your First Book Release, and Spring Break Goals

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How to Celebrate Your First Book Release

1) Guest blog on your dear friend's blog - and be able to access it from school ;)

2) Your principal announces that you are a PUBLISHED AUTHOR on the morning announcements - the kids across the hall give you a standing O, everyone stops you in the hall for a hug, kids you don't know congratulate you.

3) Your principal makes a banner saying "Congratulations! We are ALL so proud of you!" complete with hearts with little flames in them, and hangs it in the teacher's lounge.

4) Your principal buys you a chocolate cake that says "Congratulations."

5) People tell you they want a shirt with your book cover on it, that you wore under your school shirt to flash people.

6) Teach factoring and start an art lesson, only to have the district PR person come into your room to interview you and take your picture (in your school shirt and jeans, your hair piled up, your make-up long gone).

7) Take your kids to the park to crack confetti eggs.

8) Be ready to bolt when the bell rings, only to have a parent conference, but it was a good thing because I learned things I didn't know about my new student who had been giving me fits.

9) Come home (after 45 minute Friday afternoon traffic) to a jillion emails, including one telling you your book is in the top ten top sellers on the WRP website.


10) Your husband brings you a bouquet of BEAUTIFUL roses.


11) Your husband and son take you to your second favorite restaurant (owned by the same people as your favorite restaurant, but closer) for dinner.

12) Go to Target to get No Country for Old Men for your son. Come home too sleepy for champagne, and go to bed at 9:30.

So, a really really good day.

And now that I'm on Spring Break....

Goals for Spring Break

1) Finish and submit Wayback (not as scary as it looks – I have a couple of hefty scenes handwritten in my notebooks.)
2) Query for Supernatural essays again
3) Get out newsletter.
4) Get on Romance Junction and Romance Wikipedia
5) Update Good Reads and Manic Readers
6) Breakfast/shopping with Mom
7) Walk
8) Keep house (should be easy after Monday)
9) Not fret too much about the boy’s trip (did I mention he has to be at the airport at 4:30 AM??)
10) Catch up on DVDs and Tivo


TODAY'S THE DAY!!!!!!!!!!





It’s OUT! It’s already there on the website - LOOK!!

And last night my poster came from CafĂ© Press (I HIGHLY recommend -$5 and it’s STUNNING.)

Today, I’m blogging at Trish’s AND I’ve started my first contest on my website. I realized I didn’t put a deadline on there. What do you think? A week?

The champagne is chillin’ and we’re going out to dinner tonight (hopefully someplace casual so I can wear my book cover t-shirt) and if today wasn’t awesome enough, it’s the day before Spring Break, when all my possibilities are ahead of me.

:::happy sigh:::

Here's another excerpt:

She blew out an exasperated breath. “We’re different people than our parents, Seth. I am no more my mother
than you are your father.”

“I’ve been following in his footsteps for years. I’ve never been able to get involved with someone without wondering if someone better was out there.”

Double ow. She rubbed a hand over her breastbone. Even with her, he’d been looking elsewhere? Did he even realize what he’d said? Could she fight for this if that was really how he felt?

“All right,” she said softly, standing. She needed to get out of here, go somewhere quiet and listen to her heart break. “You know, you’re right. You’re following in your father’s footsteps, but it’s your choice to do it. You’ve colored all your adult relationships with the same brush. You don’t think you could be faithful to anyone because your father can’t be. From the beginning of each relationship, you saw it as doomed. Pretty convenient, don’t you think?”

He leaned forward, dropping his arms to the table with a thunk. “You’re twisting it—”

She shook her head, everything crystal clear now. “No, I’m not. I’m stating it plainly. You never gave any relationship a chance. You began each one knowing you would end it. From that point of view, your father is a
better man than you. At least he had hope his relationships would last.” She headed into the living room in search of her purse.

Seth followed. “You’d like it if it was true, wouldn’t you?” His voice was a low rumble, unlike any tone she’d
ever heard from him, like it came from a place of great pain.

She turned and saw something frightening flash in his eyes. What had she awakened? He paced the small living room in controlled strides, like a panther struggling for discipline before it struck its prey. “If you could just figure me out, everything could just go back to the way it was,” he said. “Everything could be the same and your little world wouldn’t be this twisted place, right? You hate change, Lauren, you fear it. The reason you think you love me is because I’m safe, I’m familiar. God forbid you risk anything, especially your heart. That’s why you never became a firefighter, Lauren. You don’t know how to risk anything.”

She was nose to nose with him before she knew it, trembling with anger and pain. She was dizzy with it. The
rolling of her stomach had nothing to do with last night’s whiskey. She and Seth had traded barbs for years and she
thought she’d developed some tough skin, but nothing ever hit so close to the bone.

“No, see, there you’re wrong, Seth. I risked everything with you. You’re the one who will risk your life in a fire, but not your heart to your best friend. Some kind of hero that makes you.”

End of excerpt.

As you can imagine, I haven’t gotten much writing done this week.



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I’m blogging at The Samhain blog today for the first time! Come say hey!

I've got my newsletter group up. I would like to have someone to send the actual newsletter if you'd like, go here to join.

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Okay, guys, 24 Hours till my FIRST BOOK RELEASES. Here’s an excerpt. And I’m thinking of a fun contest to win copies…


Seth was late for the wedding rehearsal. Great, more time for Lauren’s nerves to be jumping. She hadn’t laid eyes on him since that bone-melting kiss on Sunday, hadn’t spoken to him. This had to be the longest stretch of time in recent memory that they hadn’t spoken, and the reason why was clear. Neither had a clue what to say.

She’d trembled for hours after the kiss, partly because of the kiss itself, partly because of who kissed her, and partly because it had ended way too soon. She could have kissed him the rest of the day, heck, even up till now. That would have given him a good reason to be late.

And then he’d gone and apologized. Had he apologized because they were friends, or because he thought she was some kind of innocent he’d compromised?
In either case, not complimentary.

Getting kissed as soon as she’d opened the door, now that was complimentary.

She realized it was a mistake; that he’d been right to pull away. It didn’t mean she had to like it, not when kissing Seth was on her top ten list of things she wanted to do before she died. Doing other things to him was in the
top three. But getting involved with anyone now would be hard. Getting involved with No-Future-Seth Escamilla would be devastating.

The door of the old church’s vestibule opened and he rushed in. She was such a fool. Her heart turned over. He was so handsome, his hair a little tousled, like he’d been in a hurry, his knit polo shirt displaying his attributes, and he wore that damned leather thong around his neck with the medal resting in the hollow of his throat.

Stupid. Fool. Idiot. She was only asking for pain to let herself feel anything for this man. So she bared her teeth in a parody of a smile when he came over. On top of kissing her and not talking to her, he had to partner her for the wedding. It wasn’t a big deal before, but now…

“How’ve you been?” he asked in an almost whisper.

If he wanted to know, he would have called, right? So the plan was to forget it happened. She’d let him think she was playing along.

“How hard can a wedding be that we have to rehearse?” she grumbled.

“I think it’s not so much for us as for Enrique and Crystal.”

On top of looking great, he was also cheerful. That he didn’t agree with her made her grumble more. “So why do we have to be here?”

“Free food afterward at La Margarita,” he said with that grin. Trying to loosen her up, she thought, her mood darkening. He would pay.

He offered his elbow and a minute passed before she realized he meant for her to take it. She slid her hand into the crook of his arm nonchalantly. Tomorrow he’d wear a tux, but now warm bare skin lay under her palm, and the hair of his forearm tickled.

“Thanks for not wiping out my bank account,” he murmured, bending down to speak, his breath stirring her hair. She closed her eyes against the thrill that raced through her then raised her free hand to swipe her hair back, shooing him away.

He straightened, taking the hint. Finally.

Crystal had warned him that Lauren was edgy, but he hadn’t expected she’d push him away. He’d never had a hard time getting Lauren to loosen up, but right now she was wound so tight, he expected her to spring into the rafters. She didn’t talk, only touched him when she had to. Okay, so he was a little nervous, too. He hadn’t seen her since the kiss, and his emotions were all jumbled. Touching her had always come so naturally, and now it felt like every touch had a deeper meaning, an ulterior motive.

Like pinning her to the wall again.

END OF EXCERPT (why is excerpt so hard to spell????)

This picture is why they think Taylor should have been Edward in Twilight.


Mockingbirds, Procrastination, Newsletters, First Time Blogging and 48 HOURS TILL SMOKE RELEASES!!!

Humorous Pictures
Enter the ICHC online Poker Cats Contest!

There is this mockingbird outside that sings ALL NIGHT LONG. This bird has no problem with projection, as Trish and Dawn can tell you. USUALLY I can sleep through it. Not today, though. I've been up since 3:30 fretting about things, all the while envisioning taking a shotgun outside and seeing said mockingbird explode in a cloud of feathers. Of course, I have no shotgun and would be jailed for discharging a gun in the middle of the city in the middle of the night, but I'd like to think the neighbors would cheer me. I may buy one of those big ugly inflatable owls, though.

We saw Beowulf last night. Don't. Just...don't. I think I'm going to quit the DVD mail thing - the movies sit here so long before we watch them - it's just not worth it.But I DID finally sew the new buttons on my suit - that I bought in the beginning of NOVEMBER!!!!

Okay, I have this incredible list of email addresses thanks to the Book a Day Giveaway on The Romance Studio. (Titania won, btw.) So Monday I made a newsletter. Only I think the newsletter should have more that just my books, like an article of some kind, but I don't have any good ideas. Any of you have any ideas? Also, I don't know how to make an address book separately. I use Entourage. Does anyone know?

Tomorrow I'm blogging at Samhain for the first time (providing I get my password!). I probably don't want to scare the readers the first time out, so I'm thinking of blogging about one of the following:

Hot Shot's long and winding road
Motivation (a writer's, not a character's)
Favorite quotes
Favorite things
Favorite couples
Importance of having goals
First romance novel
Music and writing
TV and writing
Dreams as inspiration
Obsessions (maybe too scary for the first time ;) )
Best thing about being a writer

What do you think?

Did I mention I put my book covers on some stuff at Cafe Press? Well, the Smoke t-shirt and the Hot Shot mug arrived yesterday. Both are REALLY cool. The mug, especially. (Tracy, those are some of your Intrigues behind the shirt.)


Okay, still time to get some work done on Wayback.


Welcome Guest Blogger Jana Mercy!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome first time Ellora's Cave author Jana Mercy here today.

Can you believe I forgot to ask her about the cow? Jana, tell us about the cow!

1) What inspired HER LAST FLING?

I wanted to write a book with an unusual hero. Someone with an everyday kind of job that you don't usually think of as sexy hero material. So, my hero is a dentist. Or as he and his partner are often referred to--the men who make you smile. :) My heroine was so much fun to write. She's funny, sensitive, the kind of person I'd love to have as a friend.

2) What is your process? Do you have the same process for every book?

I'm a total pantser. An idea or character will pop into my head, I start writing, and just keep going until I work all the kinks out. Sometimes that means going over the story several times, but I find that with each time I do that I can layer in different things--like humor, description, better word choices.

3) What has your journey been like so far? Is there anything you'd do differently in your career so far?

My journey is really just starting. At least from the published aspect. Her Last Fling is my first published novel although I've been writing for years.

4) What aspect of craft have you struggled with the most? How do you overcome it to write a selling book?

I've struggled with introspection. I love to be inside my characters' heads and that's not always a good thing. Especially when there's too much. One of those kinks I have to work out is introspection. I like my stories to be fast paced and too much introspection slows things down. With each pass through I cut introspection. And when I think I've got it right--I cut some more.

5) What one thing do you think beginning writers focus on that they probably shouldn't?

What other people think. Their family, friends, critique partner, chaptermates, etc. Write what you know. Write what you enjoy. Hone your craft. Never quit learning and trying to improve.

AMEN, Sister!

6) What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

Creating characters who are so real to me that I feel like they're good friends, that they're people I miss when the story is done. Another big plus to being a writer is the friends I've made along the way.

7) Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?

In the future, I hope to still be writing books that I enjoyed writing as much as I enjoyed writing Her Last Fling. I really did have fun with this book and I hope that shows to readers when they read the story. I want those secret giggles with thoughts of "Oh no! She didn't!" and "OMG!" and lots of LOL moments and all the other warm fuzzies a book from Ellora's Cave should give a reader.

8) What are you working on now?

In October my second book comes out with Ellora's Cave. Titled Strip or Treat, it's also got a main character with an unusual occupation--she works for the IRS. Sound totally unsexy? Guess it all depends on who's books you're auditing and when it's Heavenly Hunks strip club, well, sex is what it's all about.

Hey, I think I remember when you were writing this one!

I've also sold a futuristic to Ellora's Cave called Underground Pleasure. My hero is a pleasure slave and has been given to my heroine to teach her the ways of being a woman prior to her marriage. I've never written books with fight scenes or to where I completely let loose of my inhibitions until this book. Honestly, if I could have any one hero real life, Romjin wins hands down. Pleasure me, baby!

Oooh, sounds GREAT!!! Definitely something to look forward to!

Okay, your turn - what do you want to know about Jana Mercy?


Apparently I AM a Princess, and TV/Movies

Humorous Pictures

I've been awake since 2 AM. It wouldn't be so bad, but I didn't go to bed till after 11 because of the stupid time change. AND the weatherman said it would be 49 overnight, so I dressed accordingly and woke up sweating at 2, got up and turned on the fan. The dh got home from his gig at 2:30, came to bed at 3 smelling of smoke, and by that time I was so wound up, I couldn't get back to sleep. So....2 1/2 hours of sleep...20 kids....mmm, fun.

I watched 30 Days of Night Saturday and it was just terrible. Such a great concept, and so much that could have been done...and I HATED the ending. Then I watched House of Wax last night (I know, I know, Natalie warned me.) That was really not good, but better than 30 Days of Night! I also watched a few episodes of NCIS. The dh can't figure out why I'm watching it, and neither can I. There's nothing really special in the writing, though I like the Abby and Gibbs relationship.

Don't forget to come by tomorrow for my guest blogger, Jana Mercy!

Here's the book blurb:


Janice Lynn

He was her last fling. She was his first.
Tired of dead-end relationships, KATY SIMMONS is determined to find her forever man. Only problem is every time she thinks she's found him, he turns out to be a dud and she no longer trusts her instincts where good-looking men are concerned.
After years of walking the straight and narrow while caring for his ill mother and building his career, NOAH HILTON has earned the right to let loose. He's ready to taste the wilder side of life. However, his matchmaking mother has other plans.
When Noah's mother and Katy turn to the same computer dating service, the embers of Katy and Noah's not so forgotten encounter spark to life in a flame that threatens to devour Katy's best intentions and Noah's worst.
Will Katy deny their sizzling sexual chemistry in her search for Mr. Right? Or can Noah risk his heart to become more than just Her Last Fling?



Goals the week that SMOKE RELEASES!!!!

Humorous Pictures
Enter the ICHC online Poker Cats Contest!

Today The Romance Studio is giving away a copy of Where There’s Smoke! Go win!

1) work on Wayback – need to be bit more than half done by the weekend
2) come up with another idea for a Supernatural essay
3) The Romance Studio book giveaway – promote, promote, promote
4) Samhain blog – my first time! Need to figure it out ahead of time.
5) Get Merritt entry ready
6) Survive district assessments – two more days of testing, though the rules aren’t as strict. Poor kids, though.
7) Get boy’s NHS paperwork completed
8) Send friend and daughter birthday cards
9) Figure out how to make a banner for my books.
10) Color hair – it’s bad!
11) Make Vista Print postcards.
12) Keep up house.

This week I’m having a very special guest blogger on Tuesday. Jana Mercy is a new Ellora’s Cave author and this is why I adore her:

Whether she's sailing the Caribbean with Johnny Depp, dancing the night away with Brad Pitt, or stripping off Gerard Butler's clothes with her teeth, award-winning author Jana Mercy lives life to the fullest. Okay, so in her over-active imagination Jana lives life to the fullest. In reality she's a dreamer who never gave up on her life-long fantasy of writing romance. Dreams do come true, so keep reading romance and let your dreams soar.

Plus, we HAVE to find out the story behind the cow, don’t you think?


6 Days till Where There's Smoke releases!!!!

provided by


M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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