Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Catalogs

Does anyone besides me miss the old Sears and Penney's Christmas catalogs? What is your favorite Christmas memory?

Monday, November 17, 2014

STRESSED! What to Write?

Yes, I'm a bit stressed and have been for about a month or so. You see, while I am published as a romance writer, I have always wanted to be published as mystery writer. I started writing my first mystery book in 2009. I have about five chapters finished on it. Why only five chapters? Well, my romance writing kept pulling me back. 

I published my first romance in 2009. In 2010, I decided the mystery I had started could be a series. However, that first book would not work as Book 1 in a series, so I started the first in the series in 2010 while also working on a romance that was published in 2011. 

I kept getting ideas for more books in the series before I had even finished the first book. I actually have plot ideas for fourteen books in that series! In 2012, I kept writing romance though because I was in the "groove" writing that. I published three romances in 2013 and for NaNoWriMo in that year, I started on the third book in the mystery series. Whew!

So, here it is nearing the end of 2014 and I'm doing my best to get my most recent romance published, but still wanting to write that mystery series. I even have a publisher picked out to submit it too, if I ever get that first book finished. I did a lot of editing recently on Book 1 and have about five chapters written. Then last month, I hear this little voice in the back of my head saying, "Come back to romance."  I have seven and a half chapters finished on a romance and also the urge to work on another one that is only up to chapter one. Sometimes I wonder if I need some Prozac to relieve my stress.

So, today I am home from my day job due to the snow we had last night and I will be writing. All I need to do is figure out which genre I'm going to work on. Wish me luck.



Thursday, November 13, 2014


We finally scraped our old television that we bought in 2005 and got a new HDTV. I may never write another book again.

All I want to do is look at that sharp picture. My husband and I were watching The Big Bang Theory last week and were looking at all the things in the background that we never noticed before. Shelton and Leonard actually have a book on their bookshelf about comets that is the exact same book that my husband has on our bookshelf. Nerds.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Eleven things I learned at Magna cum Murder XX

I spent the weekend of October 24-26, 2014 at the Magna cum Murder mystery writing conference. For those that don't know, Magna cum Murder is a conference for both mystery writers and readers. The last time I attended it was held in Muncie, Indiana and sponsored by Ball State University. Now in its twentieth year, it is still sponsored by Ball State, but is now held at the historic Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, the perfect atmosphere for discussing mysteries.

While this wasn't my first Magna, I'm still sort of a newbie for this conference, last attending in 2010. I had a wonderful time this year listening to all the guests and panelists talk about the aspects of writing mysteries and thrillers. Below are a few of the things that I learned this year.

11. When sharing a hotel room, make sure to exchange cell phone numbers with your roomies prior to the conference so you can find them when you get there. {{waving at Marian and T.}}

10. Some beads used for Rosaries can be poisonous. Thank you, Lucy Zahray (The Poison Lady) for that information. She's always so informative.

9. The elite military unit, Delta Force, really does.... I mean, really doesn't exist. (Sorry, John)

8. Parnell Hall is still as funny as ever. Don't let him tell you that he isn't a good panel moderator, because he is.

7. A lot of murders happen in small towns and especially in coffee shops, at least they do in mystery novels.

6. Prior to the conference, check the window washers schedule at the hotel so the audience isn't so distracted at your panel. Although, it was really funny.

photo courtesy of Beverly Ray

5. I have yet to win the Swimsuit competition. Those that attended the conference will understand.

4. John Gilstrap's favorite curse work is "F--k!" Thank you, John. Your answer will forever be burned into my memory.
3. I learned how to bury a dead body so its more difficult to find. Could come in hand someday, for one of my books of course. The presentation by Karen Cooper, CSI retired, from Florida was fantastic.

2. I could listen to Dorothy Cannell tell her story about Cedric over and over and each time still laugh out loud. She's a wonderful person.

And, the #1 thing I learned at Magna cum Murder XX: Jeffery Deaver is not nearly as creepy in person as he looks on the back of his books. I loved talking to him during our elevator ride from the tenth to the second floor and then again later when he signed a book for me.

I tip my hat (if I had one) to the Magna cum Murder staff who did an awesome job with this year's conference and I look forward to attending again.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sisters in Crime Blog Hop

During the month of September, members of the Sisters in Crime writing organization are participating in a blog hop. Below are my answers to a few questions.

1. Which authors have inspired you?
As a romantic suspense author, I have been very inspired by Lisa Gardner. Ms. Gardner is my favorite female writer. Her books are well written and always leave you on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what will happen next. I strive to write as well as Ms. Gardner. It's pretty hard to decide which of her books I like the best, but two do come to mind, Alone and Hide. Oh, and I also like The Perfect Husband. Honestly, I have never read a bad Lisa Gardner book and I've just about all of them.

2. What's the best part of the writing process for you? What's the most challenging?
The best part of the writing process for me is when I'm really in "the zone." That's when I'm sitting at my computer typing away on my book and the next thing I know, I look up and I've been writing for hours.
What I find most challenging is dealing with interruptions. For instance, since starting the blog post, my husband has texted me six times. Those types of distractions break up my thought process and I can't get into "the zone" when I am being interrupted.

3. Do you listen to music while writing? What's on your playlist?
Sometimes I listen to music and sometimes I don't. Whether it's music or the television in the background, I have to have some sort of noise around when I write. I cannot write in total silence. Nope, can't do it. My musical tastes are 70's classic rock. My favorites are Boston, Eagles, Steve Miller Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. However, lately I've gotten hooked on music by the actor, Christian Kane. His music is classified as country, but has a good southern rock sound to it.

Lastly, I'd like to make a recommendation on an author for you to try. J.M. Madden writes romances between 'combat modified' military men and the women who love them. I met J.M. this past weekend at a writers convention and I'm really looking forward to start reading her books. Please stop by her site and give it a look.


Sisters in Crime Blog Hop

Monday, September 22, 2014

Imaginarium 2014

I spent this past weekend at the Imaginarium Writing Convention Held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville, KY and what fun that was. Besides meeting so many new and wonderful authors, I made lot of new friends. I helped man the Kentuckiana Authors table, an organization that I am very proud to be a part of.

I was a guest panelist on several of the discussion panels and attending a few others. There were such good topics covered for just about any genre you could think of. Unfortunately, there were too many good panels and I missed a few I would have loved to attend because there was another one at the same time. Scheduling conflicts is something you just have to deal with at conventions and pick the panels you want to attend the most. With any luck, you can meet up with the authors from the panels you missed in the bar, lobby, or at their table and pick their brain a little. My favorite workshop that I attended was "A No-Nonsense, No-Gimmick Approach to Marketing Your Books" presented by Eric Beebe, who was also my neighbor from across the aisle. He gave fantastic information about marketing your book for the most sales. I will definitely be purchasing his book that he has coming out next month about marketing.

In addition to learning so much about writing, so many exciting things can happen, like below. Five minutes into my first panel, the fire alarm sounded and everyone had to evacuate the building. Luckily, it was nothing and we were allowed back inside after a short wait outside. Thank goodness it wasn't raining, hot, or in the middle of the night.

Then, there are just some fun people.
Per Bastet Publications

Publisher and Author, Tony Acree and myself

Frank Hall, owner of That Book Place and the Gaming Director for Imagininarium

And finally, a big thanks to the Convention Director, Steven Zimmer. He put on an awesome convention and one that I will definitely participate in again and again. Thanks to all that were involved in making this a very rememorable weekend.

Next month, I get to do this all over again at Magna cum Murder in Indianapolis. 


*I borrowed a couple of the above photos from Facebook friends, but I failed to write down their names to give credit. If you took any of these photos and would like for me to take them down or give you credit, please e-mail me at