Monday, June 16, 2014

New Website!

My new website is live today so I disconnected this blog from my url. My web designer has moved all the posts from my diary here to my journal there, and that's where all the new stuff will be!

So, so excited and can't wait to hear what you think of my new home on the internet! See you at the new website! xoxox

Friday, June 13, 2014

A New Sale!

I'm adding a new romance genre to my writing...Inspirational! I'm going to be writing a novella called Picture Perfect Love for Zondervan's "Year of Weddings" series. Check out this listing in Publishers Marketplace:

I'm very excited! Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Dear Kitten

I love, love, love this commercial.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Christmas in June!

Ho! Ho! Ho!  I bet the last thing you're thinking about is Christmas with summer right around the corner!

Well, Tule Publishing Group's Montana Born Books decided to shake things up a little with a Christmas in June Promo! They've repackaged the Copper Mountain Christmas novellas and added a short story as well as recipes from authors! I want that cup of hot cocoa on the cover, how about you?

The Cowboys of Cooper Mountain Bundle is on sale for 99 cents. This is a five day Kindle Countdown Deal! So a limited time offer! It's only available on Amazon, but they do have free readers for other devices besides Kindles. Order a copy here!

What's inside the bundle:
A Cowboy For Christmas by Katherine Garbera
Christmas at Cooper Mountain by Jane Porter
Home For Christmas by me
Mistletoe Magic by me
Recipes from Montana Born Books, Southern Born Books & Holiday Books authors
A contest is part of the Tule Publishing Group promo with a great Grand Prize! Check this out and be sure to enter. You can comment, like and share by clicking here.

Merry Christmas in June!

Monday, June 02, 2014

How cool!

I finished the two manuscripts that I'd fallen behind on when I was sick. The second was sent in last night. Woo-hoo!

Celebration time!

Of course, my friend Gina was on it. She's in Barcelona at the moment and guess what she found in a bookstore there:

Seeing this made my day that much better!

The book is the Spanish version of Win, Lose or...Wed! Very cool to see one of my foreign translations on the shelf! Thanks, Gina! xoxox

Hope all is well! I'm back now! I just needed to finish the books which were the two biggest items on my To Do list!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Amazon Top 100

I got a nice Mother's Day present in addition to roses, a shirt from my youngest and homemade cards from the girls...

The Mother's Day Romance Bundle broke into the Top 100 at Amazon!

That's the highest I caught it. By the time I went to bed, the listing page hadn't caught up to the bestseller list. But here's what I woke up to: 

The bundle will be available a little while longer before disappearing. The 99 cents sale is over, but  $2.99 is still a bargain for twelve stories by eleven authors! You can get the bundle here.

Hope you had a nice weekend. My Mother's Day was full of family time. Mass followed by brunch at Biscuits. A little writing time on my own and watching the Amazon rankings! Then dinner at P.F. Changs. A lovely day!

Friday, May 09, 2014

Coming soon...

A new website design!

It's time.

This one has served me well, and I love it, but I've had pink and purple since my very first website back in 1999 (that makes me feel sooooo old!) and it's time for a change. I'm very excited!

Not exactly sure when the design will come on line. That depends on me, and right now, I have a book that must be finished ASAP since it's already overdue (though I have an extension) because of getting so sick. But I'll keep plugging away in my spare time.

Just wanted to warn you in case you come back in a few weeks and there's well, a new layout!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Cover Reveal!

Check out my lovely new cover for my upcoming August release from Special Edition, The Billionaire's Nanny. Would love to hear what you think in the comment section! Thanks!

Here's the back cover blurb:


Just when he thinks "problem solved," internet billionaire AJ Cole realizes he needs more than a temp. He needs a fiancée to show off when he returns home to Haley's Bay for the first time in ten years. His family has a habit of matchmaking, and AJ doesn't need the drama. But as soon as Emma Markwell agrees to his assignment, he learns that pretend love can feel oh-so real.

Once a nanny, Emma's played many games of make-believe. This shouldn't be any different—until a few hot kisses meant for show blur the line between fantasy and reality! AJ doesn't do commitment, but Emma has always longed for true love and refuses to settle for less. AJ can't resist a challenge, and soon, he can't figure out if he's just trying to get into her bed…or keep her from getting into his heart.

The book is available for pre-order from Amazon!

Friday, May 02, 2014

Mother's Day Romance Bundle

I'm so excited to announce that I'm part of a new release that just came out! Mother's Day Romance Bundle is a set of 12 stories from Tule Publishing Group that will only be available for a limited time for 99 cents!

The bundle is only available in Kindle format (i.e. Amazon), but there are free Kindle apps for many eReaders, phones, computers and the iPad.

Here's the cover blurb:

A selection of tasty treats put together especially for Mother's Day. From the ruggedly beautiful land that is Montana, come these tales of love and romance from some of the genre's best selling and award winning authors.

And the bonus is, they're entirely calorie free!
Happy Mother's Day! 

Some titles have been previously released (like mine, Home For Christmas) while others are being offered for the first time. You'll find stories from the Montana Born Books and Southern Born Imprints as well as a brand-new short from Jane Porter. Titles included:

Tempt Me, Cowboy by Megan Crane
Promise Me, Cowboy by C.J. Carmichael
The Sweetest Thing by Lilian Darcy
Christmas at Copper Mountain by Jane Porter
Home for Christmas by Melissa McClone
A Cowboy for Christmas by Katherine Garbera
What a Bride Wants by Kelly Hunter
Second Chance Bride by Trish Morey
Bet the House by Erika Marks
Sweet Home Carolina by Kim Boykin
A Mother's Day by Kaira Rouda
Sight Seeing by Jane Porter

If you're looking for an inexpensive gift (can't beat the 99 cent price!) for your romance-reading mom, look no further. Buy a gift copy from Amazon, have the certificate emailed to you, print and stick in a Mother's Day card! And yes, I have already done three of the four steps. Just need to buy a card!

For once I'm ahead of the game with Mother's Day. I'd purchased her other presents last month so this will be the perfect addition. She loves to read!

Enjoy and Happy Reading!

Monday, April 28, 2014


Finn trying on Olympic bling at swim clinic
My son Finn turns fourteen today. Hard to believe since he's always been my little boy. I'm in denial that he'll start high school in the fall!

He was a big baby 9 pounds 6 ounces. When he decided, he wanted to arrive there was no stopping him. I was ready to die (fully dialated in a little over an hour) and no one had any idea he was that big because Makenna had only been 7 pounds 15 ounces. Thank goodness he decided to show up a few days early or I'd been in real trouble!

Yesterday was bowling and the arcade at Big Al's. Today he wants Crispy Creme donuts (chocolate and glazed) for his swim team when practice ends today, a special dinner tonight and Dairy Queen ice cream cake for dessert. Very low key. Not sure if it's a boy thing since he's my only one!

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging. I'm still sick. I got worse towards the end of the week and went back to the doctor. Am finally on antibiotics and hoping this does the trick. I've lost another entire month to not feeling well. I want this to stop! Hope all is well with you!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Getting there...

Our fireplace
This was our first Easter since the kids were born that we spent just the five of us. Usually it's my family: my parents, my sister's family and whoever might else show up. But no one wanted our germs. I don't blame them. This crud lasts forever.

My dad said at least I wouldn't have to clean my house, but we did anyway. All of us pitching in to help as we felt up to it. We managed to get eggs dyed and the Easter decorations up on Saturday. The eggs had been boiled earlier in the day, and I was worried the dying wouldn't happen as the time kept slipping away. But it did, and so did the decorating.

We all still have symptoms, but four of us were healthy enough to attend Mass yesterday morning. A lovely service with the church full of white lilies. We saw a few friends who we hadn't seen in a few weeks, a combo of sickness and spring break, in our case both!

Of course as soon as you wake up feeling better, an hour or two later you crash again. So Easter naps became a new tradition. At least for me! But we're slowly getting in getting healthy! I can't wait until that happens. Though I have a feeling the youngest still hasn't hit the worst part yet. Praying she doesn't!

The kids were up to the two egg hunts. One with the dyed eggs courtesy of the Easter bunny and one with candy filled plastic eggs later in the day. A few had change and the Golden and Silver eggs had dollar bills. They missed their four cousins being there, but still had fun. Hey, they scored lots of candy what's not to like?

A much quieter and relaxing Easter than usual, but that was okay. We celebrated the Risen Lord and spent time together. That's all we needed. I hope you enjoyed yourself this weekend!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Wishing you blessings and joy! Here's a video of Kelley Mooney singing her lovely adaption of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. She received permission to rewrite the lyrics. Perfect for Easter. Worth a listen. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How Frozen Should Have Ended...

Loved Frozen, but this is hilarious and spot on about her parents' parenting...

What do you think?

Monday, April 14, 2014


Home from spring break, but not only am I still sick, the family is also sick now. Will post trip report and pics as soon as I feel a little better!

Hope all is well where you are!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Spring Break Day 1 - The Hell Drive

Ever hear about someone's vacation going badly and then it kept getting worse? Well, that's how I feel right now. How bad has the first day been?

I just got home from the ER. My niece, who we thought had been car sick (she forgot that she takes Dramamine when going on long rides), was still throwing up when hubby took me to the hospital.

Can we have a do-over please?

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. I'm not sure I want to know.

Hope all is well where you are!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Norwegian Elkhound Puppies - Astra's Second Litter

On deadline, but wanted to take time out to share these adorable Norwegian Elkhound puppy pics with you! These are from Astra's most recent litter out of our breeder Jan Herinckx in Hillsboro, Oregon. You might remember Astra from previous posts. Mackenna has shown her in juniors and the breed ring. Rose used her for 4-H.

Aren't the pups oh-so-cute? Hard to believe our Cato was little just a year ago!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Have you entered to win a Kindle Fire HDX?

I'm on deadline and trying to get a book finished. My son and I arrived home from his Sectional Meet last Sunday, and I buckled down. I haven't been online much or blogging. Sorry. With everything going on in my life, I fell behind on my word count and trying hard to get caught up. I posted about this contest earlier this month, but wanted to mention it again because there are only two days left to enter!

This month I'm taking part in a Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway! (or if preferred the winners can choose a $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash.)

Use the following link and scroll down until you get to the rafflecopter entry form:

There's also a second giveaway (same prize) if you have a blog and post about this. Info for that is on the link above. You can enter until March 31, 2014.

Good luck! I hope one of you win! If you do, please let me know. Thanks!

March 2014 Kindle
Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)


Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7".

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)

Or $229 Gift Card (International)

Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hump Day

Another week, another swim meet. My son and I will be heading north tomorrow to attend the PNW Age Group Sectionals. He qualified in two events (100 Back and 200 Back) so that means I will have a hotel room and lots of time to write. I plan to watch him swim then leave him with the team and get work done. I can't wait!

Of course, that means doing loads of laundry and folding today. I can now see the carpet but have at least three more loads I need to wash. I found piles of towels in the kids' bedrooms. I don't know why they can't go straight from swimbags into the laundry hamper. Oh, well... At least I know where they all went.

What are you up to today?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Are you wearing green?

Rose woke up wanting to know if the leprechauns had been by yet. When the kids were younger we used to make traps for them. Those little sly ones never got caught but they would leave gold chocolate coins inside the cages!

Hubby took this at the start of the run.
Yesterday, my hubby and two younger kids participated in the Shamrock Run in downtown Portland. They had fun in spite of the ran at the start!

Very proud of the kids who do not run regularly. They did very well. Finn came in 334th overall out of 10K runners. He was 28th in his age group!  Hubby said he just sprinted away from them once the race started. Finn said he followed a guy who looked like he knew what he was doing to get around the slower crowds, then ended up running with a guy in his mid-twenties who encouraged him on! That was both kids' first 5K run! I hope they want to do more.

Hope you have a great day! Any big plans for today?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Links!

Crazy, unexpected week. Needless to say I haven't been blogging or writing. All I want to do as soon as I finish the final things on my wish-this-hadn't-happened To Do list is sleep. If you know me and where I live, you can figure out what's been going on.

Next week is not going to be pretty trying to catch up on all those words I've missed this week, but I had no choice. Sigh...

Here are some links for you. This is about all I can manage:

1) How would you like this "kitty" to pay you a visit while on a photo safari? Pretty cool and a once in a lifetime experience. Luckies! Click here to go to

2) I'm a fan of Dave Ramsey's get out of debt snowball plan and his budgeting approach, but I thought Couponing To Disney's method is pretty cool to save up for something specific.  The best part is it's free. No books to buy. And lots of cute downloads to create your budget binder, coupon binder and Christmas binder.

3) I love the movie FROZEN, and I got a chuckle from this honest movie trailer:

Hope you have a great Friday! I'll be so happy to have hubby home this weekend and this week behind us!

Monday, March 10, 2014

RCRW Mini-Con

Hubby didn't like my short hair so I let it grow out!
This weekend I spoke at the RCRW Mini-Conference. Here's a picture of me right before my workshop Taking Your Writing to the Next Level started.

I don't get to many RCRW events. I haven't been to anything since the all-day intensive with Donald Maas a year ago. But it was fun to catch up with friends and meet new ones like author Carol Ross who's debut novel Mountains Apart  is out this month with Harlequin Heartwarming.

This was my first presentation in a long time. How long? I'd never used Power Point to make one before. Needless to say I was nervous. But the talk went well. I used examples from critiques I'd done over the years. I showed the before, asked the audience to use whatever technique I was discussing to revise the work, and then showed the published version. Big thanks to past and current critique partners Virginia Kantra, Terri Reed and Jennifer Shirk for giving me permission to use their stuff! After the conference, I went out to dinner at Stanfords with four authors who I've known over sixteen years. It was really fun to catch up with them and what's going on with their writing careers.

I hope you had a nice weekend! Today is the anniversary of my beloved Rocket crossing the Rainbow Bridge. It doesn't seem like that long ago, and I miss him so much. I'm going to enjoy the quiet house, cuddle with my fur babies and try to get some writing done. What's on your agenda for today?

Friday, March 07, 2014

Haircut and unexpected news

Yesterday, I paid a long-put-off visit to my hair stylist. I've been letting my hair grow (total excuse, I now) but "my" things always come last, either due to time or budget. When I arrived, I noticed a new person behind the desk. I thought the regular receptionist, Brandy, must be on vacation. 

The next couple hours were spent catching up with my hair stylist while she highlighted and cut my hair. She's been cutting my hair since spring 2011. I know the exact date because I'd been named a RITA® finalist that year and needed a haircut before having an author picture taken.

In a panic, since my hair hadn't been cut in a while and I was wearing ponytails, I drove down a street pulling into every hair salon I saw. No one had any appointments. By the time I hit the next shop, my third or fourth, I was thinking I was resigning myself to a cut at one of the strip mall places where you don't need an appointment, but you also aren't sure what you'll get. That freaked me out given this picture would be flashed on a big screen in front of oh, about 2000 romance authors.

The receptionist, a nice woman named Brandy, at the salon was so nice. She could see I was in a bit of a panic and told me everyone was busy at the moment, but if I could come back in a couple hours a stylist named Melody could see me. I was torn, because I just wanted to get my hair cut, but she assured me Melody was great. So I called hubby to make sure he could cover kid pickups and drop offs then took the appointment. I've been going their ever since.

So yesterday, after my hair was finished, I went up to pay. I noticed a piece of paper taped by the reception counter. I started to read and my heart dropped to my feet after the first couple of sentences. The letter was about Brandy who'd died a couple days before Christmas. She was only 41 and died like my friend Bud had right before Thanksgiving, suddenly without warning, leaving a huge gap in the lives of her husband, daughters, coworkers and friends.

I only saw Brandy a few times a year, but she always remembered me and would have biggest, warmest smile on her face. She went out of her way for me because I'm not the kind of person who schedules things way in advance. I would wait until I can't stand my hair anymore and want it done as soon as an appointment was available. When I had shorter hair the last couple of years, I was in there more often. One time, I called a few weeks ahead of time to book an appointment. I think she was stunned!

If anything, this is another reminder, a brutal one at that and I really don't need anymore, to embrace life. Don't leave words unspoken or deeds undone. You really don't know what might happen tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Want to win a Kindle Fire HDX?

This month I'm taking part in a Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway! (or if preferred the winners can choose a $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash.)

Use the following link and scroll down until you get to the rafflecopter entry form:

There's also a second giveaway (same prize) if you have a blog and post about this. Info for that is on the link above. You can enter until March 31, 2014.

Good luck! I hope one of you win!

March 2014 Kindle
Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)


Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7".

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)

Or $229 Gift Card (International)

Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

Monday, March 03, 2014

Splish Splash Swim Championshps

My 13 year old son and I drove to Corvallis on Thursday. The Oregon State Swimming Championships started that afternoon and went on until Sunday! We had a great time!

Some ask why the entire family doesn't go. Well, first, school on Friday for the other two. The youngest started Spring Soccer season so had two games this weekend. And finally, I love having the one-on-one time with Finn.

During the meet, he's with his team. I see him swim, but that's about it. Afterwards, I get him all to myself. Meals, hanging out. It's wonderful. This has become our same time next year! We stay at the same hotel, in the same type of room (jacuzzi tub in the living room which he likes to use after a long day of swimming) and we have a routine down.

The biggest change this weekend happened Saturday night. The past two years we've gone to Mass then headed to the pool to cheer on his teammates in Finals. Well, this year, he made finals with a Sectional cut time in the 100 Back. He went into the finals in the 8th position. Someone scratched so he moved up to 7th. During the race he dropped more time so placed 6th! Not bad for a kid who was seeded much lower and not expected to make finals!

He had a great weekend, scoring points for his team in the 100 back and the mile, and swimming personal best times in all six of his individual events. One of the best parts was seeing his team do amazing as well. Last year, they placed 13th with a handful of swimmers. This year the were 3rd in the team competition with a team of 25. Woo-hoo! Way to represent!

Needless to say, a fun weekend. I managed to get a little writing done and a lot of reading! Took advantage of the down time between events. Now to get back on track until we have to do this all over gain in a couple of weeks for Sectionals. We thought he'd just be racing the 200 Back on Sunday, but now he's got the 100 Back on Friday! A good thing I made reservations for the entire time, though I'm thinking he might want hubby to take him so he gets some one-on-one time with him. Guess we'll see!

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Meet the newest Brewer

This is a cute story about spring training, the Milwaukee Brewers and a stray dog. If the embed doesn't work, here's the link. Enjoy.

There's also this story in USA Today if you want to know more about Hank! So happy this little guy found a team and organization to not only take care of him, but love him!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dog Showing Once Again

Yesterday, I found myself somewhere I hadn't been since August...a dog show! Mackenna's shoulder surgery is healing and getting stronger so we decided to go to Albany, Oregon for a small show. Rose and Chaos were signed up for Junior Showmanship. We expected Cato to be the only Norwegian Elkhound in the breed ring since our friends dropped out the day the show closed due to not hearing that anyone else had signed up.

Well, Cato wasn't alone in the breed ring!

A bunch of out-of-state folks decided to show up, eight dogs on Saturday and seven on Sunday! That many Elkhounds rarely show up anywhere unless it's a specialty show. Boy, was it fun seeing them all.

Hubby took the Saturday shift. It was a great day! Rose and Chaos placed second in Jrs. Mackenna took Cato into the breed ring and won: Winners Dog, Best Winners and Best Opposite Sex! He ended up with a couple more points toward his championship, too!

We split kids and dogs, yesterday. He did the morning shift. I took the afternoon one! By the time Mackenna, Cato and I arrived, the place was pretty empty. Hubby and Rose were finished so they left Chaos with us and headed to Mass nearby.

Unfortunately Sunday wasn't as good as Saturday results wise. Rose didn't place. Cato was Winners Reserve (no points.) Just what happens with dogs. But still a fun day. Though a long one.

Oh, and our breeder has another set of new puppies. Astra, who Mackenna has shown both in juniors and breed, had her second litter! I can't wait to see pics so I can share them with you!

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I didn't get a blog up yesterday morning. I woke to the news that a dear friend and talented author Trish Jensen had died. The news wasn't unexpected. She'd been moved to a hospice, then back to a hospital. I knew what was coming, as I did with my friend Elizabeth who had breast cancer, but the news still hit hard.

I met Trish on the old GEnie forums back in the mid-nineties when we were both unpublished authors. She was a funny, caring, generous woman who wrote romantic comedies for Harlequin and Belle Bridge Books.

Trish loved animals—dogs, cats, birds, you name it. She was a supporter of no-kill shelters. She was one of the first authors to jump in and help my then-foster cat Miss Mousie when she needed surgery. You can read the post she contributed to the blog here. Trish wrote this about her cat Foxy:
It's been a few years, but she's forever in my heart.
And Trish will forever be in mine. RIP my friend. You are already missed.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you have a wonderful Friday whether you're spending Valentine's with your loved one or if you're on your own this year!

I've been playing around with a new app and came up with this for you:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Random Wednesday

My week is completely messed up from the snow day on Monday. Having Friday off didn't help. I keep thinking it's the wrong day. So just a few things for you today while I keep reminding myself it's Wednesday.

• 4 days of unable to go or do anything, right? Monday night, Rose tells me she needs Valentine's for her class party. No worries, right? Drive to Target, buy a box, sign them, we're good. Wrong. She wants to make them like we did last year. So last night we went to the Dollar Store and Walgreens. Managed to get everything we needed except gumballs. That will be my quest today. 300 gumballs. Don't ask.

• If you're looking for an act of kindness to do, send Colin a birthday card for his 11th birthday. My youngest just turned eleven in January. Colin told his mom he has no friends so there was no need for a party. Colin has Asperger's Syndrome. Here's the article with the story from ABC. Here's the Facebook page his mom set up. You leave a birthday greeting or you can find out where to send birthday cards or you can do both. Let's show Colin he does have friends, lots of them!

• The men's halfpipe? Where you as surprised as me by the outcome? At least we had gold in the Slopestyle. Nice to see a US Woman medal in luge. Watching that German speed skater get disqualified for false starts was heartwrenching. I missed all the skating. I was writing.

Anything random you want to share?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Norwegian Elkhound Puppies - The Next Generation

I've lost track of all the Norwegian Elkhound puppy posts I've made so I decided not to number this one. These pups are from our breeder Jan Herinckx in Hillsboro, Oregon. We feel a special kinship with this liter because the mother is Grand Finale, who we had for a short time to socialize when she was a pup, and the father is Nash, who we had for several months last year when Cato went to live with Jan so she could work with him.

It's no wonder these are such cute pups! Add in the recent snow and well, I'll let you see for yourself!

Adorable, right? What better way to start the week than with puppies!

Have a great day! We have a snow/ice day here. No school!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Mini-giveaway Winner

We're snowed in! You'd think that would mean I have plenty of time to pick the winner of Monday's mini-giveaway contest, but no, I've been enjoying the snow, writing and resting. A pretty perfect day!

But here's the winner! said:

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2014-02-08 06:22:39 UTC

Quilt Lady was the fourth commenter so she wins backlist eBook copy! Congrats! And thanks to all who entered!

Hope you had a great Friday!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Memo: The Billionaire's Proposal

For the past two weeks, I've been posting backlist titles on my Facebook page as part of a #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT promotion some writer friends are doing. I decided to add that to the blog today and I knew exactly what title to start with: Memo: The Billionaire's Proposal.

You see, when my kids had the flu in January (before I caught it) we watched a lot of TV, mostly on-demand and their favorite shows. One of those shows is Castle. My son and I were theo only ones downstairs when he asked me to watch an episode with him. He said he really thought I'd really like this one.

He was right!

Take a look at this short clip (If you want to see the entire episode we found it via Comcast On-demand):

Talk about art imitating art.

Eric Vaughn in the Squab and The Quail episode = my hero Drake Llewelyn. You see, the actor Ioan Gruffudd playing Lancelot in the movie King Arthur inspired my character years ago. Now seeing him as a billionaire with that sexy British accent...thud!

Some tidbits about the book:

•  I wanted the book to open in a castle with the hero dressed like a knight in shining armor. I also wanted him to have facial hair like Lancelot.

•  Chaney, my heroine, was the name of my son's Little League coach's wife. I asked her about the name, heard the story behind it and knew I had to use it in a book someday.

•  The book was nominated for a RT Harlequin Romance Reviewer's Choice Award. 

•  The manuscript was moved up in the publication schedule so I never had a chance to check the page proofs. I've received more complaints from readers about typos in this book than any other book. Unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it. So buyer beware! If typos drive you crazy, please skip this one!!!

• There's a booktrailer for this one courtesy of Goddess Fish Promotions:

Happy Thursday and happy reading!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Writing the Bestseller

I don't blog much about the actual craft of writing. Unless you're a writer (and my intended blog audience is readers) it's pretty boring. But I wanted to tell you about a new writing book that was just released because I contributed to one of the sections! Needless to say I'm so excited!

The book is put out by the Tule Publishing Group. They're the ones who published Home for Christmas and Mistletoe Magic. They asked their writers to share tips, advice and techniques. The result... Writing the Bestseller: Romantic and Commercial Fiction

The book is available in Kindle format for $3.99 on Amazon, and will soon be available in print.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, February 03, 2014

A Post and an eBook for You

Did your team win yesterday? Mine wasn't playing. But I live where everyone is a 12th man and the number 12 flags fly everywhere. Fireworks and shouting were going on like it was New Year's Eve. I felt so bad for Chaos. She doesn't like noises like that!

One of my critique partners, Lisa Creane, who is brilliant and doesn't let me getaway with much (okay, anything) when she reads my chapters, wrote a great blog called House Tone that combines Harry Potter and parenting. Worth a read!

Lisa is a mom-extraordinaire, a psychologist and writer, a woman who wears many hats. I'm honored to work with her and more importantly, have loved getting to know her. Click here to go to her blog.

If you happen to be a Harry Potter fan, you might be interested in the link on Lisa's post that sorts you into the four houses from the book.  If you take the test, I'd love to know how you were sorted.

As part of my Valentine's Giveaway (click here to enter), I'm doing random contests on the blog and Facebook between now and Valentine's day. Today's prize is an ebook from my backlist. To enter, post a comment. I'll randomly pick a winner and post the name on Friday so if you'd rather not leave your email where I can contact you, just check back on Friday to see if you won.

Good luck! And have a great Monday!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Valentine's Day Giveaway

From today until 8 am on Valentine's Day, I have a giveaway going on!

The prizes are:

• $10 Amazon eGift Card
• $10 Starbuck's eGift Card
• $5 Amazon eGift Card
• $5 Starbuck's eGift Card

You can enter using the Rafflecopter below or the one on my Facebook page! Thanks for reading this blog and my books! I have the best readers! Love ya lots! xoxox

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Fun

I had links for you on Wednesday. I have videos for you today. When you have a few minutes check out my faves from the week:

1. This has gone viral big time. I saw it Wednesday morning when the views were still under 100K. My favorite Super Bowl video. Budweiser wins again this year with the #BestBuds ad. The romance writer in me hopes the horse trainer gets the girl in the next one!

2. This is another Super Bowl ad. You won't be misty-eyed or have your heart sigh with this one, but you may get a chuckle. This Chevy ad makes me think of the Bar V5 dude ranch in my novella Home For Christmas! Enjoy!

3. This one features Derrick Coleman, a football player for the Seattle Seahawks, who is playing in the Super Bowl. He's deaf and paid a visit to two fans in New Jersey. Such a class act! You can also watch the KOMO news clip here.

4. This video is a PSA for wine lovers, a helpful hint on what to do if you are without a wine opener. I have no idea if this works, but I'm curious enough to try it. Though not with an expensive bottle!

5. The final video brought tears to my eyes. It's a Guinness about two sisters who have competed for the US in the winter Olympics. So worth a watch. The problem is YouTube was pulling it due to some Olympic rules about ads from non-sponsors. I can't embed it, but here's the link to the AdWeek article where I watched it. I hope they can keep the video live somehow.

Have a great Friday and weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sweet Romance Reads Links

I wanted to share two links with you from the Sweet Romance Reads author group that I belong to. The first is a link to Donna Fasano's post today feature 10 Romantic Quotes, a perfect way to get in the Valentine mood, or in my case, get ready to write this morning. Here's a sampler:
"Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze." ~Elinor Glyn (THIS is what I try to capture in my romance novels.)
The part in parenthesis is Donna, but I agree. That is what romance authors try to capture in their work!

Another link I wanted to share is from a blog I wrote on Monday for Sweet Romance Reads. It's about our Sweet Team. And here's a snippet from that one:
Do you enjoy reading sweet romance novels? If so, you may be interested in joining our Sweet Team.

The Sweet Team is a group of readers who are given sweet romance novels in exchange for honest reviews. 
If the Sweet Team is something you think you'll be interested in, check it out! We'd love to have you!

I'll be spending my morning working on my new Special Edition manuscript. I still don't have a title for it so am hoping one comes to me soon. Right now, I'm calling it Bailey's Book, after my heroine Bailey Cole. Do you have anything going on today?

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Good Weekend

I'm so happy it's Monday! I normally am not a big fan of the day, but I am today. We are all healthy! We had a great weekend. My To Do list has gotten huge after the flu went through the house, but now that we're feeling better,  I started checking things off!

On Saturday, hubby and Rose were in Seattle for her soccer game then afterwards they went sightseeing around town before driving home. She got Space Needle earrings and a special 12th man Seattle Seahawks shirt. A great belated birthday celebration for her with her dad, who she really misses when he's not home.

Finn had his final soccer game in the Founder's Cup tournament, then Mackenna and I made a run to IKEA to buy one of these. Check out the link and see all the cool things you can do with them in a variety of rooms in your house or apartment.

Yeah, I probably sound like an ad, but when I saw that article above I knew I had to have one. Of course, I ended up purchasing two RÅSKOG carts, a blue one for Mackenna's room and a gray one for me. I haven't had time to put them together yet, but that's on my list of things to do. I'll be sure to post pics once we figure out how we're going to use them!

Last night we finally had Rose's birthday dinner at her favorite place The Old Spaghetti Factory. Perfect timing for a celebration since I also sent off the line edits for my first Special Edition, The Nanny's Billionaire. Rose and Mackenna both spent the night elsewhere so Finn and I watched a movie together—Pacific Rim. A good choice because I found the inspiration for my new Special Edition hero while watching. I happened to be working on the proposal at the same time. Needless to say perfect timing!

So how was your weekend?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Texts From My Cat

Spirit doesn't text, but still gets her point across!
I'm not sure of copyright rules for this so I'm just going to paste the link and tell you to read it. Click here to go to Sad and Useless where they've posted the Texts From My Cat article.  Enjoy!

Mittens, the texting cat, has quite the feline sense of humor. Even if you don't have a cat, you might even laugh. This crazy cat lady laughed hard!

A couple of my furbabies would likely sound like Mittens. I say this because of the way they communicate with me, especially Spirit. She lets me know what she wants, whether it's food, rubs or in the picture to the left, she wanted to see what Santa Paws filled her stocking with on Christmas Morning!

Hope you have a great Friday!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Frozen Censored

A comedian Jake Vale has taken Frozen and added censor bleeps to clips from the Disney film rated PG. The result is pretty funny. My thirteen year old watched this clip with me. He was laughing so hard. So let yourself be twelve or thirteen and really enjoy it! 

I'm feeling better. Yay! But still trying to take it easy so I don't end up with something icky like pneumonia. Hope you are healthy and warm (for those of you getting dumped on by snow!)

Friday, January 17, 2014


My turn.

I was diagnosed yesterday. All three kids went to school today so I'm going to spend the day in bed resting!

Hope you have a great day and weekend!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


For the first time since Friday, I am alone. All three kids went back to school today. Whether they make it through the entire day, remains to be seen, but they've been fever free for two days. Yesterday, they didn't need naps so I said a little prayer and sent them off.

Needless to say, things have been a little crazy around here. My priority was the kids. I managed to get a little writing done, but not near what I should so today will be catch-up day. 

The birthday on Monday turned out really well! We had a fun goodie bag hunt (11 bags full of items from the Dollar Tree hidden all over the downstairs by Rose's siblings), Subway for lunch and Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner.  Love that you can get take-out from almost everywhere now! We had chocolate cupcakes for dessert.

And before I get to work, I wanted to leave you with this performance by Jason Brown at this weekend's US National Figure Skating Championships. If you haven't seen this, it's worth a watch. Amazing!

Hope you enjoy your Wednesday. I plan to make the most of mine! 

Monday, January 13, 2014


Happy birthday, my beloved Rose! You are a special girl and I love watching you grow up. Just wish you'd slow down a little, but you'll always be my baby! 

Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake
My youngest turns eleven today. I wish I could say this was going to be her best day of 2014 so far, but I don't think that's going to be the case. There have already been tears of frustration and disappointment. She was diagnosed with the flu on Saturday after a very rough Friday night. Really sucks, doesn't it?

She's staying home from school today even though she's been begging me to let her go. I have no doubt the school would take one look at her glassy, sunken eyes and be calling me to pick her up (that is after they isolate her from every other child in the school!)

I'm hoping the Tamiflu helps her kick this sooner rather than later. On Friday, she gets to sit at the Birthday Table during lunch and I can bring her a special meal. Her request—a burger place called Top Burger!

But thanks to a friend on FB who sent me some ideas on Saturday, we'll be trying to make today fun even if she's stuck at home and sick. We'll be hiding eleven goodie bags full of Dollar Tree items around the house and she has to find them. We have leftover ice cream cake from our mini celebration last night (see pic above - hubby did the writing on the cake himself!), but we'll also get her fave cupcakes—chocolate ones from Safeway! She also has a special gift to open.

We were planning to go out to dinner both last night and tonight (her choice of places) but she's not supposed to be around people so I'll let her decide if she wants me to cook or pick something up. We'll eat out once she's feeling better and won't get anyone else sick!

As you can imagine, my weekend was all about having a sick kid. I hope you had fun!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Goodbye, Vera!

A friend of mine died. Vera was ninety-four and lived a full life. She passed in the home she loved, the way I'd imagined it happening, but there's still sadness and grief that I won't be able to spend more time with her and hear another one of her wonderful stories while sitting on her deck drinking tea.

If you've read my blog for a while, you might remember I spent time in Tacoma, Washington attending Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training courses at St. Patrick's in Tacoma, Washington. Vera was the woman who opened her home to me in 2006, 2007 and 2009. She provided me a place to stay, a home away from home and a friendship I'll cherish. We spent hours talking on her deck, enjoying the summer sun, and eating at various spots around town over the years. We would talk books. I gave her my larger print books. Those may have been her first Harlequins. That I can't remember. I do know we had so much fun together.

I was thinking back and remembered a blog I'd written back in August 2006:
I made it to Tacoma. Early, in fact, due to no traffic. The class was great. So great I didn't think today could get any better until I arrived at the house they'd arranged for me and another classmate to stay. It's 4 blocks from Commencement Bay in Tacoma with breathtaking views from every window. You can see planes and ships and trees and Mt. Rainier if you look East. Needless to say, it's absolutely gorgeous.

We took our host to dinner tonight to thank her for opening her home to us. As we were getting out of the car afterward, I heard cannon fire. One, two. We hurried out on the balcony. Sailing on the bay right in front of us was a pirate ship. It seemed so familiar to me. I immediately thought of the Isabella, the Spanish Galleon that I used in my book IN DEEP WATERS. All I needed was the sexy Ben Mendoza and it would have capped off a perfect day.

There was another ship that resembled a clipper ship. The two ships seemed to be having a battle. All of a sudden two more cannons were shot and smoke appeared. It was so very cool and I wished the kidlets could have been with me.

Our host pulled out the newspaper and showed me the ship on the front page. I read the caption and understood why the ship looked so familiar. It was the same ship used as the H.M.S. Interceptor in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.
Whenever I was with Vera, I never knew what might happen. We'd see pirate ships, bump into a person (usually a family member) she knew or end up in a situation that we'd talk and laugh about for years. One night we'd decided to eat dinner at a restaurant near Pt. Defiance Park, but misjudged the temperature when we took a table outside. We were huddled under blankets and shivering by the time dinner was over!

One Sunday afternoon when my family and I were on our way home from Seattle, we stopped by Vera's house for cake and tea. I wanted my family to meet her and vice versa. After we'd eaten, she brought out a LEGO chess set a visitor from Denmark had given her. She remembered that my son liked both chess and LEGOs. He was enthralled!

I  met Vera because the church happened to placed me there when they were making accommodation arrangements for our training classes. She invited me to stay there a few weeks letter when I went back for a weekend of training and the next two summers.  I can't thank St. Patrick's enough for introducing me to such a kind woman, someone I'll never forget.

RIP Vera. You will be missed, but I'm so glad you're finally with your beloved Lars.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Ingenious De-Cluttering - Crap Baskets

As part of my focus on diligence, my word for the year, I've realized I must take control of my household. It's a mess. The clutter is out of control. When this article from buzzfeed came across my Facebook newsfeed, I knew I could incorporate a few suggestions that would really help my clutter situation without being total time drains.

Five Crap Baskets
The first ingenious de-clutter idea I took from the article was crap baskets. These go on your stairs (or somewhere within easy reach.) Items left where they shouldn't go inside. You and your kids can then take your own crap basket and put the stuff inside back where it belongs. (I'm really hoping this will help with our puppy destroying things, such as stuffed animals, left out!)

Yesterday I made my own crap baskets! One for each two-legged member of the family.

I went to Michaels Craft Store and bought 5 baskets for $5 each. Michaels is having a 50% sale on all baskets right now so perfect timing. I love a sale.

I chose black and gray because the colors in our great room are gray (couch and two gray/white checked chairs), black (tables and pillows), red (chair, ottoman and pillows) and white (in the checked chairs). I wanted the baskets to coordinate.

Close-up of two of the baskets
I used the picture in the buzzfeed article as my inspiration for the name tags and purchased a piece of scrap book paper (69 cents) and a package of sticky labels ($3.99) that I used a 40% off coupon on. I had the white ribbon (bought on clearance a while ago) so total cost for my crap baskets was under $30.

It took me less than 30 minutes. The majority of my time was spent looking for the ribbon. Thankfully, the silver Sharpee marker was right where I thought it would be! An easy-peasy project if you know where everything is.

Now I need to make sure the family uses them and Cato, our 15 month old puppy doesn't eat them. I think they will go above the gate on the stairs.

I'm going to pick another ingenious idea to work on next. Just haven't decided what it will be!

Monday, January 06, 2014


While much of the country is literally frozen, you'd never know it here in the Pacific Northwest. The temperature is a little chilly but nothing like the midwest and east coast. But that's not why I titled this post Frozen. The reason is the movie I saw on Friday with my two youngests and another little girl.

I loved, loved, loved Frozen!

The songs stuck with me so much I bought the soundtrack and keep listening to it over and over again. Idina Menzel is amazing as Queen Elsa and her song LET IT GO is my new favorite. Here it is so you can take a listen:

Total awesomeness, don't you think?

I love the storyline. The characters are three-dimensional and have real conflicts. True love doesn't get the standard Disney princess treatment here, but I don't want to spoil the big moment for you! All I can say is go see it. We watched the film in a theater that seated 48 during a Friday noontime matinee. Every seat was full. I'm not surprised now. I'd see it again that's how much I enjoyed it.

Have you seen Frozen? What did you think?

Friday, January 03, 2014

One Word for 2014

Although reassessing and working to improve oneself can take place any time during the year, January seems to be the time most take stock and strive to make improvements. Several authors have posted about focusing on one word rather than a laundry list of resolutions and goals. At Mass on January 1st, our priest mentioned something similar, suggesting we each pick a virtue to work on the next 12 months. As he was going down the list of virtues, the one that resonated with me the most was diligence.

Diligence is a capital or contrary virtue, sometimes called heavenly virtues because they defeat the seven vices or sins. In the case of diligence, the opposite is sloth. I found this definition of Diligence on
Diligence is the virtue that tells us to fulfill our duties in life, even if they get to be tiresome. These duties include our work, our home, our country, our church, and our families.
As soon as I read that, I knew this was the virtue—my word—for 2014.  With my focus on diligence, I searched out some tools that might help me this year, in addition to prayer. Here's what I found and wanted to share with you.

52 Week Money Challenge - I love the idea of this. Not sure this truly counts as diligence, but it would help me with my financial stewardship come December time when it's time to shop for Christmas! How does the money challenge work? You save a set amount each of the 52 weeks of the year, starting with $1 the first week and increasing by $1 each week. By the end of the year, you've saved $1378. There are several forms out there. The one I'm using has check boxes. What can I say? I like check-boxes. Find a chart that works for you.

Pretty cool, right? I've got my jar, my chart printed out and my first dollar saved! The only thing I don't like about this challenge is there's no way I'll have enough extra money to set aside in December. The amounts for those four weeks are $49, $50, $51, $52. So I'm going to mix up my weeks a bit to spread the larger amounts through the earlier months of the year, rather than saving them for the end. That's where those handy dandy check boxes come in. I'll just check off the week I do. Who cares if they are in order? Happy savings!

Couch to 5K - When I'm not healthy nothing gets done. Things pretty much fall apart so for me to be diligent I need to take better care of myself.  Sleeping, eating and exercise are all necessary for better health so I need to make some changes to make sure I'm doing all I need to be doing for myself. I used an app like this to get ready for the Joggin' For Frogmen 5K in July. As soon as I ran the race and didn't have anything to follow, I stopped running. So I'm starting again to train for a 5K in March. I started Wednesday, January 1st. It's three times a week, doable for even my busy schedule. If you're not into apps, they have the entire program listed on the site I linked to. Happy running!

Writing Progress Spreadsheet - I've tried and failed keeping track of my overall word counts so many times it's sad. But 2014 is the year I'm going to make this work. I'm getting to the point in my career, writing for two publishers and wanting to do more, that I need to know where I am with projects and if I'm productive enough to get all the stories I have planned written without impacting my family in a negative way.

Enter the spreadsheet I found at author Jamie Raintree's blog. I'd forgotten about it until going through my excel spreadsheets last night after I'd achieved my word count goal yesterday. I used google to figure out where it had come from and requested the 2014 updated spreadsheet. It arrived last night, and I love it! Finding what works for you is key to making tools work for you. This spreadsheet suits me perfectly, but you might have better luck with another. Remember google is your friend! Happy writing!

Do you have a word or anything you're focusing on in 2014?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to 2014 and will be starting my new year off with some cooking using the book The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays. I purchased the book for myself on Cyber Monday from Amazon, but hadn't opened it until a couple days ago. Boy, did I get excited. I plan on trying recipes each holiday.

We celebrated New Year's Eve at our friends' house. When we arrived home at 1 am, I made a French toast casserole that we'll have for breakfast after we wake up. Later in the day, I'll be making her New Year's Day Menu, including Hoppin' John, Collard Greens and cornbread.

Cooking more is one of my New Year's resolutions. I'll post the rest shortly. I did post another on the Sweet Romance Reads' New Year's post. Along with a few other sweet romance authors!

Hope your first day of 2014 is wonderful! I'll be watching the Rose Bowl and cheering for Standford. Go Cardinal!