Aug 232016


If you thought by the “Handsome and Smart” title that this post was about heroes – or Hollywood hunks – you don’t know me. It’s about dogs, of course.

Carol, a reader, sent me these pictures. I have dogs and/or cats in most of my books, and I love to hear about other people’s pets. Carol’s two dogs should definitely be in a book – and maybe someday they will be. Ruffles, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is no longer alive, but she’s alive in Carol’s heart. Isn’t that a great face? Those glasses belong to Carol. They’re only a trifle big on Ruffles. 🙂

And just because Cavaliers are small, it doesn’t mean they’re not fierce watchdogs. Carol said, “She wakened us one night when she was only young when my car was broken into she kept barking & when my husband put on landing light they ran away leaving car door open.”

As a small and fiesty person myself, I applaud Ruffles. I told my husband that I want a Cavalier for our next dog. We’ll see…

Carol still misses Ruffles, though she has Jasper, a black & white collie/lab, who had been a rescue dog. Isn’t he handsome? He’ll be seventeen soon, and he has a very dignified face. He looks like a prince to me.

I’ve had a Cavalier in one of my books, and I’ve had labs in several books, though no collies yet.

SNOWBALL - CopyCarol also has Snowball, who is half Persian, half moggie. He’s beautiful, and I bet he needs to be brushed often. I looked up moggie, which is “a loving British slang word for non-pedigree cats.” I like that a lot. My short-haired gray cat is definitely a moggie, but she thinks she’s a queen, and I think Snowball looks very princely.

If I wrote a fictional story about these three pets they would be separated from their humans and trying to find them. Yes, we’ve heard that story before, but these would be different. We’re all different. Though Jasper looks like he’d be the leader, he could also be the strong, silent type with the cat as the brains, and the Cavalier would be the witty one. Or the cat. I know my cat thinks she knows more than me. (Though of course that can’t be true.)

Or could it? 

What story would you make up of these three?

Aug 152016

Raining Love and Murder-New-iBooks-KoboI’m giving away 5 RAINING LOVE & MURDER print books at Goodreads. It’s US only, and it lasts for a month. If you love suspense and romance and haven’t read it yet, then sign up for it. Tell your friends, too!

I’ll have more news soon, but one at a time.

I hope you’ve been having a wonderful summer. It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. My sister, who works as an occupational therapist at a school system in Arizona, is already back to school. Of course, as a writer, I work year round. On the other hand, as a writer, I can take off a day whenever I want. It’s all good. 🙂

Aug 012016

What a great week! To celebrate the summer, I’ve teamed up with more than 35 fantastic romantic suspense authors to give away a huge collection of romances, PLUS a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner!

You can win my novel RAINING LOVE & MURDER, plus books from authors like New York Times bestselling authors STACEY JOY NETZEL and DIANNA LOVE.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here.

Good luck, and enjoy!


Romantic Suspense Sweepstakes - Ramer

Jul 232016

I’m happy to announce that Christmas Redemption (Love & Murder Book 5), is out now! It’s a stand-alone novella. It has a lot of love – and I’ll leave the murder part for you to discover as you read it. Here’s the info!


Everyone has a secret…

Someone attempted to kill Sylvia last Christmas, but she doesn’t expect it to happen again. She’s heard about the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde from Michigan, but the thrill-seeking murderers have kept to their native state, and Sylvia has other concerns.

The freezing, starving, and frightened cat she found in her garage.

Two couples snowed in the bed-and-breakfast are giving Sylvia and her college professor/screenwriter boyfriend odd vibrations.

And then there are Sylvia’s past misdeeds. She’d like to tell the man she loves the truth about herself … but some people can’t take the truth.

And some secrets can be deadly…

Read an excerpt here.

Buy the book: Amazon | Amazon UK | AmazonCA | AmazonAU | BN | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

To be notified when my new releases are out or on sale – or when there are specials – sign up for my newsletter!

Happy reading!

Jun 282016

This blog is about happiness, and I’m always happy when I finish a book. And not just finish it, because by the time I finish a book, I’m often too close to it and can’t tell if it’s any good. So I was very happy when my critique partner read RAINING LOVE & MURDER, then said, “This is one of the best books you’ve written.”

So I’m very happy to announce that RAINING LOVE & MURDER, Love & Murder Book 4, is available at most online stores, even in print.

And there’s more! CHRISTMAS REDEMPTION, Love & Murder Book 5, is available for pre-order now, and will be live on July 21. You can read more about the books below.

Raining Love and Murder-Amazon

An abandoned dog. A homeless veteran. A woman on the run. Her life in jeopardy.

Sisters Dawn and Sunny stood together through the trauma of their childhoods and the fame they gained from Dawn’s songwriting and Sunny’s magical voice. But when Sunny marries the son of a cult leader, Dawn’s life is in jeopardy. Taking on the identity of Raine, she goes to ground in a small Wisconsin town with a handsome innkeeper whose upbeat temperament is the antidote to her pain.

Chuck’s always been a good-time guy, and now that he’s come up with a plan to help the town, no one in Trouble Bay thinks he’s up to the hard work. Just as well that he has a new guest to deal with. A woman with secrets. A woman who who makes his heart beat faster. A woman in danger.

**This stand-alone book also has a woman who thought she married a prince but he turned into a snake, and so much more. It’s a powerful and emotional story of love, friendship, dogs, music, and—maybe—murder.

Amazon | Amazon UK | AmazonCA | AmazonAU | BN | Google Play |iBooks | Kobo

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ChristmasRedemption-266x400Everyone has a secret…

Someone attempted to kill Sylvia last Christmas, but she doesn’t expect it to happen again. She’s heard about the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde from Michigan, but the thrill-seeking murderers have kept to their native state, and Sylvia has other concerns.

The freezing, starving, and frightened cat she found in her garage.

Two couples snowed in at her bed-and-breakfast with her and her college professor/screenwriter boyfriend are giving her odd vibrations.
And then there are Sylvia’s past misdeeds. She’d like to tell the man she loves the truth about herself … but some people can’t take the truth.

And some secrets can be deadly…

Amazon | Amazon UK | AmazonCA | AmazonAU | BN | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

Jun 072016

My son was in an Irish pub, and he said that three young women were sitting on stools at the bar, complaining about their boyfriends. The bartender finally went over to them and said that what men want are from their women are the 3 Fs:

Feed them. Fuck them. And never Fight with them.

My son thought that was funny, but I wasn’t laughing. Basically, the bartender thinks that men Stepford wives.

If women have a similar version of what we want in from men, I would go with 3 Ls:

Love us. Like us. Laugh with us.

Not sure about Laugh, but I do love to laugh, and laughter is supposed to be the best medicine.

Can you think of anything better?

Jun 042016

This is going to make you cry in all the best ways:

If a book or a movie makes me feel emotion like this, it’s a winner to me. And when it happens in real life, I always tear up.

I also saw that there’s going to be a Barbie Star Trek 50th Anniversary Uhura doll. That made me happy in a no-tear way to see Uhura recognized.

My husband and I have plans for the day that we hope will make us happy, too.

A friend adopted two kittens and a dog. She’s very happy.

What is making you happy right now?


Jun 022016

Though this blog is about happiness and not promo, some of the things I’m happy about are connected to my writing. I’m especially happy right now with my new Love & Murder covers. The first book in the series was about a woman whose friend was drying of cancer. There was romance, a small boy, a dog, a cat – and murdered veterans. This book had such a mix of elements, I thought that a cover with graphic lettering and scenery was the right way to go.

I was completely wrong. Everything I write comes down to emotions, and the covers didn’t show that. My first inkling of wrongness came from Bloduedd, aka as Book Girl at Mur-y Castell at Books for Life. She reviewed A LOVE & MURDER CHRISTMAS  last Dec. Though she liked the book, she gave the cover a FAIL. Her book blog is popular, and quite a few commenters agreed with her about the cover.

I had a lot going on in my life then (and who doesn’t?). It took me until recently to change the first three Love & Murder covers. I talked to author Elle J Rossi, who is also an amazing cover artist at EJR Digital Art. For my upcoming fourth cover, she has a woman and a dog in it. We ended up with new covers for the first three books, all of them with a woman and either a cat or dog, and a background that fits the book. (I love what Elle did with the print covers, too. The spines and the back covers are black, which adds to the suspense elements in my books.)

The cover for book 5 is ready, too, but I’ll reveal that later. I’m just so happy with all of them. Here are the three cover do-overs!










What makes you happy today?
May 302016

Happy Memorial Day! It’s especially happy for those of you who have a vacation day. My husband, my father, my two brothers, and a niece were in the service. My younger brother was the only one who remained in the service for twenty years. He met his wife in Thailand, so being in the Army was a good thing for him. 🙂

Yesterday, my husband and I were at a flea market. Since we plan on moving to a smaller home within the year, all we bought was kettle corn. (And it was delicious!) My husband was wearing his dog tags, which he does every Memorial Day. Someone noticed and thanked him for his service. My husband looked uncomfortable. I think that was the first time he was thanked. More important to him than gratitude would be that the government takes care of the veterans – mentally and emotionally as well as physically. And do it in a timely manner. This is a blog about searching for happiness, and that would bring happiness to a lot of veterans and their families.

Like Forest Gump says, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

artRight now, my husband and I live in southeastern Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Art Museum is beautiful, with wings that open on top of an extension, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Every June, the Museum hosts a three-day art festival, and they let veterans come in free. Gotta say, we like that, too.

Today is my blog day at Magical Musings. I’m talking about Love For All Ages. It’s not a promo blog, though I do mention that a book which will be out later this summer has an older hero and heroine than the usual. Hop over and read it, and let me know what you think.

I hope you’re having a great weekend. The weather is perfect by us today, though we have no plans. What have you done this weekend that made you happy?

May 272016

Everyone has a story. Everyone has something good happen … and everyone has something bad happen. But I’ve known people who have everything – and they’re always complaining. I had a friend who was dying, and she never complained. Not once. Instead, she seemed to cherish every moment she had left.

Rose the Beagle

Rose the beagle

I’m not a saint. I complain. I judge. And then I catch myself and try not to complain or judge. It seems to me our reactions – what we dwell on – makes us either sad and angry or happy and looking forward to the next step in our lives. Through the years, my husband and I have had four dogs and one cat. Our dogs especially were spoiled. They loved eating, they loved us, they loved chasing balls, they loved naps. (Apologies to any men reading this, but doesn’t that sound like someone’s husband?)

If someone passed our yard, the dogs barked. Very territorial. (Like some men again, though all our dogs were females, and so is our cat.)

Sky, our English setter, field type

Sky, our English setter, field type

All our dogs were hunting dogs: two English springer spaniels, one English setter, and one beagle. They shared a lot of qualities: energetic, affectionate, loud, hating baths – every single one – and were often a source of laughter and joy.

Cats are different creatures. Our last two dogs passed a year and a half ago, a few months apart. At first, we were too sad to adopt another dog. We were grieving. Since we might move to another state next spring, we decided to wait until after we move before adopting again. We already had our cat, so we weren’t without a fur baby.

Belle is our first cat, and she has a lot of typical cat behaviors. She sometimes will come when we call her but only when she wants to come. I think she’s showing us that she’s the boss, not us. And she gets bored easily. Almost up to the end of their lives, our dogs were eager to chase a ball. That never got old. Not so for our cat. Cat toys lose their entertainment value quickly for her.

Belle is older now, but she's not much bigger.

Belle is older now, but she’s not much bigger.

Still, she can be very loving (when she wants). She does that kneading/massaging thing on my thigh. And she purrs. Her purrs make me happy. Other times, she pushes the top of her head into my palm, letting me know that she wants me to pet her. Because she’s so picky, if she shows the smallest sign that she wants some loving from me, I feel privileged and I love her more for it.

People are more like cats that way, though if my quest is for happiness, I should want to be a dog. Wanting to play. Wanting to run and cuddle and lick and sniff. Wanting total happiness, no matter how dopey I look. Yet a part of me still wants to be a cool and sometimes standoffish (but perfectly groomed) cat. On the other hand, I know the dogs are happier.

I guess this indecision shows my humanity. I want it all, and we humans complicate everything.

What about you? What animal would you prefer to be?