Nov 282012

The lovely and talented Marilyn Brant (HOLIDAY MAN) tagged me to take part in blogging meme to answer questions about my next book (hence The Next Big Thing title). MIRACLE PIE is done, but it needs to be read by my critique partners before I can publish it. I’m really happy to talk about it. I hope it’s The Next Big Thing! Enjoy the Q&A!

What is the working title of your book? MIRACLE PIE
I hope you love it and don’t think it’s a cookbook about pies.

Where did the idea come from for the book? This is the fourth story in my Miracle Interrupted series. Katie was mentioned in the previous three books. In the first, MUST WORSHIP CATS, her father brought one of her pies to a neighbor’s. From that, it came to me that she made pies for a living and delivered them to nearby restaurants that didn’t have pastry chefs.

For the hero, I’ve been watching the Top Chef series, which gave me the idea that a character in the book (Katie’s friend) would want to star in her own cooking show and the hero would be a director/filmmaker. But as I learned more about the subject, with advice from Gina Black and Sheila Clover English (Circle of Seven Productions) Gabe became a videographer. A lot of the plot evolved from the hero/heroine’s careers.

What genre does your book fall under? Magical realism & contemporary romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Maggie Gyllenhaal at age 28, and Simon Baker at 30.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Katie’s magic is pies, Gabe’s is being alive – but it takes more than magic for a happily ever after.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Self-published. MIRACLE PIE will probably be out in January, though there’s a possibility it will be available in December.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Less than two months for the first draft. It’s on the short side, about 63,000 words.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Books by Sarah Addison Allen, and the Friday Harbor series by Lisa Kleypas. They’re all in the same magical realism subgenre.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? When my mother was alive, she was the best pie maker, so I was very pleased to write about pies. Except for her baking skills, my mother was nothing like my heroine, but she was a huge reader and I know she would’ve loved the book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? In this book, the village gets together to help members of the community who are in need. They do this in a unique way. I enjoyed writing those scenes. If you’re a dog lover, Katie has a 19-year-old Beagle named Happy who’s mentioned often in the book. Happy might even be on the cover. I hope so!


I tagged four wonderful authors to blog about their Next Big Thing next Monday on the Dec. 5th. I’m looking forward to reading their posts!

Michelle Diener (Her newest historical was released this Tuesday: THE EMPEROR’S CONSPIRACY)
Mary Hughes (Biting Oz)
Cynthia D’Alba (Texas Two Step)

What’s the next best thing in your life?

Aug 302012

With help from Misty Evans and Dale Mayer – and thumbs up from my CPs, Liz Kreger and Michelle Diener – I have a blurb for Miracle Lane. The 3rd Miracle Interrupted story won’t be out until next month or even October. (This was the novella that was originally supposed to be out in July, but it turned into a novel.) Though Miracle Lane still has to go through editing, I’m very happy with it. I’m very happy with the blurb, too. Here it is:

She forgot how to hate, and now she’s learning how to love…

Brain-damaged Nia Beaudine can’t remember her life before The Accident. Someone intentionally ran over her and left her for dead. Now she’s living in the ‘witch’s house’ she inherited in the village of Miracle, relearning how to live on her own. Well, almost on her own – the talking cat helping her cope is a bonus. But when a hate-filled family member shows up with a gun, Nia knows she needs real help.

Former Army Sergeant and PTSD sufferer Rob Ackerman regularly covers for his identical twin, the village constable, and answers Nia’s emergency call. This strange young woman immediately sees he’s not his brother. In return, he sees that the only way she can fully live in her new life is to find out why someone in her old life tried to kill her…and might try again.

As they dig up Nia’s past, the attraction between them grows. Their brains may be damaged, but their bodies and hearts are working just fine.

You can see by the description that I have too much going for a novella. When I was halfway through I thought it should be a book. But I had a deadline with an editor, so I pulled back. Next time I’ll know better. I’m the kind of person who’s usually early or on time. But this isn’t about being late; this is about putting out the best book I can.

What about you? Are you usually late, early or on time?

Jul 092012

While being being chained to the keyboard for about 12 hours a day, starting in March (hubby will tell you that’s only a slight exaggeration), I published a novella and a book from my new Miracle Interrupted series, with a new novella and my first print book on the way. While I’m waiting for the edits for MIRACLE LANE (the third Miracle Interrupted story), I’m doing odds and ends. I’ve read a few books and shopped for household items. (Hubby might be re-thinking his wish to drag me away from the computer.) We’ve gone to movies and out to eat. We’re expecting my sister and brother-in-law next week. They’ll be staying for 8 days, so cleaning is on my to-do list. 🙁 While they’re visiting, we’re having a big family get-together at our house.

But writing is my joy. I’ve loosely plotted two new books for my Miracle Interrupted series, and I already love the characters. For the next book, I’ve gotten technical advice from the fabulous Gina Black and the incredible Sheila Clover English (from Circle of Seven Productions). I probably won’t start this book for a couple of weeks, but I’m so eager. I’ve already written some of the dialogue for the first book and the beginning for the following book. I know what (and who) the main characters look like.

Meanwhile, I’ve decided to stop neglecting my blog. My critique partner and good friend Liz Kreger (my road trip buddy!), writes her blog three times a week, even though she works full time, has a social life and a family that includes a young daughter. Plus she’s been fighting the Big C for years. Oh yeah, and she writes. Beautifully.

If she can do all that, I should be able to keep a blog schedule. I’m going to shoot for 3 days a week. Like Liz (my role model), I’ll blog Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Liz has a plan for hers, but she’s much more organized than I am. (When we share a room on our road trips and I can’t remember where I put something, she’ll often know where it is. Not like my husband, who’s as messy as I am.)

So, here’s my plan. Some days I might just do outtakes or teasers from my books. (I can do that!) Other days, if I have nothing else, I might post a cartoon or a video – and I promise they won’t all be cat videos. In fact, here’s a funny video I discovered while researching my next book. It’s only one minute thirty-two seconds. It’s called Cooking with Ginger – Golden Retriever bakes a cake. (And, yes, this was real research. I suffer for my books.)

So, that’s my summer: past, present and future. How is your summer going?

Feb 242011

On the run from an intergalactic mob boss, she kidnaps the earthling security expert who helped her. Her plan? Make him forget about tomorrow.

Larissalyia Ashanti, is hiding out on Earth, a barbarian planet unsanctified by the FOW—Federation of Worlds—and on the run from an intergalactic mob boss who plans to use her as leverage to force her magistrate father to clear his criminal record.

Mac, an earthman, witnesses the evidence of aliens when the mob catches up with Lacey. After he helps her fight them off, she does the only thing she can think of—she kidnaps him and takes him with her as she flees Earth. Mac learns the answer to that age old question of whether there’s life out there…in spades. But not only does he have to convince Lacey that his numerous skills are indispensable, he has to find a way into her heart.

The chase is just beginning…and so are the romance, adventure and danger as they cross the universe in search of safety and answers.

Going by the evidence of his eyes, he had a feeling the question of whether mankind was alone in the universe was about to be answered.  No way in hell were those scaley things people in costumes.  Even Hollywood couldn’t have come up with something so bizarre.

Which left only one explanation.

He cocked one eyebrow upward when she didn’t answer.  “Let’s start with something real easy, lady.  You got a name?”

Her chin came up in the same imperial manner he had noticed earlier.  That gesture was beginning to irritate him.  Her regal attitude tried to regulate him to the status of an underling, but he wasn’t falling for it.  The grin he gave her was designed to infuriate.  Going by the frown gathering on her brow, he’d succeeded.

Then he was distracted from his amusement when he noticed something else.  Her eyes were now the color of dark storm clouds.  He was sure she had ice blue eyes.  No … they’d been a pale gray.  He shook his head.  He was a trained observant and he couldn’t even say for sure what her eye color was.  Pitiful, MacNaught.

“Yes, I have a name.”  He again noticed her sing-song manner of speech.  It feathered up and down his spine in a very intriguing way.  Hell, with that voice, he’d listen to her read from a dictionary.

It was steamy and cool at the same time and everything in between.  Sexier than hell.

“It is Larissalyia Sarisekko Ashanti.”

He stared at her for several seconds, dumbfounded.  The way she pronounced her name inserted vowels where he wouldn’t have guessed existed.  He began to laugh.  The movement irritated his back but he ignored it.

“I couldn’t pronounce that on a bet.  I’ll just call you Lacey.”

“You will do no such thing.”

“Look, lady.  It’s late, I’m hurting and I’m really not in the mood to put up with a prima donna.”  With slow deliberation, he stalked her, deliberately exuding intimidation. He was pleased to note she refused to back down.  She had guts, he had to say that for her.  If anything, that stubborn chin came up higher.  This close, he saw that her eyes were no longer gray.  Even has he watched, they bled into a deep brown with reddish specks emerging.

Shit.  No wonder he couldn’t put a color to her eyes.  They changed with her moods!

Before today, Mac would have said he didn’t believe in aliens. Tonight’s events proved him wrong.

Buy the book: Samhain Publishing, Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes&Noble, Borders
Find out more about Liz and her books at her website.

One lucky commenter will win an e-copy of Liz Kreger’s FORGET ABOUT TOMORROW. Comment on all 26 DRAGON BLUES Release Party excerpts for a chance to win more free books! Winners will be announced on Monday, Feb. 28. If you’d like to look at the schedule of events, click here.

Oct 172010

I’m doing something new. On Monday (Oct. 18), I’m interviewing a book reviewer, the lovely Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell, aka as Blodeuedd. She’s from Finland, and I love her site. With the internet, it really is a small world. In honor of her coming here, I’m giving away an e-copy of Cattitude, which was reviewed on Blodeuedd’s site.

The same day, my first monthly column on indie publishing (and sometimes just publishing) will be on How to Write Shop, which was created by Lori Devoti and Kathy Steffen.

On Friday, I’m being interviewed at All I Want and More, with the most interesting questions I’ve been asked. I’ll be giving away two e-copies of Cattitude.

Last week was fun for me, too. On Saturday, I gave a talk on self-publishing to my local chapter, and Liz Kreger talked about her experience with Samhain Publishing. We got a lot of questions. Writers are interested in all the opportunities available, from print to indie publishing. If your books are good, you can do it all.

What’s your opinion on doing it all?