Giveaway Winner

I asked my granddaughter to draw the name of the recipient of the advanced copy of Critical Condition.

It proved a little more challenging than I expected as on the first try she pulled out a fistful!

So… we put all the names back in and tried again.  
And the winner is…
Congratulations, Melanie. Hope you enjoy the story!

Finding that Perfect Line

Do you envy those people who can rattle off the kind of pithy comeback that, for most of us, comes to mind hours or days too late?

The wonderful thing about writing stories is that I get lots of time to think up the perfect responses for my characters. It’s not easy, though. I have spent days writing and rewriting in search of a perfect bit of dialogue or thought, and many more days fretting over bits I’m still not happy with.

So… when I hear such a line in real life, I grab my pen and write it down.

That’s what happened as I sat down at a picnic table with my husband during our vacation this summer.

This was the gorgeous view from my side of the table: 
The view from my husband’s side of the table was the side of a building. You’ll have to use your imagination, because it certainly wasn’t picture worthy. 
I said to hubby, “You’re missing the beautiful view!”  
His immediate response as he smiled at me across the table was: “No, I’m not.” 
Ahhh, good answer! 
Your Turn: What’s the best one liner, zinger or romantic thing, you’ve heard lately? Or wished you’d said after the fact?!
P.S. If you missed Monday’s post, everyone who leaves a comment will be entered in the draw for a copy of my October release, Critical Condition, book 3 in my Undercover Cops series. I’ll announce the winner at the bottom of Monday’s blog.

Taking a Break…

After much soul-searching this past weekend, I’ve decided to take a three-month break from blogging. I’d planned to do that from June to August, but am shifting it to be from now to the end of July.

I have a couple of novels I’m working on that require a lot of research and focus, and I’m finding that switching mental gears to write blog posts is proving to be too distracting to the productivity schedule I need to keep to be able to take time off to enjoy our 25th anniversary special vacation this summer.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to post updates to my Facebook page. The link is on the top right hand bar. I often post links to free Ebooks on my FB page, as well.

To be alerted to new posts, please sign up to receive the blog’s RSS feed or posts by email or follow with Google friend. 

Your Turn: What are your summer plans? Do you spend more or less time reading blogs through the summer? What are your favorite kinds of posts to read?

Let’s chat about the above questions…and then I hope I’ll see you all back here in August! I have so enjoyed our time together. Have a fabulous few months. God bless.

Fun Friday – News!!

Ever notice how things seem to happen in threes?

Well, I have 3 things to share with you today.

First of all my super-exciting, big news that I’m finally allowed to disclose!!

Revell Publishing has given me a three-book contract for a romantic suspense/mystery trade-length series. This was a series for which the proposal was submitted in June 2010, so aspiring writers…don’t give up hope!

The first book will release in June 2013 and is guaranteed to change the way you look at flowers.

This series is very dear to my heart. Book one was called Murder by Marigolds. I say was, because that title makes it sound like a cozy mystery, which it isn’t. So we’re in the process of brainstorming new titles.

Although… it does feature a herbal researcher-turned-amateur-sleuth as the heroine. The romance and an underlying suspense plot overarches the series, while each book features a standalone mystery. I’m very excited about having the opportunity to develop my characters and several subplots more deeply with the longer format.

Nothing is at it seems in this rural Niagara-area town!

Second: Aspiring Writers…I’m posting at MBT Ponderers today on Five Tips for Writing for Love Inspired Suspense.

Readers who haven’t snagged a copy of my latest release...I believe my host is generously giving away a copy to one of the commenters on today’s blog!

Third: This news is also for aspiring writers. I highly recommend you check out the Touched by Love contest. TBL is the contest of the Faith Hope Love Chapter of RWA. You don’t have to be a member of RWA to enter. 

I coordinate the historical category and so far we only have 3 entries! The entry numbers for the other categories are low, too. A contest win or final is a great boon to a proposal. And this makes the odds in entrants favor! 

Lynette Eason mentioned that she received her first LI contract as the result of a request following the TBL contest.

The deadline is midnight, this Sunday April 1st. Almost all the judges are published, the winner of each category wins a read from a Bethany editor and cash!

Here’s the link:  The entry consists of the 1st 30 pages of your ms and a 2-page synopsis.

Please feel free to share this info, if you go to my Facebook page, you can just click “share” to post the announcement to your page.

Your Turn: Do you have any news to threes or otherwise ?

Write Off the Deep End

Pay attention. There will be a test. There will be prizes.

Shades of Truth has officially released and it should be in stores by the weekend!!!

What does that have to do with writing off the deep end?!

Allow me to introduce my fellow Wodians. So named for our writing group: WODE–which stands for Write Off the Deep End.

Readers and writers alike often ask me about my writing process. These ladies are a big part of it. Once a month we get together to offer each other feedback on what we’ve written or to brainstorm new story ideas.

The group “found me” a few years ago after my RWA magazine was delivered to the wrong house. (Divine redirection!) The recipient was so excited to find another writer in our community that she hand-delivered the magazine and invited me to the next WODE meeting.

She has since become a treasured critique partner. Remember the grocery store murder discussion from January? That was with her. 🙂

In honor of the positive impact WODE has had on my writing career, I used the “word” WODE in Shades of Truth.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find the location and email me the page number (and book version). 🙂 In June, I will draw from a hat the name (of all correct answers) and they will receive a $25 gift certificate for their favorite book retailer.

Your Turn: Do you have a special friend or group with which you share a common interest or hobby or pursuit?

Breaking News!

I know, I know, I usually don’t post on Thursdays, but…it’s just too exciting to wait.

Shades of Truth won’t be in stores for another 40 days, but it is available NOW from the Harlequin website at 20% off the cover price!!! And I have special coupon codes to save you even more…

For regular or larger print copies, click here, choose the version you want and use coupon code SAVE10AFFO at checkout to save an additional 10%


if you’d rather stock up on your favorite titles, use coupon code BUY2AFFO to buy 2 titles and get one free. Shipping is always free for 1st time customers, or for purchases over a certain amount

For Adobe Epub version, click here, choose the Epub version and use coupon code SAVE10AFFO to save 10%


if you want to stock up on other titles, use SAVE5DOLLARS to save $5 when you spend $15 on Ebooks.

Fun Friday – The Truth

The truth is I’m cheating. I’ve been so busy writing Q & As for my upcoming blog tour that I don’t have a pithy thought left in my brain for a fun Friday post. So…

I’m sharing a fun post I wrote for Roxanne Rustand’s blog back in December.

Roxanne had invited me to share a story about one of our animals, and I couldn’t decide on just one—animal or story!

Now any of you who have been with me for awhile have heard many stories about Bella, my hubcap-eating husky who, like a Houdini, can mysteriously escape from her crate without unlocking the door.
She likes people to think she’s a perfect angel, but don’t be fooled by the wings and stardust. We’ve lost count of how many shoes and collars she’s chewed through, not to mention plastic flowerpots.

We have no idea where she keeps finding those!

Yes, she causes us no end of anxiety. One day my daughter saw her standing on the far side of the hayfield at the edge of the woods. She called and called her to come, and naturally, got pretty frustrated when the dog just stood its ground and stared.

But what happened next chilled my daughter to the bone.

Bella loped happily up to her… from behind.  

Did I mention Bella looks like a coyote?

Yup, my dear daughter was trying to coax one of the local coyotes to come home to us. Thank goodness, the animal didn’t oblige!

Is it any wonder we’ve earned a bit of an eccentric reputation around the neighborhood? It’s not every family who gives their chickens wheelbarrow rides.

Or who walk their horse and goat along with the dog.

Or who give the neighborhood cats pony rides.

But perhaps one has to be a tad eccentric to spend hours a day writing novels!

Your Turn: Please share a funny story with us!

BTW If you’d like to read that husky hubcap story, clickhere. It’s my favorite. I’d love to see it become one of the top stories on my sidebar. *grin*

The Truth about Lying

Since the heroes of my Love Inspired Suspense series are undercover cops… 

Lying is pretty much part of the job description. Whether they call it misleading, hedging, evading, fabricating, falsifying, distorting, misrepresenting, or spinning the truth, it’s all deception. 

Since I’m working on a fourth book in the series (fingers crossed), I thought I’d read The Truth about Lying by Stan B. Walters, a provider of interview and interrogation services, as well as, training to business, industry and law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. (He’s also known as The Lie Guy.)

I figured it would be a great resource from which to glean little “tells” that my cops can notice in suspects that are lying to them, not to mention, those my hero might exhibit while interacting with the heroine.

But the book has so much more–information you might like to know when that car salesman says this is the absolute best deal he can give you, or when your teenage son swears he’s never touched drugs.

Wednesday I’ll share some of the “tells”. Today, I want to share the key factors that exist when lying takes place: choice, ability and opportunity.

Choice – The person chooses to lie to either gain reward or avoid punishment, or because he’s unsure of the consequences of admitting the truth. The more that seems at stake, the more compelled he’ll be to lie.

Ability – good communication skills and intellect enhance a liar’s ability to lie well.

Opportunity – this is the only factor under the interrogator’s (or parent’s or shopper’s) control. To avoid being lied to make it unrewarding. If you can spot and challenge lies as they occur, the liar may be less likely to try again, or he may show more signs of deceit, thereby exposing himself.

Which brings us to an interesting topic of discussion: What’s our own role in encouraging deception?

As Mr. Walters says, no matter how good we get at detecting a lie, we’ll set ourselves up to be lied to if people are afraid to tell us the truth.

Your Turn: These questions are from the book. Please share what you’re comfortable with, perhaps examples from your own teen experiences or raising your children or buying that used car. *grin*

Do you make it difficult for people to tell you the truth as they see it because you react emotionally? Do you violently express hurt feelings? Are you easily offended? Do you punish your children if they admit they’ve done something wrong?

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to…

The Grocery Store.

Yup, earlier this week a writing friend and I did groceries together. What better way to kill two birds with one stone–brainstorm murder and mayhem, and okay, romance, too, AND stock the cupboards.

The trouble began as we were walking into the store, and I told my friend that I could kill her father. [meaning the heroine’s father, of course]

My friend stopped dead in her tracks, turned to me and said, “You can’t do that!”

The jaw of a woman exiting the store dropped to her chest. I kid you not.

Playing it up, I, of course go on to explain how easy it would be. We can lace the chili with the poison. He’ll never know.

Okay, I’m just kidding about that last part.

But seriously, the woman started reaching for her cell phone. We’re thinking 9-1-1. Cop cars swerving into the parking lot. “Honest, officer, we’re writers.”

Being a quick thinker, my friend says loudly, “I won’t read another one of your books if you kill her father!”

After a good chuckle, my single friend muses, “What a great way for a heroine to meet the next cop hero!” LOL–I’m reading between the lines on that one! The heroine, huh? Hmmm.

As we strolled through the store it was very tempting to see how many others we could drag into our plot. A grocery store is a great place to dream up plot twists for a murder mystery. Hee, hee, hee.

Your Turn: Where did you meet your significant other? Or if you’ve yet to meet him, where might you imagine the meeting happening?

BTW: If you missed the news in my comments on Wednesday’s post, 
Linda Ford currently has a free read on the Harlequin site called A Cowboy’s Promise. Happy reading!


This past week my mother-in-law dug out the greeting cards that my sweet hubby made for his parents when he was a little tike. My father-in-law took great pleasure in pointing out how his son had twice written that he wanted to buy his dear old dad a car. 
Isn’t that sweet? 
Those expressions of generosity were, of course, quickly followed by something like “but I hope being with me will do.”
LOL. This feeds my fiction-writer’s mind with all kinds of fodder for a hero’s backstory.
For myself, I can’t remember ever wishing to give my parents anything so grand as a car—it must be a guy thing. I always loved it when my children drew me pictures, or when they wrote about how much they appreciate the things I do for them.

Oh, and sometimes they’d give me coupons to redeem for vacuuming or washing dishes or some such chore. Of course, they were always really great about doing chores anyway, so I never actually had to redeem them. Hmm, now that they’re getting busier and not able to help out so much, maybe I’ll have to dig out some of those old coupons. I hope they didn’t put an expiry date on them!!

Your Turn: Do you remember a special or humorous card you gave your folks as a child or that you’ve received from a child?