Category Archives: Writing Related

Hockey & Romance


I’m a sucker for heroes with sexy bodies and confident attitudes. Make them hockey players and I’m all over it. There is something about a well-groomed, muscular male living a successful life that fits the fantasy. There’s a status to pro athletes. These men are passionate individuals who care a lot about what they do in a game and what they do for their team. They work hard to get to the highest level and continue to be the best in their career.

Marriage in Ancient Rome


LoveandReckoningWe are familiar with the idea of marrying for love. In the world of Romance stories, historically speaking, we find that is rarely the case. We’ve been exposed to arranged marriages, one for elevating one of the families’ status or to settle a vendetta or to join warring sides. Marriage is usually a religious affair, involving banns being read, licenses bought, priests for the ceremony plus so much more. And divorce? Another beast, usually so heavy with legal protocol along with it not working in a historical romance story, it is ignored.

Applying The Art of War to Writing


undermyskinUntil a few years ago, I hadn’t taken the time to read the classic book on The Art of War, the ancient book by Sun Tzu on military tactics. To be honest, the thought of reading it seemed boring. All this time I thought to myself, would I really need to apply troop formations and battle plans? For my latest YA sci-fi release, Under My Skin, I studied the text for my book. My heroine, Tate, lives in a world where the affluent members of society use the bodies of teens to live forever. In an auction, an evil military official buys her and enters her mind. Long story short, a battle ensues between the two in her head for control of Tate’s body. The book plays an important role in how her enemy thinks and she learns a lot about life in general. I did too and I want to talk about applying a few points from the text into how writers could use it.

Achieving Your Goals!


“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great.” —Mark Twain

anoathtakenDreams are visions of what we can become.  But, dreams are also an invitation to doubt, to wonder if you’re good enough, or to ponder if you have what it takes.   When I retired from the Navy, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a published author.  After 100 rejections, I quit counting as I figured I knew how to achieve a rejection.  Then, after 9 ½ years, I finally sold.  The journey taught me many things, which I’d like to share with you.

Animals as Characters


TriumphandTreasureI’ve tried writing a book without animals of any kind. So far, I’ve failed; quite miserably actually.

Despite my best efforts, creatures of some sort creep in. I’ve used lots of dogs: dachshunds, boarhounds, spaniels, a one-eyed sheepdog, and other animals too: a three-legged cat, horses, a bad-tempered bull, blind mule, chickens, and an owl with deformed feet named Sophie, to mention a few.

Why Second Bananas Are My Faves


Twice-TemptedI just got one of the best reviews I’ve ever received by Miss Ivy’s Book Nook on Librarything. The part that really tickles me is this. “What really distinguishes TWICE TEMPTED, for me, is the brilliance and singularity of Mairead, Chuffy, and Lady Bea. I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered their like portrayed as they are. Not only do they shine brightly but they cast a warm glow, enriching both the plot and characters around them. They’re treasured, respected, and the way their unique abilities and intelligence are utilized is marvelous.”

My Dream Job


HerWinningFormulaI’m a hard worker. I always have been, which means that I’ll work almost any job, even if I hate it, as long as it pays the bills. I worked at a hot dog stand all through high school and college. I even continued to work there after I started teaching. I worked as a tutor. I run my husband’s construction company. I work as an editor for an education company and I still teach part-time. That’s all on top of being a mom to my 3 kids. My life is a series of part-time work—except for motherhood. That one is never ending.

Move Over Fabio. There’s A New Cover Model In Town!



WitchHunter150So I’m sure we all remember the sexy, Italian stallion of male models, Fabio, His chiseled face and rippling pecs graced the covers of countless romance novels. Coincidently, before I became a romance author and he became the face of the bodice ripper novel, our paths crossed back in the eighties, at a nightclub on Long Island. I was trolling the place with a group of my friends, when a very large man in a shadowy corner waved us over. At that point, none of us knew he was or that he was on the verge of major stardom for that matter. He was just some guy autographing glossy photos of himself and trying to garner female attention. My friend’s and I declined his photos, laughed good naturedly and walked away, not at all interested in fawning all over him.

Reinventing Yourself


FamilyPlotWhen I sold my first novel (Wrong-Way Romance, a young adult book published in 1991 by Bantam as part of its Sweet Dreams series), I thought I had arrived. I was finally a member of the Published Authors Club, and would never have any trouble selling anything and everything I wrote. I could not have been more wrong. Over the more than twenty years—and sixteen published novels—since then, I’ve learned that the business of writing for publication is a constant process of re-inventing yourself.

Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me


hotpursuit10. I know how to make maple syrup from scratch–as in getting the liquid from the tree and boiling it for hours.

9. My middle toe doesn’t bend. Somehow I broke it without knowing it and the bones fused together. If I curl my toes, the middle one sticks out like I’m giving someone the finger.

8. My favorite book is Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher.