Wednesday, January 31, 2007

local signing after all

Lou and Brenda, I hope you'll be happy to hear that Barnes & Noble asked me to come sign books on the 17th and I said yes, so I will be at Oakview on that day from 2-4. Apparently they have about 18 local authors scheduled to appear Saturday and Sunday.

Interview at History Hoydens

History Hoydens interviewed me regarding The Lawman's Bride and the interview was posted this morning. CLICK HERE to read it. Tomorrow my research blog will be posted.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Karen W and Michael Biehn!

Just as Karen promised, here she is with Michael Biehn!

Here's Karen's clip:
"This is me (Karen W.) with Michael Biehn at the "FX" science fiction convention in Orlando, FL on Jan. 29, 2007. Michael was very gracious, and even though it has been 20 years since "Terminator," you can see he's still a handsome guy. :-) Enjoy!"

Thank you for sharing, sweetie!

Check your local store for The Lawman's Bride

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The Lawman's Bride has been spotted in stores! LOOK for it today!

America's Top 20 Richest Women in Entertainment

You know I love lists, so this appealed to me big time.
Gleaned from current megastars, not retired women or those living off royalties.
America's Top 20 Richest Women in Entertainment

1. Oprah Winfrey
2. J.K. Rowling
3. Martha Stewart
4. Madonna
5. Celine Dion
6. Mariah Carey
7. Janet Jackson
8. Julia Roberts
9. Jennifer Lopez
10. Jennifer Aniston
11. The Olsen Twins
12. Britney Spears
13. Judge Judy
14. Sandra Bullock
15. Cameron Diaz
16. Gisele Bundchen
17. Ellen DeGeneres
18. Nicole Kidman
19. Christina Aguilera
20. Renee Zellweger

Now, my questions for you:
Which one would you make disappear if a fairy gave you magic powers?
Which one would you like to see a two ton elephant sit on?
Which one would you like to meet over dinner?
Which one is the best humaniarian?
Which one is on the list by sheer audacity and luck?
Which one deserves every penny?

Answer any or all.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fudge Frosted Brownies

Fudge Frosted Brownies
from Godiva Chocolatier

Yield: 9 brownies
Difficulty: *Easy
Preparation: 45 minutes plus baking and cooling times

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
5 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Dark Chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 bar (1.5 ounces) Godiva Dark Chocolate
1 bar (1.5 ounces) Godiva Milk Chocolate
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish (optional):
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Make the brownies:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil so that foil extends 2 inches beyond two opposite sides of pan. Lightly butter bottom and sides of foil-lined pan.

2. In medium saucepan, combine butter pieces, brown sugar and chocolate. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until butter and chocolate melt and mixture is smooth. Transfer to medium bowl.

3. With wooden spoon, stir in granulated sugar. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until there is no trace of yolk. Mix in vanilla extract. Add flour and salt and mix vigorously until mixture is shiny and smooth. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top with rubber spatula.

4. Bake brownies for 35-40 minutes or until cake tester inserted into center comes out slightly moist. Do not overbake. Place pan on wire rack and let cool for 45 minutes. Using two ends of foil as handles, lift brownies out of pan. Invert onto cooling rack and peel off foil. Let cool completely (brownies will be frosted on smooth side).

Make the frosting:

1. Place butter and chocolate in medium saucepan. Heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until butter and chocolate melt and mixture is smooth. Transfer to bowl of electric mixer. On low speed, add half of confectioners' sugar, salt, then half of heavy cream. Blend in remaining confectioners' sugar and remaining heavy cream. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat frosting on medium speed for 30 seconds or until smooth and shiny.

2. Spread frosting over uncut brownies, making it as smooth as possible. Garnish top with chopped walnuts, if desired. Cut into 9 squares and serve at room temperature. Store covered, in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Brownie Secrets
frpm C&H Sugar

Brownie Types
The classic brownie consists of just a few ingredients: butter, sugar, chocolate, eggs, and flour. Fudgy brownies (which purists often claim are the only real brownies) have a minimum of flour–about half a cup–and no leavening such as baking powder at all. Melting the butter rather than creaming it with sugar yields a denser, fudgier outcome. Unsweetened chocolate is the standard, with a full cup of sugar required to balance its bitterness. Either granulated or brown sugar may be used; substitute one for the other in equal proportions. The deeper the color of the sugar, though, the more pronounced the molasses flavor. It's all a matter of personal taste.

Cakelike brownies are really … well, little cakes! They contain less butter and more flour than fudgy brownies, as well as a bit of baking powder to make them softer and lighter. Often the softened butter is creamed with the sugar rather than melted with the chocolate. (Creaming incorporates air into the mixture, which causes the brownies to rise higher.) Many cakelike recipes also call for a bit of milk to add tenderness.

Chewy brownies usually get their texture from two factors: an extra egg (or even two) and a combination of different types of chocolate. Of all the chocolate types, unsweetened chocolate has the highest proportion of starches, which create a stiffer-textured brownie. Semisweet chocolate produces a creamier texture. Put the two together, often with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to round out the flavor and thicken the texture, and you get a rich, satisfyingly chewy result.

Blondies are really butterscotch bars, made with brown sugar, butter, and eggs (and usually nuts as well), but no chocolate. Typically, blondies have a cakelike texture.

Preparing the Pan
First, use the pan size specified in the recipe-usually but not always 8 inches square. Baking in a too-large pan will yield thin, dry bars that may taste fine but won't resemble true brownies. Baking in a too-small pan may result in brownies with undercooked centers.

Be sure to select a light-colored, shiny pan, which will conduct heat evenly. Glass or dark-colored pans can cause the edges to overbake or even burn.

Always grease the pan thoroughly with shortening, softened butter, or cooking spray. (Do this even if the recipe doesn't specify.) After greasing the pan, many bakers like to line it with pieces of parchment paper or aluminum foil that have been cut larger than the size of the pan so that the edges hang over the sides like a sling. Thoroughly grease the lining. After the brownies have baked and cooled, the lining may be lifted out of the pan and inverted on a platter. Gently peel away the foil or paper, then cut the brownies into squares.

Brownies can also be baked very successfully in a well-greased mini-muffin tin, which eliminates the problem of cutting into squares.

Mixing and Baking
Most brownie recipes begin with melting butter and chocolate together. The safest way to do this is in a double boiler or any small pan placed over a pot of gently simmering water. If you're an experienced baker, you can place the butter and chocolate directly in a saucepan over a low flame. Be sure to stir the mixture constantly. Butter and chocolate may also be melted together in a microwave oven on medium power, opening the oven and stirring the mixture every 20 to 30 seconds.

Overmixing the ingredients can cause brownies to turn out tough or for a thin crust to form on top. Mix wet and dry ingredients just long enough to blend them, taking special care not to overbeat after the eggs are added.

To improve the texture of brownies, place the unbaked batter (in the prepared pan) in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight.

How Long to Bake Brownies?
Experience is the best guide, but here are some general rules. For fudge-style brownies, remove the pan when the sides have shrunk slightly away from the edges of the pan. The center will still be slightly gooey, but will firm up during cooling. Cake-style brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center has a few moist crumbs attached to it.

To prevent burning the bottoms of your brownies, place the pan on a preheated cookie sheet or pizza stone.

Cutting and Storing
Brownies will be easier to cut if you place the pan in the freezer for several minutes. Dip a sharp knife in hot water, wipe it dry, and move it across the pan in an up-and-down sawing motion.

Pastry chef and chocolate expert Alice Medrich, who has written several books about baking with chocolate, swears by something she calls the "Steve ritual," after a friend who discovered the technique by accident. She bakes her brownies for a shorter time at a higher temperature (375 to 400 degrees), then placing the hot pan in ice water about ¾" deep. The sudden change in temperature produces a crisp crust and a soft, dense center.

After you cut the brownies, either cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil or remove the brownies and place them in an airtight container. If they contain perishable ingredients such as cream cheese, place them in the refrigerator. At room temperature, they'll keep for three to four days; in the refrigerator, about five days.

Freezing brownies may affect their texture, so it's best to take a few precautions. If the brownies have been cut into squares, wrap each square in plastic wrap, then in foil, and then place the wrapped squares in an airtight freezer bag.

Alternatively, you can freeze the whole pan briefly-just long enough to harden the brownies. Then remove the brownie "block," wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil. Place the block into a large airtight freezer bag and freeze.

Emeril's Chocolate Challenge

Emeril Live
Episode EM0622

Emeril asked viewers to send in your best chocolate recipes and thy did. Indulge in America's favorite passion and enjoy the best of what white, dark, and milk chocolate have to offer. Recipes include Lisa’s B-52 Chocolate Shots, Double Chocolate Buzz Buzz Cookies, Jakes’s Explosive Turtle Cheesecake and Chocolate Dream Supreme Pie.
The Food Network
February 11, 2007 8:00 PM ET/PT
February 12, 2007 3:00 AM ET/PT

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fantasy Saturday

You've just won Eric Stromer for the day!

Whoo hoo! Don't you love virtual reality? He'll be at your place in ten minutes and you need a LIST! Five things for him to complete and check off before he returns to TV land.

What can Mr. Fix-it do for you today?

Friday, January 26, 2007

From Katrina: Richards Simmons' exploding steamer

I'd seen this before, Katrina, and you are very right -- it's hilarious. I think Richard is a hoot. Don't you think they did this to him on purpose? That's why they had the tray underneath and why Dave only laughed.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

another contest

These new Harlequin/Silhouette authors are holding a contest for signed copies of:

FALLING FOR THE FRENCHMAN (Romance) by Claire Baxter
PRICELESS (Promotional Presents) by Kelly Hunter
THE CEO'S CONTRACT BRIDE (Desire) by Yvonne Lindsay
HER MIRACLE BABY (Medical) by Fiona Lowe
BLACK WIDOW BRIDE (Desire) by Tessa Radley

Visit Annie's website and go to the contest page for details. You must send an email telling what you'd like to do for Valentine's Day to The email address from her webpage didn't work for me, so that's why I posted it here.

another contest -- books!

My pal Shari Anton is giving away autographed copies of Midnight Magic and Twilight Magic, as well as The Marriage Bargain by Diane Perkins, and On Blue Falls Pond by Susan Crandall. Deadline to enter is Feb. 15th, so hurry over to Shari's website and enter!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How to get an autographed copy!

If you'd like to order an autographed copy of The Lawman's Bride or either of Victoria Alexander's newest books, A Little Bit Wicked or What A Lady Wants, you can find all the information at Dog-eared Books website. Victoria and I will be there February 3rd autographing books. Connie and Tina will be glad to mail yours to you.

S'More Brownies

I don't know what February really is, but here it's chocolate month, and I'm preparing you ahead of time.
Get ready for some really awesome recipes, and please share yours!
Courtesy of The Food Network Website:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch fine salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
4 large cold eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups large marshmallows

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.
For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.

Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

Enter to win an RT registration! & a $50 savings bond

You know I like to share opportunities to win contests and discover other authors, so here are a couple drawings of interest.

Brenda Novak is giving away a Romantic Times Houston conference registration in a contest promoting her new book, Dead Giveaway. Enter at her website. You have to answer questions from the excerpt of her book.

Ann Roth is giving away a $50 savings bond to promote ANOTHER LIFE. Some of you have already ordered this one. Enter the drawing here. CLICK HERE Nothing to supply but your name and address.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Guess Who?

Someone we all know and love is in this photo. We've had a couple of hints, so if you've paid attention, you may guess right off.

Which person is one of us?

Monday, January 22, 2007

eharlequin's Readers Choice Nominations

FYI you can go to eharlequin and nominate your favorite books of 2006 in the Readers Choice Awards. There is a category for your favorite anthology! And fun categories like favorite sexy hero on a cover. Check it out and give your favorites kudos.

Seeking Christmas Gold?

For anyone seeking a hard-to-find out-of-print book (I don't even have any copies) there is a copy of Christmas Gold for sale on ebay.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Selecting a name from the fishbowl for the autographed copy of Brenda Novak's EVERY WAKING MOMENT.

And the winner is...

There you are!


Congrats Sybil. Hoping you don't already have this book. Let me know, okay??


We're having a snow day in my city, but instead of talking about snow, I'm going to blog about chocolate. My favorite food group.

Ounce for ounce dark chocolate contains more of the potent antioxidants called flavonols than any fruit or vegetable out there. SHOPPING TIP: The darker the chocolate, the greater boost to your health. A daily ounce of chocolate that contains at least 60% cocoa provides all the flavonols you need.

* Improve the ability of blood vessels to expand and contract > Better blood flow in your brain, hands and legs.

* Help the body use nitric oxide which regulates blood pressure > Lower blood pressure.

* Like aspirin, decreases stickiness of blood platelets > Reduced risk of blood clots anbd stroke.

* Increase HDL (good) cholesterol > Less risk of a heart attack.

FUN FACT: Each adult American eats an average of TWELVE POUNDS of chocolate per year.
(They haven't polled me or that average would have been higher!)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

you're going to love this....

There once was a woman who woke up one morning,
Looked in the mirror,
And noticed she had only three hairs on her head.

Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today?"
So she did

The next day she woke up,
Looked in the mirror
And saw that she had only two hairs on her head.

"H-M-M," she said,
"I think I'll part my hair down the middle today?"
So she did

The next day she woke up,
Looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head.

"Well," she said,
"today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail."
So she did

The next day she woke up,
Looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head.

"YEA!" she exclaimed,
"I don't have to fix my hair today!"

Attitude is everything.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

a new season

I've heard a few people say much what some of you have said about Grease - that they enjoy the competition, but not the tryouts. For most of us the tryouts are sort of like watching a train wreck. You can't stop looking because it's so awful.

Anyone watching?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

the first review for The Lawman's Bride reviewer Connie Payne had this to say about The Lawman's Bride:

"The Lawman’s Bride isn’t the normal sweet and tender romance we usually expect from Ms. St.John. Yes, it’s poignant and has its sweet moments, but Ms. St.John explored a plot that may have left the reader unaffected and disconnected from Sophie had another written it. Yet she’s gained the reader’s trust, which allows her the freedom to explore.

This is not a cut and dried yes I loved it type of book. This is one where you’re left pondering; wondering about Sophie and the story even after the book is finished.

Ms. St.John once again shows us that her writing has multi-facets. It’s fresh, thought provoking, and ultimately good conquers evil. I expect nothing less from her."

Rating 4.75

Thank you, Connie! I'll be seeing you in a few weeks.
(This is Connie from Dog-eared Books in Independence)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

January Harlequin Historicals

Cool Slideshows

From Minna: No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

in case you missed it:

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Makes about 24
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons peanut butter
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13" baking pan. In the top of a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water, melt the chocolate chips with the 4 tablespoons peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread on top of the mixture in the baking pan. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before cutting into bars.

Note: Yield depends on how big or small you cut the bars/squares. That's the recipe I use, but I never follow this recipe to the letter: I usually have to use something else but graham crackers, I use a bit more chocolate and it never comes in chips, and instead of peanut butter I mix cream to the chocolate.

February Books

I absolutely love Valentine's Day, and I always always schedule at least one book signing during the month, usually on that weekend, but not always. In February I'm doing a signing in Independence, MO - it's a KC suburb - with the great ladies at Dog-eared Books. I met Connie and Tina at an RT convention and we became pals right off. My friend Robyn is my road-trip buddy and we have a great time when we head out.

I am planning some fun stuff involving February books, and I want to get the ball rolling asap, so check back often.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Did you tune in?

My husband calls it the GOLDEN BOOB awards for obvious reasons. Couldn't anyone keep those puppies tucked in tonight? People's Choice was the same way. A little modesty goes a long way, ladies. Shocking: Jennifer Lopez had on a tasteful dress. Apparently she's already shown all, so she's trying a new tactic. Remember the year she wore the see-through number?

Every Waking Moment - revisited

I'm drawing a name this week for another autographed copy of EVERY WAKING MOMENT by Brenda Novak. This is a great book, and I'm excited to have another to give away. (I got it in my goodie bag at the retreat.) If you already have one, you might want to mention that. I looked back and saw that Lou has a copy.

what are you hungry for?

Do your tastebuds ever scream for something in particular? What are they clamboring for this week? Pizza? A cheeseburger? Cheesecake? A savory pot roast? When you get those cravings, do you indulge them? For me it's almost always some form of chocolate, but this week I want salad, a big crisp salad with lots of greens and tangy dressing. Mmmmm. I need to go to the grocery store in the AM, but I may need to invite a friend to lunch one day.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Okay, bookmark collectors, I have a deal for you. A real deal. Free. Easy. No drawing, no contest -- everyone's a winner. Romance writers are generous by nature and serious promoters, and my chapter got so many bookmarks and promotional items for our retreat that we couldn't use them all. I brought the box home and will share with you first and then take what's left to book signings.

So Blogettes, all you have to do is send me a stamped self-addressed envelope and I will send you bookmarks--many of them autographed. If you put on one stamp, I'll send you a few; if you put on two stamps, I'll send you more. Some of these are postcards and bookcovers and they take a 5x7 envelope and adequate postage. There are also a few magnets, which are heavy - consider that when you add postage. You get the drift. Maureen McKade sent posters which would require an 8 1/2 x 11 envelope if you want one of those (please specify).

The only rule is a deadline. I want to send these out and be finished and not have requests dribbling in forever. I live miles from my PO box. So...

Mail your request by JANUARY 22nd. That's one week to read this and stick an envelope in the mail. Send to:
PO BOX 24732
OMAHA, NE 68124

I will wait until the 26th to make sure I have all the requests and then I'll mail out your envelopes. That way I can divide up fairly and make sure everyone gets a good selection.

Who loves ya?

Friday, January 12, 2007

off retreating

I'm off to a writer's retreat for the weekend and will check in first thing when I return. Praise God, all the ice and snow passed us by, so I can make the drive.

Gray's Chat

I had a meeting last night, so I watched the new episode online just now. Of course Izzy is going to write a check to pay for the curved-spine girl's back. Things are getting interesting with Addison! whoo hoo George and Kallie are making up -- and Meredith snores. LOL

Did you see Dr. McDreamy up there at the People's Choice awards?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Something I never knew

Did you know Lily Munster was the wife of Moses? Yes, it's true! Yvonne DeCarlo just passed away, and the clip I watched this morning showed her playing opposite Charleton Heston in The Ten Commandments. What a knockout!

(Can you tell I'm making up for lost time! LOL I missed you!)

Did you discover a new author last year?

In 2006, did you read an author you'd never read before and discover you wanted to read more? I did! I know a lot of you are already fans, but I discovered Susan Wiggs. Brenda Novak was another author I read for the first time and then went back to find more. I also discovered western writer Jory Sherman and now have a stack of his books on my nightstand.

I'm making it a goal in 2007 to read more authors I've never tried before.

Free Cookbook Download

I visted Roxanne Rustand's website, and there is a link to a free downloadable cookbook. Click here and it will take you directly to the download.

author newsletters

If you'd be interested in subscribing to other author's newsletters, check out this page and simply check the boxes to subscribe.

Coke Cake: from WDMCuz


2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 sticks margarine
1 cup Coke
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine flour and sugar; heat Coke and butter to boiling. Pour over
flour and sugar and blend well. Beat together
buttermilk, eggs, soda, marshmallows and vanilla; add to flour mixture.
Mixture will be thin with marshmallows on top. Pour into 9x13 pan and
bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

1/2 cup margarine, 3 tablespoons cocoa and 6 tablespoons Coke - heat to
boiling and add 3-3/4 cup (1 lb.) powdered sugar. Spread on cake and
sprinkle with 1 cup pecans, if desired.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Very-Very Ugly

The good news is I got my PC back. The bad news is it has an HP error that the techie says must be fixed by reformatting my hard drive. So...I've been backing up files this morning, and now I'm on my way out to buy another jump drive. I know, I know, I should do this all along...whatever.

But hey! The great news is that there are NEW episodes of our favorite shows! I missed Supernanny and Wife Swap, darn, they looked pretty good, too. Tonight is __YES__ BONES! Tomorrow night an all new Gray's Anatomy, I did catch the entire cast accepting their People's Choice Award last night.

(Holy Cow, did you see some of those dresses? And I use the term "dress" loosely.)

And am I the only one ready for a new season of American Idol?

Did anyone watch the Grease Broadway show tryouts Sunday night? Okay, I loved it, and will be following. I'm a Danny Zuko fan, and they have to pick the right one!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Technical Difficulties

I'm experiencing technical difficulties with my computer. Check back later for updates.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

One more winner!

Katrina has an extra copy of The Lawman's Bride since she ordered one already, so she will be sending the copy to the next person whose name I draw from the fish bowl! Thanks, Katrina, you are always generous to share with us.

And the winner of a copy of The Lawman's Bride is.......

Nickol !!

Congrats, Nickol! Katrina will send you your book.

Katrina, I'll let you know where to send it.

speaking of resolutions for the new year....

Thank you to Mel for sharing A Cat's New Year's Resolutions. Too funny!

Friday, January 05, 2007

How To Clean Your Toilet

How To Clean Your Toilet

(JUST KIDDNG, MEL! We love our kitties!)

1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the
water in the bowl.

2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids.
You may need to stand on the lid.

4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that
come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.

5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "power-wash" and

6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no
people between the bathroom and the front door.

7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.

8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and
run outside where he will dry himself off.

9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.

The Dog

a story to check out

I just pre-ordered this book because I saw the excerpt on Ann Roth's website and thought it sounded good. Another Life.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Let's Chat.....RAIN SHADOW

If you haven't read it yet, GET ON IT!

This will be our first chat about one of my books, so it's trial and error. Why don't a couple of you make a list of questions (yea, lists!). They can be questions for each other, or for me, and we'll see how that goes.

I will find my original folders and come up with tidbits that you may find interesting about the creation of the story.

First off, I will tell you that though it was my first book published, it wasn't the first book I ever wrote. It was probably about the, oh, eighth maybe. And I wrote HEAVEN CAN WAIT before I wrote RAIN SHADOW, but HCW made the rounds of several agents and publishers and was rejected. While it was being rejected I wrote RS with spin-off characters because I loved Anton so much. I remember that time in my life vividly. I was giving the writing thing my very best most-devoted shot. I had been in an RWA chapter and a critique group for a couple of years and was learning the craft in a whole new way. I was working a full time job as a sign-maker and customer service rep at a grocery chain, had young children still at home, and got the call from my agent at work. I remember taking the call in the money room and hearing my agent say, "I can sell this book for you." She called me a couple months later to say we had indeed received an offer from Harlequin Historicals.

That was what everyone refers to as "The Call." That first sale. I had no idea what I was in for, but I was thrilled and so excited I could hardly contain myself. Everyone in that store heard my rejoicing! It's nothing like you see in the movies or on TV. The agent doesn't fly to your house to offer you $300,000. (That Rob Lowe TNT movie that was just on.) You don't hand deliver the manuscript to the editor. (Okay, I know of couple of Toronto authors who have done so, but that's not the norm.) Nor does everything happen in a whirlwind. I remember trying to figure out just what the heck was going on. What does this contract say? You mean you have to PAY for all that promotion?

And then the day I got the call from my wonderful editor whom I learned to appreciate and respect and enjoy working with -- and she said the senior editor thought Rain Shadow sounded too sixties, too hippyish and they wanted a new title. What? Come up with a list of ideas and call her back. What? It was 1992, but I remember bemoaning the fact that they wanted to change my precious title - I wrapped up in my comfy afghan, sat in front of the fire and whined.

My husband, God love him, went walking past and said four little words that changed my outlook for all time. Writers are infamous for saving slogans and mottoes and quotes and plastering them all over their work areas. Well, I'd found one a year or so before that and had taped it right to my monitor. "NOTHING IS SACRED." Meaning, everything is subject to change and changing or omitting might even make the work better. I had diligently applied that philosophy to my writing/critiquing/editing, so why was it that a title suddenly became the end all/be all of my publishing experience? It wasn't.

Jay said in passing that day, "Nothing is sacred, eh?" That did it. I didn't need my own philosophy flung back at me. I got busy and made a list of new titles. A day or so later I called my new editor to share them. She took the list and said she'd get back with me. A few days later, she called and said nothing I'd come up with nor anything they'd come up with fit the book better than my original title. Rain Shadow was staying. So there you have it.

In the years following I've kept most of my titles. Some are clearly not my own (did I ever mention THE LAWLESS MISS HOLLIS? LOL) but I don't sweat it any more. I have learned that my publisher spends the big bucks on studies and market research and they want to make money as much as I do, so I trust their judgement and roll with the flow. I've been fortunate with covers. I've never had the Pillsbury dough boy or a three-armed woman on my cover, though a skinny Anthony Perkins (of Psycho fame) made it to one of my covers. Yes, that skinny guy playing with the toddler on the front of The Truth About Toby is an iron-pumping body builder believe it or not -- and he never met the kid until the very end, but let's not get picky. He only had two arms!

When my covers showed up that first day I was enthralled. Stared and stared. Ogled, even. And a Linda Howard quote referencing LaVyrle Spencer on the front! Mind you we didn't have email back then, hard to believe in this day and age, isn't it? so I didn't get first glimpses of my covers via email or at amazon. LOL! amazon wasn't around yet.

Then I invented the wheel and had to figure out how to promote and get quotes and reviews and all that stuff that is at our fingrertips today. When I felt really bold I picked published author's brains and am to this day forever grateful for their generosity.

Well, that's my behind the scenes trip down memory lane.

Maybe next I can tell you how I came up with the setting....

Winner #3

All right. The third authentically signed first edition of The Lawman's Bride goes to....

where's that fish bowl?

oh, right here...

okay...boy, there are a LOT of entries! good job guys!

and the winner is...

Rose O!
Congrats, Rose. I'll have your book in the mail tomorrow. Thanks for blogging with us this week!

read an excerpt....

This link will take you right to the excerpt from The Lawman's Bride at eharlequin!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Winner #2

Did this early enough in the evening so that Elijah could help. He loves to draw names from the fish bowl.

And the second winner of an authentically autographed first edition (hey, it just keeps sounding better, doesn't it?) of The Lawman's Bride is...

Remember I originally titled this book THE LAWLESS MISS HOLLIS...?

Oh, yes, and we're going to do a discussion about Rain Shadowm per request, let's do that asap.

Oh, and the winner is....

meljprincess !!

Whoo hoo! Mel, girl, you rock!
Your copy will be winging its way toward your abode in no time. Enjoy!

a new list: 5 Wonderful Things

You may not count chocolate.

1 falling leaves and crisp air
2 gold lockets
3 cottages with shutters
4 soft fluffy towels
5 chicken noodle soup on a cold day

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Winner #1

I'm drawing a name for the first winner of the week. Remember there will be two more! (Elijah is in bed - school tomorrow - yeah! - so I'm drawing.)

Drum roll please.......

The very first winner of a copy of The Lawman's Bride is...


Good job, chickie! We loved your contributions this week, but don't stop now. Remember I often keep all the entries for the next drawing.

Just happen to be going to the post office first thing in the morning, so look for your book soon.

Thanks to Katrina for showing us this one!

Matt Damon Imitates Matthew McConaughey

As Minds Age, What's Next? Brain Calisthenics

Science is not sure yet, but across the country, brain health programs are springing up, offering the possibility of a cognitive fountain of youth.

click here to read more

More about covers

Okay, I confess that on New Year's Eve I watched Terminator 1 & 2. You know the character of Kyle Reese who is John Connor's father in the future and Linda Hamilton's love interest (the guy who came from the future to save her), well I started wondering about him and googled him tonight. His name is Michael Beihn. He was in Tombstone and The Magincient Seven series and Alien and a boatload of movies.

And one fan thinks she spoted him on a couple of bookcovers. Tell me what you think:

Monday, January 01, 2007

Desperately Seeking Joye

Not the joy of the Lord, I already have that! LOL Joye the reader is the lady I'm looking for. WAY back when I gave away a stack of pre-read books, she requested The Gunslinger's Bride as her choice and she won the draw, but never posted me her address.

Joye, I need an address so I can send you this book!