Archive | October 2013

A Puzzle in Pictures

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This is the beginning of the puzzle in Salado, Texas next to Main Street and the Stagecoach Inn.

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This is not a red herring. It is a picture of the live oak that has so much to do with the shop pictured above.

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And, this is more of that live oak–one of its branches reaching out to the shop above.

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Voila! A puzzle in pictures. Or a connect the branch that ended up in the house. I think the owner said the house was built around 1950 right here next to the Stagecoach Inn. The tree branch grew straight for the house. And rather than cut it off, they allowed it to grow inside. So this is not a fake tree branch attached to a wall for interest! It is real!

And yes! The oddest things fascinate me!

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality.”

The Stagecoach Inn, Salado, Texas

A lot of places had stagecoach inns at a time when the mail was delivered via a stagecoach, and it took priority over passengers. Often, their feet would rest on top of the overflow of packages and letters bound for other destinations. Certain seats had the best ride, and others could jar the rider to pieces. Stagecoach robbers were prevalent, and that’s why they had a man riding shotgun atop the wagon. Most times, robbers only wanted the passengers’ valuables, and didn’t want to kill anyone.

One of our friends had an ancestor who had robbed a stagecoach back in the day, and had been caught and hanged, though normally, it wasn’t done. Why the hanging then? One of the passengers had died from a heart attack during the stagecoach robbery. And since the robbers had given him the fatal heart attack, they were tried for murder.

This is actually a covered wagon, with the Stagecoach Inn sign. This hotel was originally called The Shady Villa Inn. Not only did those in the United States travel in covered wagons from the east coast to the west, they did the same in Canada. I was reading about some of my ancestors in Canada traveling from Ontario and further west in covered wagons. I find all of that stuff fascinating!

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This is the covered wagon–playground style. I actually used this in A Ghost of a Chance at Love, the story set in Salado, Texas.  She sees it in the present day Salado, but when she wakes up in the past? It’s gone! Just think of all the things you’d miss in the past???Playground stagecoach at Stagecoach Inn Salado 900 rhapsody


And here is a miniature covered wagon in front of the Stagecoach Inn. I love going to Salado. Some places make me feel I’m at home. Others, don’t. But when I go to Salado, I enjoy being there. So I wondered what it would be like to travel back in time, not a planned trip at all. A woman spends overnight at the Stagecoach Inn and finds her world turned upside down–murder, ghostly aberrations, (which several buildings there claim to have), a man in her bed who doesn’t belong, and who claims this is HIS room. All the modern day changes would be undone, and somehow she has to find her way home again. Not just home to Waco, Texas, but to the same time before she traveled to the past.

I write romances, so I can have the action, adventure, paranormal, ghostly stuff, but it’s still got to have romance. Soooo, every woman who ends up back in some distance time-travel past needs a guardian angel, right?

The ghost, and murder, and mysteries continue to haunt her. And there’s only one way to right the wrong. If she doesn’t get herself killed in the process.

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A Ghost of a Chance at Love

Time Travel Ghostly Romance

The past clashes with the present, and one woman finds herself fighting for her own identity in the past so that she can have a future with the man she loves–but with her ancestor’s hold over her–Lisa Welsh and Jack Stanton only have a ghost of a chance at love. 

Lisa Welsh only wishes to leave a messy divorce behind for a couple of days stay in Salado, Texas, but wakes to nightmares and a cowboy in her bed, and she has no earthly idea how he got there. But the situation gets worse when she wakes in the morning and learns she’s living in 19th Century Salado. Even more worrisome is the tall dark stranger and everyone else in town believes she’s some woman named Josephine Rogers. Only she’s supposed to be dead.

Jack Stanton can’t believe the clerk gave him an occupied room at the Shady Villa Inn, but worse, he was ready to ravage the woman in that bed—until he realized his mistake. Now the woman he thinks is Josephine, claims to be some other woman—and though he could never abide by Josephine’s fickle ways, this Lisa Welsh intrigues him like no other. Still, everybody in town believes her to be Josephine, and he steps in to help her find her way back home.

Murder, mystery, ties to family roots in the past, embezzlement and murder in the present, and a man she can’t get off her mind no matter what century it is, Lisa has no choice. She must solve the mysteries and face the troubles in her world and Jack’s or they will never be free to share the love that binds them across the ages.  


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Anyone ready for a trip back in time?


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality.”

Interesting Doors…

Weird things fascinate me. These doors were in Savannah, Georgia. I was having a discussion about doors with my daughter yesterday, and she was telling me that they put temporary doors on the homes they’re constructing because thieves steal the doors. Huh? Who would have ever thought it.

Okay, so maybe doors are more of a precious commodity than I thought. But unique doors fascinate me.

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This one was at the Cotton Exchange.
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And these were taken in Salado, Texas. These doors might look like ordinary doors, but they were only about 5 feet tall, if that? Little tiny doors. And very narrow.

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I found it fascinating on the doors of this period in all of the old houses redone as shops and how many of them had windows above.

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Back to writing! Reached 55,000 last night, but still 5,000 short for the week on A Highland Wolf Christmas. *sigh* With the holidays coming up, I’m running out of time! But I remind myself when I started this venture, I had Chapter 1 written. As in the heading: Chapter 1. Not the whole chapter. So 25,000 to go! Much better than 25,000 done and 55,000 to go!

Oh, and while I was talking to my daughter about Halloween and how some have over a 1,000 trick-or-treaters at their door–wow, she was telling me how she had one girl show up in a bra and panties–about 14. Who let her out of the house dressed like that???

Have a super Sunday!!!

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality.”

Do You See the Light???

azaleas 001 (800x533)Sunrise in Central Texas


I’m a total pantser, seat of the pants writer, and I couldn’t plot  a book for the life of me. I never could write the outline before I did a paper when I was in school either. I would always write the paper and then write the obligatory outline. Why do teachers make us conform to some rule that doesn’t work for everyone??? For some, organizing their thoughts in an outline works. But others… I begin to research my subject and want to go in a totally different direction. So, too, sometimes, when I’ve pitched a book and sold based on two paragraphs. The story evolves in a different direction than I planned for it to go.

That sometimes happens because of research I’ve done. Even though my werewolf books are urban fantasy, in that you know that werewolves don’t live among us, as you shouldn’t–they’re not meant to be discovered, right?–but they do live within the parameters of our world and are based on real wolf behavior… As much as werewolves can be real wolf-shifting humans.  This means that sometimes I create a town for them to live in and other times I have them live in real places.

But other times, the characters–since my stories are character-driven and for romance need to be–take over and run with the story. Well, oftentimes they do. I’ll be going along, happy as can be, throwing wonderful obstacles in their path, causing them all kinds of stress, and suddenly, they change the rules. Now, you might think that’s a bad thing. I know what I’m doing. They don’t.

On the other hand, it makes for some nice twists in the plot and so I allow them free rein as long as they assure me they can reach that happily ever after, which is what they want more than anything else in the world, too. 🙂

So yesterday, as I again spent another day of trying to force the direction of my plot, I took a moment out of my deadline-packed schedule, had lunch with a friend, saw a movie, came home, did NOT want to write, since I’ve been at this for weeks, and watched another movie.

And something hit. I really, really was going to watch another movie. I just was having too much fun. But the light dawned, the problem I’d been seeking came to me, and I began to write again.

Sometimes, just stepping away from the problem can be the best thing we can do!! And then, that moment of clarity will come.

Other times, if the deadline is approaching and letting the muse find me is not a viable option, just pushing forward and brainstorming with others, listing 20 ideas of where this could go, etc, can sometimes give the direction I need to go.

So I’m off to write! Ever give up on something you’ve been hassling with and can’t seem to find a solution, and voila, there it is???

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality.”







Raffle Baskets for Readers!

These are three of the four raffle baskets I’ve prepared for the upcoming readers’ conference I’m attending! 🙂 In the first, these are all my young adult books, and the mohair bear is one of my creations.

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In the second one, these are all Highland romance books, and one lovely Irish western romance, donated by: Vonda Sinclair, Victoria Roberts, CH Admirand, and me! Victoria also donated a lovely t-shirt for the winner of the raffle basket! And the bear is one of my Celtic bear creations.

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In the third basket, we have historical romance books from Christy English, Brooklyn Ann, Samantha Grace, Mia Marlowe, Shana Galen, and me! And a artist-created porcelain doll!

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I may have to divide the rest of the contemporary books into two baskets. I had a wonderful response from Sourcebooks authors. All the books are autographed! 🙂

Highland Rake on sale for two more days for 99 cents, regularly $4.99!

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality.”

A Vampire Hunter Targeting the Vampire…

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My friend Bonnie Gill was a vampire hunter, pictured left, with her cross-bow readied. The vampire actually won first place on her costume and she did have the best costume and makeup job of anyone! So here they are battling it out at Authors After Dark at the Vampire Ball.

But just like in a story, sometimes you have to add a little setting detail, a little atmosphere to really see the story more clearly. So that meant getting rid of the hotel ballroom hallway, and adding a little more spice.

Sometimes it’s fun to bring out that inner child. We never have to grow old.

Though I have to say that I had to tell Bonnie that she looked like she was just enjoying taking down the vampire way too much, and she needed to be a little more… serious. She only smiled all the more. 🙂

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality.”

Mishka, the Shih Poo

Isn’t she cute? She’s a poodle/shih tsu combo.  They’re what you call a designer breed, not recognized by any of the big dog associations. But she’s adorable. This is my son and DIL’s dog. And she’s a perfect lapdog, and has the sweetest disposition.

I’m behind on word count on Guthrie’s story, so off to write on it!

I did announce that Jaguar Pride is coming out Feb 2015, and SEAL Wolf for Sale, in April 2015. You might think that this is a long ways off, but for me, it’s not. I have to have these written soon! 🙂

Which means? I’m off to work on the one before that. It’s due even sooner! Hope you have a delightful Hump Day!

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality.”

Invasion of the Snakes…

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I took the picture of the top snake after I let the one below (the same one shown in all three pictures below) of this snake out the door. In other words, he had come into my house.

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My question is–is the first snake the second snake? Or… is it a different snake?

If it’s a different snake, that’s not good. Unfortunately, I’m sure it’s a different one. The one on top was bigger and when she coiled up and hissed and bit at me, she was thicker bodied. The  other was thinner and really long also, but not quite so long. With the bottom pictures, this snake was moving its head so much it was blurring, but on the left side below its head, it had orange markings, which I was trying to get a picture of. The other snake did not. I let the smaller snake out. But then about fifteen minutes later, there’s a snake laying next to the door, bigger, and when I tried to open the door to let it out, it got nasty.

I couldn’t believe I would have two snakes in the house like this. Once in a lifetime is enough. But I’m afraid there were two, and the other??? Just waiting to come in again.

Do mothballs really work to repel snakes???


Who needed to write a synopsis and had snakes on the brain instead.


Highland Rake on Sale!

Highland Rake

I’m doing a BIG promotion for the new release of The Highlander, 5th book in the series. So this is Highland Rake, 3rd book. I have NEVER put these Highland books on sale.  So for one week only, starting today and running through Oct 27, Highland Rake will be on sale for 99 cents. 🙂

Dougald MacNeill is the next to youngest MacNeill brother and he’s not about to settle down, until Lady Alana Cameron is placed squarely in his lap…and then, the trouble begins.

When Dougald finds Alana roaming the heather on the MacNeill lands, he takes her in hand to see his laird brother James at Craigly Castle to determine her fate. But who has sent her there and why? Her uncle, laird of the Cameron clan, that has warred with the MacNeills for years, has made a marriage arrangement with another clan and now that is even at stake.

Having witnessed her father’s death, and even believing he had returned her home when all along he had been dead, Alana discovers she has the gift, or curse, of seeing the newly departed and sometimes those who should have long ago passed over. Her own deceased brother continues to plague her, the rake, and now another, who is very much of the flesh, Dougald MacNeill, has her thinking marrying a rake might just have its benefits. Dougald’s sister, who is one feisty ghost, has offered to help Alana keep Dougald in line if he thinks of even straying.

But who sent Alana on a fool’s errand in the first place to remove her from the Cameron’s lands and set her squarely in Dougald’s care, and who really killed her father and her brother, and what has it all to do with Alana? Will she and Dougald learn the truth before it is too late?


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The Highlander is Available on ITunes and B&N Now!

Anora, the shepherdess, finds a half-naked man in her bed, so what’s a woman living alone in a cottage in the Lowlands of Scotland supposed to do? Prod him with her pitchfork to chase him off! Only the man is not just a traveler seeking her bed for a rest—but a wounded Highlander, who fights back, swinging his sword!

Niall MacNeill is searching for a Frenchwoman of nobility to escort to his cousin’s castle for safekeeping, when he and his friend, Gunnolf, are attacked by another Highland clan, seeking the same woman. The other Highlanders wish to sell her to the highest bidder—English or French—it does not matter.

Niall takes refuge in a sheepherder’s cottage to heal up from his wounds and discovers the shepherdess taking care of him may very well be the woman he seeks. He has no intention of doing anything but what his cousin requests of him—ensure her safety on their way to Craigly Castle—but when the lass so bravely wields her pitchfork at him, he is thinking of other, more interesting possibilities.

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I’ve signed with a narrator to work on the audiobook version. That should be done in about February.

I have to turn in edits on Jaguar Hunt and the synopsis on Monday, and then it’s back to Guthrie’s story. So many stories, so little time. 🙂 I feel like I’m juggling characters.

Have a super great Sunday!