Posted in Rendezvous Falls, The Writing Life

Welcome to Rendezvous Falls!

Rendezvous Falls Twitter

I’m so excited! (cue the Pointer Sisters!). I just inked a contract to create a brand new contemporary romance series for HQN! Not only will I be continuing to write Gallant Lake romances for Harlequin Special Edition, I will also be writing the stories of Rendezvous Falls, NY. This fictional town is located in the heart of the Finger Lakes wine country. Rendezvous Falls is famous for its wildly-colored, fanciful Victorian homes, and its citizens are just as unique and colorful as the town is. When the senior book club gets bored and decides to try their hand at matchmaking, the results are… interesting… because love is stranger than fiction. Their matches don’t always (never…) work out they way they plan, yet somehow love finds a way to bring the right people together.

Each book will have three points of view–heroine, hero and one member of the book club. A few book club members (a diverse and touching group of friends) will find their own “seasoned romance” Happily Ever Afters along the way.

Book 1: Corporate auditor Whitney Foster returns to her onetime childhood haven, Rendezvous Falls, to regroup after finding herself suddenly unemployed. She discovers  her widowed Aunt Helen’s winery is falling into disrepair and flirting with financial ruin. Whitney blames the most likely culprit: Falls Legend Winery’s manager. But her suspicions can’t erase the fact that Luke Rutledge’s disheveled yet determined vibe intrigues her, even if he is whispered about in town as “one of those Rutledge Boys.” When Aunt Helen’s book club decides to set Whitney up on a few blind dates to distract her from going crazy while she attempts to unravel the books, Luke realizes that he cares about the nosy “bean counter” far more than he thought.

So I’ll be hiding away in my writing cave for the next few (many!) months, creating the stories that you’ll be able to buy everywhere starting in the summer of 2019. I’ll also be working on updating the website to reflect the three existing series – Lowery Women, Gallant Lake and now – Rendezvous Falls! 

Posted in Newsletter

A Newsletter Is Born!

Newsletter Sign-Up - Website

Read Below for a Special Giveaway!

I tend to procrastinate when it comes to tasks that intimidate me.

Write an 80,000 word romance novel? No problem!

Create a newsletter for my followers? *PANIC ATTACK!*

Part of it is because I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of having followers. Remember, my debut novel came out just over a year ago, so this is all new to me. The goal of a writer, of course, is to have people love their books. But it’s also an intimidating concept, and I’ll confess that I’ve ignored some parts of the process out of fear of screwing it up.

Things like asking people to review my books.

Things like asking people to subscribe to a newsletter about…me. What? 

But it’s time for me to put on my big girl pants and learn to handle the marketing end of the business with a more serious approach than just throwing random stuff on social media (although I’m very happy for the hundreds of followers I have there – Hi, Everyone!).

Phase 1 of that serious approach is creating a newsletter. Scroll up to the top of this page and check out the “Subscribe” box on the top right! My plan is for the newsletter to be quarterly, with “special editions” coming up for book releases or really big news (and boy, do I have some really big news coming up…….shhh!). I want to provide a newsletter that’s fun and offers some exclusive content, a peek at my writing process, book news, occasional giveaways, and silly things like pictures of hot guys, cool places, recipes, etc. Be patient with me for the first few issues, as I’m definitely still pretty low on the learning curve!

Cover Life She WantsSince I have a new book – The Life She Wants – coming up in June and, since I have some advance copies…I will randomly select five names from the first twenty people to sign up for my newsletter on Monday and will send those five people a signed ARC for The Life She Wants. I sure hope winners will share reviews of the book once they’ve read it! 

Phase 2 of my plan (in case you were wondering) is coming later this year. I will be creating a private Facebook group for my most devoted followers, where we can talk books and have opportunities to receive ARCs for reviewing and have special giveaways. But one thing at a time, and right now that’s the new NEWSLETTER!

Posted in Music Monday, She's Far From Hollywood

Music Monday: “Woman, Amen” (Cole & Bree)

Not only was Dierks Bentley himself an inspiration for Cole Caldwell in She’s Far From Hollywood (hello – have you seen the man?), but his music also filled my playlist while I was writing it. His newest song Woman, Amen instantly found a home on my romance writer’s playlist. I imagine it as the soundtrack for the final scene in the book, when Cole and Bree are in the barn, soaked to the skin from the storm, declaring their…..well, you should really read the book to get the complete picture.

Posted in Excerpts, She's Far From Hollywood

A First Kiss – She’s Far From Hollywood

Hollywood Checklist

Over the next few weeks, I’m visiting the First Kiss in each of my novels/novellas.

Sigh….that first kiss. One of my very favorite scenes to read in any romance, and one of my favorites to write, too. The whole story has led to this pivotal moment. The characters’ personalities definitely impact the scene.

In the case of Cole and Bree in She’s Far From Hollywood, they’ve basically hated each other at first sight. Or at least that’s what they tell themselves, but all that heat has nothing to do with hate.

When they finally kiss, it’s explosive!

………………………….
Cole lowered his head until their noses were brushing against each
other. She still hadn’t blinked. “But I’m not feeling very smart right
now…”

Those last words were spoken against her lips. His hands cupped her
face softly and she sighed, her breath blowing across his skin. This
was still a bad idea. But when her hands twisted into his T-shirt, he
was lost.

He wanted to take this slow, to be careful. Really, he did. But that plan
detonated on contact. Her lips were soft and pliant when their mouths
met, and she parted them with a soft moan that went straight to his
core.

Men had been plunging their tongues into women’s mouths for
centuries. Staking their claim. Grabbing the first taste of a woman.
And yes, hinting at that other penetration they had in mind. Kissing like
this, tongue against tongue, was natural. Primal even.

But Cole knew that never in the long history of kissing had there ever
been a kiss like this. Things quickly spun out of control, their heads
turning and their mouths moving against each other aggressively. She
tasted like cognac and toothpaste, and hell if it didn’t hit his nervous
system like crack cocaine.

His hands started to slide up and down her body, fingers grabbing at
every curve. She was trembling in his arms like a tuning fork, like she
was ready to come just from this. Just from kissing like this.

It wouldn’t be Bree’s style to just passively let him kiss her. She gave
as good as she got, tugging, pushing, sucking, biting. She was staking
her own claim, holding his head in place while she devoured him.
Twice their teeth clashed together, and neither of them flinched.

This was Bree, and he damned-well knew her.

Posted in Friday Funday, Music Monday

Music Monday – Millionaire

I have a deadline this week (TOMORROW!!!), so I’m skidding in here to quickly share a bluesy country song I just heard a few days ago and immediately added to my love song playlist. Chris Stapleton’s Millionaire is all about appreciating having the love of a great woman, and what really matters in life. That’s a lot like the June Harlequin Superromance I’m just finishing edits on – The Life She Wants. Two strong people on different life paths, and how the hero (finally…) realizes what he should be working to win.

People look at her and they look at me
And say “That boy is sure living in luxury”

Posted in Music Monday, The Writing Life, The Writing Process

Music Monday: Something I’m Good At

I’m going for a more light-hearted look at love with this week’s choice. In fact, I’m thinking I need to write this hero – the lovable goofball whose main talent is that he can always make his girl smile. I’m picturing a guy who just kind of glides through life having a good time, and then he meets a serious girl who knocks him off his feet. What do you think? Sound like a romance you’d read?

Posted in Music Monday, The Writing Life

Music Monday – All of Me

I’ve mentioned “perfect love songs” before. Maybe I feel that way about so many of them because there are so many facets of true love, which leaves plenty of opportunities for songs to capture a piece of the love journey. No list of perfect love songs would be complete without John Legend’s All of Me. This song is so lovely, and so full of love. The video has John and his funny, feisty, devoted wife, model Chrissy Teigen (seriously – I adore her and their love story). This is one of those songs that captures me, that makes me stop and listen every time I hear it.

Posted in My Life, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday – Goofballs in Love

John and Joanne DancingI just love this photo of Himself and I at a wedding (many) years ago. We’re goofballs, but we’re goofballs in love!💘💘💘

I’m positive we’re dancing to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline here, because that’s how we always dance to it – with enthusiasm (it’s a Boston Red Sox thing…). 

“Hands…reaching out…touching me…touching you!”

Are there any songs guaranteed to get you on the dance floor with your sweetheart? 

Posted in My Life, The Writing Life

Throwback Thursday

Halloween Bk CoverIt’s time to start thinking about Halloween costumes, so I’m going back to my 2016 costume with Himself. Since my debut romance, She’s Far From Hollywood, was only a few months from release, we dressed as the book’s hero and heroine, Cole and Bree (complete with long red hair!). Our neighbors have an awesome Halloween party, and we rocked it! Do you dress up for Halloween? Do you know what your costume will be yet (I don’t!)?

 

Posted in The Writing Life

Nature’s Glory (and a distraction from writing…)

HydrangeasA few weeks ago, I loosely connected the editing process to the emergence of the beautiful oak tree discovered hiding in the ugly shrubs in our backyard. Maybe the analogy was a stretch, but it worked for me.

I could tie a dozen other analogies to nature, I’m sure (anything to keep me from dealing with actually writing my books!). But sometimes nature needs to be appreciated simply for what it is, without making it into a story.

So, while I give my energies to my writing this week (have I mentioned that I’m writing TWO books at once?), let me just share some of the beauty from my garden with you. Next week you’ll get a sneak peek at what I’m working on, I promise.

I planted these hydrangeas two years ago, and last year didn’t have a single blossom. Not one! It was disappointing, but hardly a surprise, since I am “She-Who-Kills-Plants“. I figured the spot I selected to plant them was too shady or too dry or too something, and I had no idea what to expect this year.

Well, let me tell you – the hydrangeas have outdone themselves! The pastel shades are incredible, and watching them blossom has been so much fun for me. I want a whole house and wardrobe of just these colors. Wouldn’t you?

(click to start a slideshow)