Monthly Archives: October 2015


Bought this for Romance Glider's walls yesterday!

I've wanted a writing cottage for several years now. We attended a vintage trailer show recenly, and I bought this 1950 Glider for my writing cave. I need the dedicated space, where I can close a door and be in a different world, without the interruptions of daily life. Not complaining, but I have problems concentrating. My husband has been spending more and more time running his business out of the house, and, though I love him, I can't write around him and his booming voice and shuffling of papers. His personality fills the house.

My Romance Rider

My writing area, “The Bridge” is beautiful, but the house is so open, with the acoustics like a church, anything gets magnified. I don't like to have to turn my music down or change it!! So I've got my own little space to do all my crazy writer stuff in. The Glider was beiing outfitted with a new red canopy awning and arrives Tuesday!! So excited!!

Bunk beds in the rear. Middle bed. Waiting for red curtains!

This RV is fully self-contained, even having a full bath with shower. The man who restores them redid all the undercarriage, installed AC and heat and completely re-acid washed the outside and replaced the skin on one door and the roof. Everything works. All it takes is for my customizing. I have already raided the local antique market for my 1950's memorabilia, including an original Post Magazine with Perry Como on the cover, and a Marilyn Monroe calendar. I've bought Bakelike utensils and cherry juice cups. My theme will be Route 66/Romance Red.

It's 65 years old, so I won't be taking it on long trips. Except in my head. I plan to share all the pictures as I go along, but there are just a few of my faves! More to follow.

Kitchen, soon to be outfitted in red accents. My view. The chrome handles are really cool.

The interior has bunk beds in the back, perfect for babysitting grandkids, and will double as some storage. I'm working on quilting some coverings and curtains. Little by slow, because I can't drop everything to do it – got books to write – I'll have the cottage of my dreams. And how great that, just like my life, just like the house I live in, it's recycled from the past, pulling all the great things in my life forward, leaving behind what doesn't work. Hope you'll go on this journey with me.

Next year, I'm going to get a smaller trailer so I can still have that adventure with the Sisters On The Fly (remember that blog post? No men, no children, no pets, play fair). I became an honorary member in May. I intend to follow that conference. And write romance on an outing. Create a story on the road. What do you think?

LATE EDITION:  Thanks to a reader who sent this link. It applies, don't you think?  Love Shack.  Gitter on the highway…hmmmm. Love it.



Releases tomorrow!

My new release, Band of Bachelors: Lucas, will be here tonight at midnight. I've loved writing this story from beginning to end. The idea first came to me when our son moved from New York City, to Park City, Utah, and then home to California. I go into this in depth in my Newsletter this month. Be sure to sign up, if you're not already a subscriber.

We get our stories from real life. You've all seen the tee-shirt: “Be nice to me or I'll put you in my book,” and for some, this can be dangerous. For others, it could be flattering. I'm working on a new story this week for another anthology I'll be in that's due early November, and I've promised the real person I'd make a character that was as yummy as possible. You can bet I'll be taking all the good, and making up the bad.

DJ's experiences living with a household of bachelors in Park City was life changing. I can say here what I couldn't say in my newsletter (did you subscribe? LOL), that in addition to the fact that these men were older and divorced, they were also excommunicated (if this is the correct term) LDS members. I presume that's because of the raucous activity they participated in, namely the use of alcohol. But I imagine their language, general lifestyle and the use of “professionals” for their dating needs didn't ingratiate them to the church. It almost certainly made the possibility of a reconciliation with their wives a zero percent chance of success, on purpose. I certainly couldn't use any of that in the book, not that other authors don't, but I don't believe in knocking anyone's beliefs, whether they be traditional or otherwise. Besides, this has nothing to do with religion, but a lack of faith in something greater than themselves. My hero, Navy SEAL Lucas Shipley, eventually parts ways with them, just like DJ did.

My son came home with lots of material, and we actually had fun thinking up how we could turn this experience into some kind of TV show. The bachelors were always giving him horrible advice. Very bad advice. Being single and young, he knew he had to leave when, as he says in his words, “Mom, I'm starting to believe them.”

And that's the kernel of what began to grow when I thought about the Band of Bachelors. The book trailer J.D. Hart, my awesome Storyteller and best friend, captures it perfectly.

It's always kind of cathartic when I finish one book. I never really want to say goodbye to my characters. So I try to weave people from one book into another, but not leave a future reader lost if they haven't read the whole series. It rewards the repeat and returning reader by allowing them to experience the whole chain of events, the arc of the whole team, from the first book, Accidental SEAL (still free) to the current one, Band of Bachelors: Lucas. Little novellas or boxed sets with other material are branches off the main tree of my Brotherhood. I want that tree to grow wide, have many strong arms and branches, and grow forever, or as long as my fingers and brain hold out.
So today, I prepare for my launch day. I'm not doing the crazy big parties I used to do, just trying something more generic and sane. Doing some promo today, tomorrow and during the next 2 weeks. I'd love for you to join me from 7-8 PM tonight, where I'll be at Authors Appreciation facebook event where I'll answer questions and we'll do some prizes and giveaways, and I'll also be at a live chat (my first one) from 9-10 PM Eastern at Writer Space here
Well, if you and I get to talk at a conference, or online, or in a chat, or by email or anywhere else you channel me, perhaps one day you too will become part of my story. I've been known to bend some rules and make my friends into dancers, heroines and heroes and everything in between.
Enjoy your Sunday, my friends. 


Yesterday I babysat my two grandchildren. I'd finally received my copy of Cinderella, the new Disney movie that has outsold all other Disney movies to date. I wasn't able to see it in the theater, but when I stumbled upon the soundtrack, I had to have the movie. The three of us watched it.

This story is so important, not only because she gets the handsome prince in the end, although that is part of the happily ever after we like to read and write in romance. What was important to me was that it was the first story I heard that I can remember feeling the joy of belonging somewhere. Being wanted. Finding my magical doorway to the rest of my life. It was such an uncommon thought for someone less than three years old. I can remember it as if it was yesterday. It has colored everything I do, every choice I made in life since. And it started with a story, a little record player and a picture book to go along with it.

And a room by myself in the upstairs of my huge house. It was like Cinderella's attic. Where all the dreaming and magic happened.

One of the things that graces us when we age is that a lot of things fall away. We forget some hurts. We are smoothed over by the passage of time so that the sun comes out again after a long night, bad feelings and hurtful situations soon fade into the patchwork that is our lives.

One of my favorite songs is “Why Don't We Just Dance.” I've used it in several of my SEAL books, because, when things are strange, when things are perched on a cliff of unknown height, when we aren't sure what to do, I think it's just a good idea to kick of your shoes and just dance. That's how the record ended, with the song, “So This is Love.” and she is dancing in a beautiful ball gown in front of a crowd of people who wished they were dancing too.

Another favorite song of mine is The Dance, “I could have done without the pain but then I would have missed the dance.” What a wonderful line that is.

I was Cinderella in those days. Every fibre of my being was forged into the romantic with rose colored glasses, a dreamer. I learned how to let myself feel. A gift from my three-year-old self to the woman I am today. I am grateful to that little girl who had the courage to take that first step out on the dance floor.

This week, we are launching a beautiful documentary called Love Between The Covers. I financially supported this film (if you scroll down slowly you'll see my name!). I did it because the story has to be told. When I started writing, I had no idea it would be so. It has made me a successful author who can support myself living just about anywhere in the country. It's also important that the world knows what romance does for us. It heals us. I want everyone to know this.

I took a writing workshop very early in my career, and developed the tagline:  True Love Heals In The Gardens Of The Heart. I wanted to have gardens in my website and use it on promotional things and was talked out of it. Experts. Some day I'll write a post on experts. Thank God I haven't listened to them all the time! And yes, sometimes you have to do things wrong first before you learn.

The story that I'm not ashamed to tell is that romance is good for us. You can read my posts of the last month, and just about all of them are on this subject. What happens to our brains, what happens to our general mood when we fall in love, deep, satisfying romantic love.

I watched transfixed as Cinderella danced in that beautiful blue dress, in the arms of the handsome price who twirled her and took her places she could not go by herself–but places she had dreamt.

I think we were meant to dance all our lives, just like we were meant to read about falling in love, letting it make us feel good. To whisper our love stories to the crickets and stars at night, to feel the old earth rotating slowly, oblivious of the passage of time. It all starts with believing in the dance of the heart.


SMORGASBORD OF LOVE: Overindulgence Is Good For Me. Good For You.

Smorgasbord of Love: Overindulgence Is Good For Me. Good For

Lucky for me, if you binge on love, it doesn’t make you fat,
it makes you whole. Last night at the IRC conference, we were discussing the
Happily Ever After phenomenon in Romance writing today. Critics of romance call
our novels trashy and “simple”, and those of you who read or write it, know it
is anything but that. Almost like it isn’t cool to say we want more romance in
our lives. Makes us needy. I say, hell yes, I love being needy! I want more
romance, don’t you?
 I read the following
passage from Your Brain on Love, which I referred to in my newsletter last
week. See if you can read it to someone you love without crying. I hope you do!
The chapter is called “Sexuality and Spirituality: Divine Balm For
Your Soul and Brai
Before he starts the chapter, he has this quote: “Eroticism is….where a man experiences a
woman with all his senses and not just his eyes. It’s the insatiable desire to
know someone completely.” 
Here’s the excerpt I love:
I was just a sophomore
in college when I began working as an orderly in a nursing home…in Mankato,
Minnesota….In the home was one couple I’ll never forget: Henry and Martha. I
think they were the only married couple in the nursing home at that time. He
was ninety-eight, and she was ninety-six. They had been married for more than
sixty years. And this was the second marriage! Henry would wait (from what I
learned from the other nurses and the other staff) for the day I would be working.
I worked the three to eleven shift, and as the clock inched closer to eleven
o’clock, Henry would buzz the nurses’ station, and I would go down to his room.
Henry always wanted the same thing: for me to help him from his bed over to his
wife’s bed. I think he was embarrassed to let one of the female nurses or aides
help him into his wife’s bed. But since I was a guy, it felt okay for him to
ask for my assistance. (He’d worked out a similar deal with the morning janitor
to move him back to his bed the next morning.)
Now Martha was mostly
blind, but when I’d help him over to her bed, I’d see this wonderful smile come
over her face. She could no longer see him, so she was responding to the sound
of her husband coming near and crawling into bed beside her. She beamed when
she felt his arms enfold her. They were a part of the blessed few—Master-Level
I thought that scene
was the sweetest, most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. After all these years, I
still think that.

Being a master-level lover is more about the heart than the
sex we usually think of as being a master of love. When you analyze it, really,
being a master-level lover is being full out. Not holding back. Giving 100% of
what you have to give. If you play at 100%, there are no limitations.
Age, space and time cease to exist. This is what true
romance is. And what’s good for the heart is good for the brain. What’s good
for the brain is good for life itself.

The miracle is we can feel it any time we choose.