Category Archives: Plans

#MondayBlogs and Leaving My Comfort Zone

This is going to be one of those short and sweet posts because I have words to write. Lots and lots of them.

pexels-photo-235922.jpegWhich leads me chatting about comfort zones and why they need to be crashed through sometimes. I’d read in Canadian Runner about how embracing the discomfort makes a better runner. Speed goes up, the mental outlook improves, and crossing finish lines are easier when someone accepts and ignores the desire to stop.

Tamed by Laura StapletonWhen I sit down to write on my latest story in progress, the article came to mind because Tamed, a paranormal shifter romance, is way way outside of my comfort zone. Not that writing had become easy. I don’t know if telling stories and fretting about my Shatneresc use of commas ever will be. What I’m sure about is researching a new genre to make sure readers’ expectations are met is not my usual work.

The best part about this project is interacting with the other authors in the anthology. I’m an extrovert (ENTP if you’re curious) and love people most of the time. Another enjoyable aspect is “having” to read paranormal romances by the other authors. My job is the best.

So now, while I’m here trying to figure out where the guy’s clothes go when he changes from man to lion and back again, I have a challenge for you. What is a comfort zone for you and how can you break out of the rut? Or add to the activity and make it tougher than usual? Comment below and tell me about your comfort zone.

Where’s The Love? An #amwriting post.

Okay, so I didn’t come up with anything romantic for yesterday because there was a little too much romance in my own life. Lunch date with my husband, grocery shopping together, a nap because it felt like -10F outside and 10F is my limit on coldness when it comes to walking in the park.

So, what now? Writing! The MLK holiday is over, and the house is quiet. I’m smashing everything I should have done yesterday into today’s schedule. Laundry, dishes, writing 6,000 words, which seems a little much. Fair warning, I might not get to my word count goal.

What am I working on? A historical romance set in Liberty, Missouri during the 1870’s. Alice, a lovely young woman from New York City, is bringing three young children to their new parents, Jack and Ellie Dryden. Only, they arrive at the Liberty depot to learn Ellie has gone back home to Boston. Does the adoption go through, or does Alice turn them over based on Jack’s promise to be a good single parent? ::cue dramatic music::

I love this story. My only problem with it is there’s not enough about the orphan situation overall. The romance needs to be front and center, and there’s nothing romantic about children selling newspapers by day and sleeping in the streets at night. In an era where birth control wasn’t as easy to find as it is today, the amount of abused, neglected, or abandoned children was incredible.  There’s no definitive number, but it’s estimated that 250,000 children and babies were sent west to new homes.

In this book, like all the other historicals I write, I’m researching to the nth degree. I have plans to photograph the depot where the kids arrive, to not use the word “kids” no matter how tempting it is, and to research 1880 farms near Jack’s fictional place.

There are three more books planned for this Pioneer Romance series. Next up is the Pony Express based story, the Santa Fe Trail story, and the Northwest Shipping story. They’re all plotted. I just need to park my butt and write them.

African lion

This guy? He’s a hint for an anthology story I’m also writing at the moment.

Meanwhile, if there’s a romantic topic you want to be researched between now and Sunday, comment below! I personally LOVE researching stuff, especially romance.

Merry Christmas and happy #MondayBlogs!

There’s going to be so much in this post! Grab something to drink and get comfy because this’ll be fun.

First off, happy holidays! No more Christmas music! Yay!

Whaddya mean you're glad it's over?

Whaddya mean you’re glad it’s over?

I know. I’m one of those people who dread the music every year. I do try to like it, but nope. I’ll let others enjoy the tunes. Even better than the lack of Jingle Bells sung a million different ways? Free trash pick up! That may be for only our city, but it’s wonderful and I love it. Trash men are magicians, no kidding.

My writing is my life, but my publishing is my business and I have goals for 2018. Readers will be happy to know I’m expanding a beloved series and adding more to a currently in progress series. If I stick to plan, I’ll have at least eight novels and three short stories drop in the next year. They’re all plotted and waiting for me to write them. Along with all the writing, I’ll be creating  another spin off series and maybe launching it late in 2018. Everything depends on God not laughing as I plan.

Meanwhile, 2018 will find me upping the romance in my life and hopefully in your life, too. I’ll be researching and posting practical action items we all can take to help add love and romance to our day. I don’t intend for my posts being all for married people. I want to help singles find their best match possible or how to enjoy being on their own.

I hope you either join or continue on this vastly fun journey with me in 2018. Click subscribe or follow me on the various social media outlets I play on right now.


Romance after 50? Is it possible? Here is what I know for sure. #MondayBlogs

Once upon a time, I was a teenager who read copious amounts of romance novels. Ah, love. Full of longing, conflict, and the inevitable happy ending. Every new relationship was a rosebud waiting to bloom.

Um, no.

Even with the optimistic point of view, seeing my parents manage their real-life marriage kept me grounded. A truly successful commitment took work and compromise and I knew nothing was perfect. In fact, my father often said if two people never argued, someone was giving in. I vowed to never knuckle under to some knuckle head.

Fast forward to my fifties and all of the lessons I learned about love? I can see why older men go for younger women. Someone in her twenties is far more malleable than a woman in her fifties or even forties. My personal example?

While married to my first husband, I was twenty-one when he said he wanted a vasectomy because he didn’t want children. If I wanted to have a baby, he continued, I’d have to have one with someone else. His proclamation to my until-death-do-us-part mindset was as if a doctor said I was sterile. I was heartbroken.

If my husband said such a thing now? He wouldn’t, because he’s a far better human being than my ex ever will be, but if he did? My older and wiser self would say, “Challenge accepted and I have candidates picked out.”

There are several more examples of a boyfriend giving me orders while I scrambled to be a better person for him. Ah, youth. So how does a woman who’s outgrown the wide eyed optimism about relationships make her own life more romantic? My answer was to marry a romantic man, but I know that can’t work for everyone.

Going forward in this new #MondayBlogs series of mine, I’m digging deep and exploring how to bring out the love and romance in life for everyone. A life of love, fulfilling relationships, and happiness is possible for people willing to reach for more.

Collaborations and why I’ll never do it again.

October 1st is when the third Hunt anthology is published and we’re all excited. Some of the authors, like me, have been there from the first Hunt, and then Hunt 2. Overall, the three books showcase some of the finest authors in the thriller, paranormal, and mystery genres today. I’m extremely proud to be included with the others. They truly are amazing.

But never again? I don’t like saying never, but after writing my own paranormal, it’s not going to be one of my ongoing genres. The Hunted: Welcome to Whitbridge was such a challenge and one I enjoyed. We were given a world and characters to play with. It’s a lot easier to boss around people in your own mind versus those created by others. Still, while I had a great time playing around in the paranormal world, I feel like my story, Return to Whitebridge is a dead end until finishing a few other book series I have planned.

Collaborations themselves? I happen to love them. The extrovert I am loves interacting with other creatives. There are so many brilliant people out there. I feel fortunate they consider me a friend and someone they want to work with. So if a paranormal group comes knocking, I’ll open the door to reading anything and everything. Writing my own paranormal book or series? Um, outlook not so good.

Treat yourself to an amazing book of quick reads in the link below and don’t be shy about getting a copy of The Hunt and The Hunt 2 from my Amazon page. Sure, I have stories in there, but the other authors are amazing. I love every story.

When is anything good enough? A #MondayBlogs conversation.

Let’s all take a step back from the news and world events debate and talk about a different kind of controversy.

Perfectionism. I has it. Do you? If so, you know that good enough is not an option. It kills me to have mistakes in my work, even when I’m told some are to be expected and are normal. Ug. No.

So right now, I’m wading through The Very Worst Man, living the perfectionist dream of giving the book a complete makeover. At the same time, I’m writing Surplus, book four in the Nova Scotia Murder Mystery series. Yes, it’s aggressive but necessary to meet deadlines.

I know this blog post is short and sweet but see above deadlines. In the meantime, tell me what in your life is something you pick to death to get just right. I can’t be the only one who wants to detail her truck with a Q-tip or thousand.

New and Improved Very Best Man

My entire Very Manly series has been undergoing a huge makeover in the past six months. The whole process turned out to be a lot more work than I’d planned but is also a lot more rewarding. There’s so much to write about the amazing editor who worked with me, my wonderful publicist, and my “Oh no, not again,” digital content manager/husband. Let’s just say I’ve learned setting deadlines for others can be a necessary thing.

How new and improved can this book be? So much so that I’ve added 10,000 words to the original story. Not by appending or inserting new chapters but by adding more drama and more importantly, more feeling. The love scenes are a lot spicier, too.

Now, on to the good stuff. The VERY Best Man releases tomorrow and is available for preorder now.


Jane Lawson is getting married, so of course her sister Susan will be her maid-of-honor. But when sis skips out on planning the wedding, Jane finds a surprising stand-in… the best man!

Dr. David Wells is more than willing to taste wedding cakes, sample reception menus, and even help the bride in and out of wedding dresses, if it means spending time with her. Soon enough, she’ll be his best friend Alan’s wife… and thus off limits forever.

But when the groom says ‘I don’t’, and runs off with the maid-of-honor, his best man is left to pick up the pieces of the bride’s heart. David is more than willing, and as Jane turns to him for support, their friendship blossoms into something much more.

Until Jane’s old fears get in the way, and David realizes that to keep her, he must fight not only her hostile family, but ghosts from her past.