Archive for the ‘Writing’ category

Soul String Saga

February 24, 2013

Today I’m doing some shameless self-promotion. At least I’m being up front about it. Because I’m proud of this series. Right now Books 1, 2–and this past week–3 are available  in digital format only. Once I have the last one edited and finished, they will come out in print for those who still love their print copies.

And so do I for book signings.

All my books are special to me at the time I write them and later when they go through revision. This series is special because it reflects one woman’s growth and maturation during a time when women were breaking out of traditional roles. This sometimes created great personal conflicts for them from external sources like family, friends, co-workers to internal stress when momentary doubts might barrage them with guilt or indecision regarding their choices.

So here they are, folks, with covers, descriptions, and buy links. Book 4, Soul String: Passport will be out in March. You’ll probably see all this again. After all, writers have to also brag about their babies, just like parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles.

See you next week. 🙂

Soul String

B.J. Kelly grew up with a small town background and a family rooted in tradition, but her goals to become successful and wealthy will never happen living the life her family wants for her. Against the turmoil on her 1970’s college campus, she achieves a major step in earning a graduate degree at a major university. Her determination and drive earn her recognition, a job, and a life-long enemy.

Soul String

Soul String

Known for his difficult exams, Professor Caleb Forrester is dumbfounded when one B.J. Kelly not only aces his test—she one-ups him in her answers. Their meeting after class leaves him even more intrigued and sparks a relationship that will connect them for years to come.

Through danger, in love and in hate, for the rest of their lives, they are connected by a Soul String…

A novella Soul String begins a series which follows Brenna, called B.J. by some for the next twenty years. In each novella to follow we see her mature and grow professionally. With each book she faces challenges in her personal and professional lives which alter and sometimes enhance her path to success. Along the way we see her gather friendships and enemies as her power and prestige increases. She finds love when she least expects it, and loses it in the same way. But the soul string love nurtured remains intact.

No matter how many years pass, nothing alters the hatred of one man whose encounter with her in the graduate school library stacks changed his life and forged his hatred.





Soul String: The Key

Soul String: The Key

Soul String: The Key

Brenna Kelly’s new boss sends her to Japan to try mending fences and gain an important business contract –one her immediate supervisor has lost. Her success fuels her supervisor’s anger, gains her the admiration of two important men in the business world, and sets her on a business track that changes her expectations.

Caleb Forrester finds himself traveling the globe and rarely settling in one place for very long and he works to set his individual stamp on his family’s business.

The two of them find themselves separated not by design but by circumstances and time zones. Can their love survive?

With Brenna’s blossoming career, she watches as her friends and family members make big changes. All the while she gathers new friends, supporters, and another enemy.

Then a long weekend at a hideway cabin in the Colorado Rockies shakes the foundation of her Soul String…





Soul String: Broken

Marry me…

No, not yet…”

Soul String: Broken

Soul String: Broken

A proposal goes astray…

Brenna is in her late-twenties when Caleb proposes. Her hesitation followed by her promise to do so—someday—sets in motion changes which could rip them apart.

Caleb’s in his late-thirties. His parents want a grandchild. His father’s health isn’t good. He’s ready to settle down though his career is busier than ever. His parents and his profession keep him on the west coast or globe-trotting. But he wants Brenna close and as his wife.

Brenna’s business has taken off. She’s busier than ever but her consulting projects keep her in Milwaukee or else traveling across continents and oceans. Her parents want her to marry. But that’s not a role she’s ready to take on. They’d like more grandchildren, but her biological clock isn’t ticking. In fact it’s not even nearby. She’s living the career she worked so hard for and enjoying every minute. Whenever she and Caleb can be together, she looks forward to living in the moment and enjoying their time to the fullest.

Characters unravel or bloom…

How can he want a different life when they both started out with such unified goals? Why would he think she might want to?

1975 is the Year of the Woman. Brenna is following her dream career and loving Caleb. Her way.

Can these two soul mates agree to walk the same path hand in hand? Will the miles between them, their diverging careers, needy families, and shifting goals shatter a love neither believed would ever fail?



Apple: In process

KOBO:  In process

Look: Gauntlet Thrown

October 10, 2012

For several months now I’ve been following Lorna’s Voice, a blog always humorous, well-written, and showered with many awards. Of course, those descriptions also reflect the blogger. Well, she’s not well written but certainly well put together. 🙂

But yesterday she lobbed a challenge my way. Now this lady was finished a triathlon–something I’ll never attempt much less finish. So when she challenges me at something I can do, well, I pulled up my seasoned woman panties and accepted.

What else could I do??

Anyway, the challenge was for me as an author to comb one of my books for the word LOOK. Then when I found an instance where I thought the paragraphs surrounding that word’s placement would entice readers, I post those paragraphs for my readers. Hopefully, she wrote to me, my choice would entice them to check out my book.

You can see why I had to pick up that gauntlet…

Available January 2012–print and digital

So my choice of book is Fireweed, a mystery/suspense of corporate intrigue and espionage with an Alaskan setting. I have the top level executives on a corporate retreat at an isolated fishing lodge where, death, fire, nature and snipers soon take my characters’ minds off business to focus on staying alive. To read more about it with a longer excerpt, go here.

I also have to tag 5 other writers whose blogs I follow with the same challenge. Here they are with links to their blogs.

Stacey Joy Netzel

Florence Fois

Patricia Yager Delagrange

Donna Marie Rogers

Jamie Kersten

Fireweed: Look excerpt

“Talk, Caitlin, don’t think,” Mike snapped and heaved another rock into the river.

Her visions of a pleasant stroll along the river while discussing his morning phone calls to his brother Brian, Beth, and her friend’s parents vanished. Whatever he was doing, he had a reason. He never wasted actions, especially when fishing was involved. He threw a few more stones into the fast flowing river.

Okay, something had him spooked. Ignoring his singing request, she babbled instead about her breakfast conversation with Charlene. “So I told her I’d make time to talk privately with her when we return from fishing. Oomppph–” She collided with Mike’s broad back. He’d stopped abruptly as he rounded a bend in the river.

“Keep talking…” he commanded as he steadied her with one hand.

Following orders but running out of talking points, Caitlin segued into a boisterous, off-key rendition of “North to Alaska” and peeked around him toward the river ahead. “Sheesh!” she added new words to the lyrics. “Look at that!”

“Yeah, look, but keep singing.”

Two cubs and a huge brown bear sow were lunging at the salmon swimming upriver. The cubs weren’t very successful, but mom was dead-on accurate. Getting lunch was on her mind. That and feeding her cubs.

“You think my singing will keep them away?” She dropped the fishing rods and rummaged in her fanny pack for her camera.

“Talking lets them know we’re here.” He shot her that grin that deepened the laugh creases at his eyes and the corner’s of his mouth. “Your singing should keep them from our section of this watery restaurant. Most of all, we won’t scare them. That’s the worst, according to Gus. Except for getting between a sow and her cubs.” He scrutinized the bears as she snapped photos.

“So we fish here and be watchful.”

“Yep. But only one of us will fish at a time.” He picked up a rod and handed it to her.

“And the other?” She grabbed her rod and stuffed her camera into her pack.

“Will stand watch on shore, near the gun, and keep talking.” He waved his hand, motioning her to throw her line downstream in an area of riffles and a decent distance from the feeding bears. “Gus says they eat their fill, then go off to sleep.”

“Suppose another bear family steps up to the river for lunch?” Caitlin grumbled as she selected her lure.

“That’s possible.”

“Squelching any quality time alone with no one around to interrupt us,” she grumbled as she finished attaching her fly.

“Don’t blame the bears. I suspect Gus will be leading the others here later so we won’t be quite so vulnerable or alone. Or we could head back…if you’re really concerned.” Mike watched the bears while he talked.

Stepping gingerly into the water, she turned from him. “Not on your life. Protect my back, Rafferty, and yours, too. It’s precious to me.” She found her spot and cast perfectly into a riffle of fast moving water near some partly submerged boulders.

Lucky 7 – join the fun – share the fun!

March 30, 2012

A regular commentor to my blog, Stacey Joy Netzel. She’s written a wonderful RS titled Lost In Italy. But she had time to participate in and then pass the tag on to me in something called the LUCKY 7.

Here are the rules:

  • Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP
  • Go to Line 7
  • Copy down the next seven lines/sentences and post them on your blog
  • Tag 7 authors and let them know

Good thing I’m  working on a new WF manuscript, titled More Than A Trifle. It’s the second in my Dessert Dames series, the first book Better Than Dessert is available on Amazon and has a description here.

So take a look at my 7 lines below:

“I thought you were bringing a guest,” Cassie whispered.

“To the reception, not here. I certainly don’t want him to think I’ve got any leanings in this direction,” Elaine answered, her eyes scanning who was already there as she finger waved to the Double Ds around her.

The church was nearly full when Cassie spied a full head of beautiful white hair topping off a tall, rangy-looking man walking down the aisle. He settled himself in the second pew on the groom’s side. The unfamiliar man was probably an uncle or an older cousin of Ethan’s–he couldn’t be a grandfather–and a family friend would likely be seated further back, like she and the other Double Ds were. But he was so striking with that hair…just like hers.

Here’s the 7 authors I’m tagging:

Anne Parent    a novice writer with a vision and unique style

Robie Madison    a multi-published author of paranormal and sci-fi contemporary fiction

Elle J. Rossi    ELR digital art, a blossoming writer and great artist

Leigh Morgan    Second Chances, contemporary women’s fiction set in Scotland

Patricia Yager Delagrange    Moon Over Alcatraz, contemporary women’s fiction

Virginia McCullough   multipubbed in non-fiction  I’ve used her Option Trading for background for Dessert Dames.

Ilona Fridl    Golden North, Alaskan mystery set in the 1920s

An Island No More

January 8, 2012

Available January 27, 2012, Romantic Suspense

As many of you know, I am a writer. After all, I blog every Sunday, right?

However, that’s not all I do. Squeezed in between everyday chores such as occasional dusting, baking, ever-demanding loads of laundry and ironing, I also write novels. And get them published. 🙂 And for those of you who aren’t writers, that’s much more difficult than depicted in movies and on TV.

While I enjoy Castle on Monday nights, especially for the great characters of his daughter Alexis and his flamboyant mother, his life as a writer is really a fantasy. Trust me on this. Our lives should be so exciting and with enough time left over write, revise, and promote best sellers while never worrying about if you can do all this between loads of laundry and fighting crime in NYC.

But I love what I do as a writer so this week during a lunch with friends when I was asked when my next book would be available. That answer prompted additional questions which I also answered because I love to talk about my writing life as much as I love writing. However, my friends were very surprised at just how much time and effort is involved with writing a book which isn’t related to the actual writing.

The next day I heard from three of them saying they didn’t think they would ever want to work that hard. Which is exactly why they love reading books but not writing them. And thank goodness for that! 🙂 Because if we didn’t have readers, an important element of being a writer wouldn’t happen.

What is that element?

Hearing what readers have to say about our stories. What they liked and additional questions they have. Writers love it when a reader comments on certain characters and why they appealed to that particular reader. Those comments feed a writer’s soul. These comments inspire me anyway to keep at all this hard work. And it is work. But I love it.

That leads me to another exciting moment which happened last week. I heard from my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, that my author copy of my next book, An Island No More, is available. On January 27th, it will be available in their online store, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Print copies and digital copies will be available.

I love this romantic suspense for many reasons. Maggie, my heroine, is a college professor who’s determined to keep her life the way she wants it to be. But life has a way of interfering with expectations and goals. Maggie has to learn that what she’s worked so hard to achieve may not happen. But other options will, and they might be better.

My hope is this book will appeal to my readers as much as it called to me to write and polish it. It was a book that insisted I get it done, no matter what might be going on in my personal life. No matter how many loads of laundry demanded to be done.

I am a writer; read my book.

Lost In My Story

August 21, 2011

"You asking me for ideas?"

What do you blog about when you don’t have a clue?

Even my puppy hasn’t been helpful.

It’s certainly not because I’m bored. Worse, it’s not because I don’t have anything to do. In fact I have way too much to do. Maybe that’s the point.

But it’s Sunday and it’s the day I post to my blog. However, I’m fresh out of ideas. Now you might ask why is that? Maybe because I’ve been hard at work on editing my book Fireweed Affair. It’s set primarily in Alaska at this time of year.

I love editing.  No, really, I do.

It’s the process where I fine tune all the elements that make a book a great read. I have my own process as I’m sure most writers do. But with this edit I’m pretty much deep into my characters and the setting of Fireweed. It’s difficult to pull myself out.

My family’s lucky if I remember to do a load of laundry at this point.

A Cluttered Desk Is Progress

Clutter, clutter, everywhere

My desk is a mess as these photos verify.

My dog Oreo looks longingly at me from the floor when my butt seems permanently attached to my office chair.

One day, I think it was Wednesday, I forgot to wash my face until almost 4:00 in the afternoon! We haven’t run out of toilet paper yet, but I have it on my “Must-do” list for tomorrow. Of course, I may think I’m in a Sam’s Club in Alaska instead of Wisconsin.  Oh, wait, where my story is set, there are no stores, not many people, just a lot of mountains, fishing and a mystery to solve.

One of my Alaskan scenes

So while many of you are enjoying the last free days of August or maybe shopping for back to school supplies, you know where I’ll be—in my office, fleshing out my characters and my story in the Alaskan bush.

Gimpy Girl

July 24, 2011

I hurt so much...but I love my bandage

My writing buddy, the one who lies by my feet while I work in my office, hurt herself this week.

I don’t know how, but a hunk of the soft black pad on the underside of her right front paw was gouged out along with a portion of the toe nail on the outer edge.

This happened in less than 90 seconds during a quick, late night potty break last Wednesday. She bled all night long though I iced it and wrapped it in a towel. Nothing bit her as I was outside with her and literally carried her to her favorite patch of grass, now dry and brittle from the lack of rain and searing heat of the past two weeks.

So a trip to the vet early Thursday morning. Another on Saturday morning and yet another one tomorrow morning. Oreo’s no longer scurrying around the house nor doing her acrobatic jumps.

She hobbles. Whines. Limps like she’s in great pain despite the pain meds the vet gave me.

I wish I could do more for her. I hurt with her when I see her huge brown sugar eyes begging me to make her feel better. But other than petting her and offering soothing, nonsensical words, I can offer no more. These past few days have reminded me of the times I was a mother of young sons. When they got sick, they didn’t understand why I couldn’t make them all better—now.

It’s frustrating. Sad. Tiring.

But she will get better, just as my young sons did, and will once again be the energetic, cute, loveable companion we call Oreo. From her photo you can see why.

This week has been a very difficult week on many different levels. Oreo’s injury was just one of the major difficulties we faced. I’m very glad to see a new week begin today. But I leave you with one bright spot.

Next book's cover art

You know I received a contract for a second book several months ago. While I don’t have the release date, on Friday I did get the cover art for my book.  What do you think?

Mallard Ducks, Inspiration & a Dad

June 19, 2011

Finally, warmer weather

A writer friend of mine wrote a blog this week about how to find inspiration. I had to copy down one of her statements because it packed a powerful message for me.

“Inspiration is born of observation, but it is nurtured with action.”

Wow—I’ve mulled this over every day since. Now she relates it to being a writer ever in search of inspiration which prompts the action of writing. I definitely agree with her.

But being a writer is so much. At least for me. My writing is the sum of all my parts: woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, professional career person, board member, neighbor. You get my point, right? All of those elements make up my own perspective on life and what I see. Those elements also impact my vision for my characters and my stories and in part will determine if I can create a story that will appeal to others. Or help them. Inspire them. Or allow them to slip the daily bonds into a different zone while they read.

I also realized as I considered my friend’s statement and her complete blog that we all can look around us for inspiration and find it if we allow ourselves to open up to even the littlest bits of the world around us.

For example, yesterday as I neared the end of edits for yet another novel, I glanced out my window toward the lakeshore. What caught my eye? A mallard duck family—mom taking a break by swimming in the gentle waves and dad doing duckling watch to the five little ones toddling in the sand. If four of them were behaving, one was duck waddling away from the pack and dad was chasing after.

That made me think about today—Father’s Day.

Thirty-four years ago, I got a phone call in the evening. I was harried. I was teaching 3 classes in summer school session, I’d been single parenting 3 sons for several years. Put the emphasis on the single. Those sons were now in their teens and testing their limits. Money was tight. My oldest son was driving and used my car at night to go to his job as a cook at a drive-in. And this phone rang and a guy (a widower from our parish with a 2 year old son) with a great voice gave me his name and asked if I’d like to go out with him sometime. I knew who he was but I thought the whole thing was a joke and said so.

He was determinedly serious. I told him I didn’t have time to go out. He asked about a different night. I told him I was babysitting my nephew. He asked if he and his son could stop by then. I said “maybe” and “goodbye” and hung up. I figured that would be the last I’d see of him.

Not so. He was persistent, charming, romantic, very intelligent, my sons loved him (and they were teens—you know, don’t much like any adults at that age—how weird was that?), even worse my mother adored him! My oldest son told me I better marry him because he was a great dad. Sometimes it pays to listen to your children. 🙂

Oh, Happy Day...

Of course we married and blended our sons into one family. My sons got a father, a real one, in the trenches with them during the difficult times, on the mountain peaks of their lives during the highpoints. My dear hubby with the great voice, his romantic heart (still gives me flowers just because), stood with me through all the difficulties we’ve faced as a couple, a family, as parents. We were a dual career couple with high stress, multiple commitments and over-booked lives but he was the rock that pulled it all together. He was the one that our sons turned to. So did my siblings. So did my mom.

I’ve been very blessed as a result of that phone call on a warm June evening. It was a very small item in the scope of that day and in the whole of my life. However, it has impacted my life and those I’ve loved ever since.

And this is how a family of ducks and a simple but powerful statement inspired my choice of topic today and to finish my novel’s edits last night. I hope something within these paragraphs does the same for you.

My hubby