Friday, January 27, 2012

It's been one of those days...

No, not one of those days. This has been one of those days that you want to hold onto, to remember in every fine detail. One of those days you know will make you smile every time you look back on it.

One of my favorite authors is Nevada Barr, author of the Anna Pigeon mystery series. I recently browsed author websites just to see who might be on a book tour. Nevada has a new book out now, The Rope, and it's the prequel to the Anna Pigeon series. I discovered that she was going to be in Mississippi today and decided to go to her signing at TurnRow Books in Greenwood. It's about a two hour drive from me. We had a beautiful day here, weather in the fifties and sunshine. My friend Shari went along, which always makes the trip an adventure and lots of laughs.

I went only with the expectation of having lunch, hearing Nevada Barr speak and getting a signed copy of The Rope. What I got was so much more. I had the pleasure of enjoying lunch with Nevada and her husband (and their two adorable dogs). It's always a thrill to meet someone you deeply admire. It's even better when that person is so approachable and puts you at ease. We had a lovely conversation over lunch and Nevada spoke on her journey as a writer and the new book. I'm eager to get into The Rope because it's a prequel to the Anna Pigeon series--how it all started.

Here's proof of my day and if you doubt my smile is genuine, well that's your problem.

If you've never read a Nevada Barr book (gasp), get thee to a bookstore. You've got a lot of catching up to do.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In Case You've Been Wondering

...what I've been up to.

This is what Binky sees every time she sits in front of my recliner and looks at me. I think she thinks my name is Toshiba and I have no face. 

So, what have I been up to? Christmas brought my sweet contemporary romance novel (my tenth published book), Reinventing Christmas, and I was really busy promoting the book.

(coming soon in trade paperback)

I took advantage of having my friend Sue Ann, a trained photographer here for the holidays, and got a couple of new photos done for my website.

I'm literally beside myself!

Since Christmas, I finished the edits and galleys for Wake-Up Call (contemporary romance) that comes out in ebook in March from Champagne Books.

(love the cover art Amanda Kelsey created)

But, wait--there's more. Turquoise Morning Press has contracted my women's fiction, Act of Contrition, for publication in January, 2013. And Wings ePress will publish The Promise Tree (encore l'amour romance) in April of this year.

I've been the best kind of busy while I await the EPIC eBook Awards in which Love, Sam has finaled in the mainstream category. Winners will be announced on March 17 at the EPICon Awards Banquet. Sadly I'm not able to be in San Antonio for the conference. But keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned.

While I await the publication of the next books and sit on pins and needles until EPICon, I'll be busy finishing novels number fourteen and fifteen.

Well, there you have it for those of you who have wondered where I've been lately. I'm right here, under the laptop, ignoring the cat's stare as best I can.

(and I don't think she likes it one bit.)


Thursday, January 12, 2012

With this new year, I'm happy to continue the Author Spotlight feature. This month, I'm very pleased to welcome author Therese Kinkaide into the spotlight.

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Even though I majored in Political Science and I have a Masters in Education and spent a few years in the early childhood field, I’ve always been a writer at heart. All I ever wanted to do was write fiction. I was a prekindergarten teacher for a few years before I made the decision to stay at home with my kids. I love being a stay at home mom, mostly because I love being available to my kids all day. I also love that it enables me to follow my heart and write fiction. I love music, love to watch my kids play sports…learned last year it is very cool to be a golf mom…and I love to read.

2. Every author I’ve met has their own unique story of how they found their way into writing. What path led you to become an author?

I started my first book when I was in 5th grade. I don’t remember much about it, except that my main character’s name was Hazel. I wrote several (horrible) books by hand through high school. When I was in college, I bought a word processer for all of those fun papers I had to write. I also started writing my books with the word processer. I had no interest in studying journalism, or even creative writing, when I was in school. For me, writing wasn’t something to study or learn. The desire to write has just always been a part of me. In 1998, I found Xlibris, an online printer, and I self-published my first book, Betrayal. I sold very few copies, but at that time, I was thrilled to see my work in book format. In 2005, I had a completed manuscript that I believed in, that I wanted to see published. I queried agents, but I also researched small publishers online and eventually decided to submit Luther’s Cross to Wings E Press. Even after publishing Luther’s Cross, I hesitated to call myself an author. If people asked me what I did for a living, I told them I was a stay at home mom. I let other things take precedence over my writing. Finally, I realized that if I wanted to be a professional writer and if I wanted others to see me as a professional writer, then I had to treat myself as a professional and I had to work at it daily and make it my job. Now when people ask me what I do, I tell them I write fiction and I am a published author.

3. What aspect of the writing process do you enjoy the most? What part of the process do you dread?

I love the creative part, the thinking and the plotting. I think I start with characters. I am fascinated by people and their relationships, and my books all focus on relationships and the way people in those relationships interact. My characters tend to be composites of people I know and admire. I put my characters through hell, not because I can, but because I am fascinated with the journeys they take within the covers of a book and the things they learn about themselves. I want my readers to be in the story, to feel the happiness or the heartache, and the best way to do that is to bring my characters to life. I dread the editing…and the editing…and the editing…I hate that part of the process-the reading, the rewriting, the editing, because I get to the point where I hate the story line. However, once I get past that part of the process, and the book is ready for publishers, for readers, I have no desire to reread it but I’m excited about it again.

4. What author has most influenced or inspired you?

Oh boy. I love, love, love to read, and I read fast, so I read a lot. I have a lot of favorite authors, and often, any book that I enjoy, that I think is well-written, inspires me to go sit down and write something. I’ve had readers compare my writing to other writers (Jodi Picoult, Patricia Cornwell, and Alice Hoffman to name a few) but the two names that come to mind are Patricia Cornwell and Dean Koontz. I love Cornwell’s Scarpetta series, and I love her style. I believe it was the 13th Scarpetta novel (Trace) when she switched and started writing in present tense, instead of past tense. I was enthralled with that book, and have flown through all of her books since then. I feel like I am right there beside Kay Scarpetta and Pete Marino when I read Cornwell’s books. I also love her run-on sentences, and I love how some of those run-on sentences seem to be incongruent. (I got docked points for incongruent compound sentences on an essay when I was in Rhetoric & Composition in college.) Her books just flow, and I hope she writes another five or ten or twenty Scarpetta novels. I have never been compared to Dean Koontz, but I love his writing. He is incredible at characterization, and his description of characters, of setting, of plot is so eloquent and flowery and fun. I just finished his latest book (77Shadow Street) and there were several bits I read aloud to my husband and my daughter, because they were so descriptive and fun. I think he could write a book about a guy reading the phone book or writing a grocery list, and I would love it.

5. Can you tell us a little about your book(s), especially your most recent release?

I write women’s fiction and middle grade/young adult fiction. My women’s fiction novels include Luther’s Cross, Fairytale, Just Like Them, and Small Hours. I think each of my books is very different, though I think most probably a reader could detect my voice in each of them.

Luther’s Cross is a contemporary romance about a woman whose son vanished five years ago. Ellie Jordan has to find a way to forgive herself for her past, for losing Luther, before she can allow herself to fall in love.

Fairytale is a psychological suspense/thriller. Caroline Wolfe wakes up from a coma with no memories and the gut feeling that she’s in grave danger.

Luther's Cross and Fairytale are available at Wings ePress while Luther's Cross and Betrayal are available at

Just Like Them and Small Hours are my two most recent books.

Small Hours is a Christmas book that involves lifelong friendships, a little bit of romance and the question of where Christmas magic goes when we grow up.

Just Like Them is a family drama that asks the question what would you do if your daughter made a bad choice that may have driven someone to commit suicide? I love all of my books, all of my characters, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be Just Like Them. It’s a very intense, emotional book that examines the way one teen’s bad decisions can tear a good, upstanding, loving family down to nothing. I found myself near tears often as I wrote it, and I was emotionally drained when I finished it. It took me several months to feel like writing again.

See Therese's website for ordering information on Just Like Them and Small Hours.

6. What can readers expect in the coming months? What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a creepy adventure story for my son and his friends in his age group (11.) It’s called Wanna Play? I hope to finish a rough draft very soon, and I am so anxious to put it in my son’s hands and see what he thinks. (My daughter has read a few of my books, and she’s enjoyed them, but this will be my son’s first.) I have a women’s fiction novel started called Tennessee River, which I am anxious to get back to…And…I have something else stirring in the back of my mind…which is how Just Like Them started….just a thought…Figured I’d just write that first line and save it and go back to it later. (I was working on a young adult novel at the time.) About five chapters later, I knew I was a gonner, and I had to go with what I was feeling. There’s something new calling to me that same way. Just trying to get a handle on it and let it gel before I jump into it.

7. Where can you be found on the web? (web site, blogs, social network links)

My website is and we are in the process of a major overhaul there, so keep checking back for information on the newer novels and the middle grade/young adult books. I started a blog about a year ago, but I must confess, I am just not organized enough to do it. I can’t keep up with it. I volunteer at my son’s school library, and I spend a lot of time, energy and love on a blog project there. I review two books a week, introduce an author each week, blog about what I’m reading and/or writing or anything else the kids might be interested in, and I try to do a weekly newsletter. Instead of a writing blog, I’ve decided just to try to update my website with a monthly newsletter. You can find me at Manic Readers and Coffee Time Romance has a five cup review of Luther’s Cross at

Thanks so much, Therese. And for our readers, I've had the privilege of reading Therese's books and reviewing a few of them. She is a talented author who paints a brilliant tapestry of the life of her characters and makes you want to know them intimately.