Thursday, April 19, 2007

Vacation, vacation

Exactly four days from now, I’m off on a family vacation. I live in Seattle and we’re headed to the opposite end of the country, ,sunny Siesta Key, Florida, where the beach is as soft as talcum powder , and the water is heavenly. Once I was among an appreciative group who stood and applauded the magnificent sunset there. I have seen dolphins frolicking in the distance, and swum with the fishes. ☺. Siesta Key is a great place to stroll barefoot early in the morning and enjoy the pelicans as they divebomb into the ocean for fish.

If I’ve made you salivate, I’ve done the same to myself!

It won’t be all play, though. I’m doing a bookstore at Sarasota News and Books, a wonderful independent bookstore. If you’re in the Sarasota area, drop by the bookstore on April 26 between 3:00-4:00. And, since I have a book due in June, I’ll be lugging my laptop along. I figure if I write a few pages every day, maybe after my early morning beach walk and before the rest of the family gets up and running, I’ll be okay.

Which leads me to a question for both writers and readers. When there is work to be done and vacation is here, what do you do? Put the work aside, figuring you’ll do it when you get back? (And if so, how do you push the guilt away?) Take it along and work on it (sporadically, which is better than nothing)? I really want to know.

Ann Roth
It Happened One Wedding, April, 2007
Another Life, April, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Great News!

Congrats to Barbara and Kara for their finalist status. Barbara White Daille is a double finalist in the More than Magic contest and Kara Lennox is a finalist in the Holt. Way to go, ladies!

Also, thanks to all of you who helped put Nine Months' Notice on the Borders Group/Waldenbook series best seller list. Nine Months' Notice was #9 for the week ending 4/14.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Having a bad day

The alarm clock didn't go off this morning—I'd forgotten to reset it last night. Since I can sleep through a mine blasting, this means I woke up late for work.

The shampoo fell from the shower caddy and spilled all over the tub. I'd left the fresh towel and my bathrobe down the hall in another room. The light bulb above the sink blew out as I was straightening my hair with a flat iron that decided it wanted to curl up and die.

The toast burned, the microwave tripped the circuit breaker, and I tripped on the edge of the kitchen throw rug. (I get up at five a.m.; it's dark when all the lights go out!)

Couldn't find my car keys. Didn't remember where I'd left my purse. Found the case for my glasses—empty. Left for work without my lunch.

Okay, the morning was behind me. Clear sailing ahead, right?


Knocked over my water bottle in the break room, soaking every item in sight. Lost seventy-five cents in the vending machine and another seventy-five cents shortly after. (So I'm stubborn, okay?)

My allergies kicked up, causing a fifteen-minute coughing fit—complete with tears streaking down my face—in front of 30-plus junior high school students.

And that was all before lunch!!!

I won't describe the rest of my day. Let's just say I came home, crawled into bed, and pulled the covers over my head. Fell asleep fully clothed, woke up at nine p.m....and am now at the keyboard, holding my breath as I type this blog entry, praying I will hit Send and hurry back to bed and wake up to find I've only been dreaming.

But first, I think I'll check to make sure I've turned the alarm on.

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Love those wounded heroes!

During the past few weeks, I’ve been reading proofs for two books to be published this year. One thing that struck me was how much these dissimilar novels, written almost ten years apart, reveal about the themes I love.

I’m drawn to heroes and heroines who are wounded, sometimes figuratively but often literally. Also to law enforcement figures. As a news reporter, I used to spend a lot of time in police stations, and admire the men and women willing to face raw danger to defend others.

In my September release from Harlequin American, Twin Surprise, two supporting characters from Daddy Protector (which comes out in May) get their own book. Marta, a sunny gift shop manager who spent years recovering from a traffic accident, is troubled by her attraction to a playboy cop. Derek turns out to be struggling with his own challenge: a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Despite the serious issues, there’s plenty of lighthearted fun. A bachelor auction. A pair of feisty personalities butting heads. And, as the title implies, a pregnancy with a bonus.

The other proofs were for my May ebook from Touch Me in the Dark is a paranormal romantic suspense I’ve rewritten several times since its inception a decade ago.

The hero, Ian, is an injured former police officer who retired on disability. Driven to paint, he’s become obsessed with images of a woman murdered a generation ago in the subdivided Victorian house where he lives. Then he meets a new tenant, a young widow who bears a striking resemblance to the victim. Did fate bring them together so he could save her from a mysterious force, or does the threat to her lie buried within Ian?

As you can see, the fact that certain themes and backgrounds resonate with an author need not detract from a book’s uniqueness. A quick read of each book’s first chapter reveals dramatic differences in tone, mood and plot.

To me, each situation is grippingly new and each relationship unique. Just as with real people, my characters chart their own courses. One thing they have in common, though: whatever pain life may inflict, love and commitment have the power to heal their spirits.