Saturday, July 05, 2008


From time to time we writers need to stop working and take time to fill our creative wells. A favorite way for me to do this is to spend an afternoon at a museum. Studying the art and artifacts, learning about artists and their mediums is always inspiring and replenishes my creative well in ways I can’t explain.

I’m amazed at the similarities between painting and writing. Each artist paints their own vision in their own unique way. (In writing, we call that uniqueness the writer’s voice.) Time and again, painters from times past broke with convention to create their visions. Despite criticism and sometimes ostracism their works withstood time and are as breathtaking and evocative as they were several hundred years ago. These courageous artists paved the way for other artists to break with tradition, unleashing all kinds of new schools and techniques. There are many examples of writers also breaking with tradition.

Whether I spend an hour or four in a museum, I return to my own work alive and refreshed. Not immediately following, as all that amazing mental stimulation leaves me brain dead. But after a good night’s sleep, my creative juices overflow.

Happily for me, here is Seattle our newly refurbished Seattle Art Museum is hosting an impressive art exhibit of Impressionist painters. And I do mean impressive. The colors, the various styles, the techniques. The artists themselves. Amazing stuff. My husband and I have been once and plan to go back several times.

For now, my well is lovely and full.
Readers and writers alike- how do you refill your creative wells?

Until next time and wishing you a well filled with creativity and joy,
Ann Roth

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Red, White, and Blue Game

First of all, I'd like to thank all our readers for their responses to my Father's Day blog (posted on June 17). I'm glad my memory of my dad helped trigger so many pictures from your past, too.


Here we are at another special day, the Fourth of July, a holiday that I'm sure is setting off many memories of its own--remembrances of cookouts with hotdogs and hamburgers; parades and fireworks; and flags flying high and snapping in the breeze, proudly flaunting their stars and stripes in red, white, and blue.

What comes to mind when you see those three colors?

You think for a minute about your choices; meanwhile, I'll tell you mine.

Red ~ fresh, juicy, ripe strawberries--especially since I'm being more careful about eating well and have discovered how much I love them.

White ~ diamonds! How could I leave them off the list--you know they're a girl's best friend! (grin)

Blue ~ a newborn baby's eyes, so innocent and clear.

Those are three favorite items that come to me when I think about red, white, and blue.

Now, how about you?

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Almost-Fourth of July!

Independence Day has a lot of good memories for me. Growing up in Houston, my father would host a big party every Fourth. Lots of his work and other friends would come to our ranch for the day. We’d have barbecue brisket, watermelon, potato salad, and all the usual fixings. My absolute favorite Fourth of July treat was pecan pie. There was something about tasting that first bite of pie at the end of a hot day that was just about perfect.

I think my dad’s last party was in 1998, so those parties are long gone. Since I love having things to look forward to, I usually have a little trip planned. Last year we went to West Virginia and went white water rafting. For a few years before that, we drove to Chicago and stayed downtown. When we lived out west, we used to drive to Lake Powell or Las Vegas.

But this year, we’re staying home. My son, who’s about to be a senior in high school (how did that happen?!) is going on a school trip to Europe on Saturday. So I’ll be packing him up and making fried chicken and apple pie (his Fourth of July favorites!).

Although I've tried my best, not all our Fourths have been fabulous. The worst was about six years ago. We were in Chicago with my sister-in-law and her family. A restaurant served my daughter their ‘special’ chocolate ice cream. Their ‘secret’ ingredient was peanut butter-which she is very allergic to! After two bites, her tongue started swelling up, and I was hailing a cab to the hospital. I watched the fireworks over Lake Michigan from a window next to my daughter’s bed in our hotel room.

One of our best holidays was two years ago. We met another family in Colorado and watched fireworks from the banks of Grand Lake outside Winter Park. It was a little chilly out, which felt great after a hot day hiking in the mountains. We sipped hot chocolate, piled on the blankets, and oohed and aahed over a batch of fireworks that looked so close we were sure we could reach out and touch them, if we really tried.

So,what makes the fourth special for y’all? Staying home, going to your parents’ place? Taking a vacation? Brisket, fried chicken, hot dogs?

No matter how you celebrate things, I hope everyone has a wonderful day, and happy Fourth of July!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

June winner!

This month's winner is Ivette!!!!!! Congratulations!!! To get your free, autographed books, please contact Kara Lennox and Victoria Chancellor through their websites.

Tell all your friends to visit us. To win, simply comment and your name is entered in our drawing.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Exciting Change

We are thrilled to announce that starting next month we will go indepth with two author interviews per month.

We will start in July with Megan Kelly, whose second book debuts. July will also feature the wonderful Laura Marie Altom. Look for Ann Roth and Lisa Childs in August.

Have a wonderful end of June (summer is going way too fast).


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Author Road Trip

Romance authors know how to do a road trip better than anybody. Two of my critique partners and I recently proved that. Last Thursday we all desperately needed to get out of town. So we set a destination for historic Waxahachie, intent on doing a bit of antiquing and sharing lunch, perhaps at a tea room.

My partners in crime were Victoria Chancellor (fellow American author who also blogs here) and Silhouette author Rebecca Russell. And here are the reasons we are day trippers extraordinaire:

1. The schedule. We plan to leave at ten, but if we meet up at ten-thirty and spend twenty minutes trying to find some place to leave my car where it won't get stripped down to the chassis, that's okay. No one in this group worried about the time. The only thing we cared about was that we were getting the heck outta Dodge.

2. The car. We didn't just have an SUV, we had an Escalade. (I don't want to think about what the gas cost!) The Escalade had On-Star, which is GREAT for when you get lost. Which brings me to:

3. The route. We had all been to Waxahachie before. It's only about 35 miles south of Dallas. We didn't need no stinkin' map. We all knew to exit at the billboard. However, due to construction, the billboard was gone and we overshot our exit by, oh, another thirty miles. (Yes, we were talking.) In fact, we ended up in Hillsboro, another historic town with a cool courthouse. Did we care? Heck no.

4. The food. We found ourselves a funky diner on the town square (not exactly a tea room). We did not count carbs or fat grams. We used real sugar in our tea. (Strangely, they didn't offer "sweet tea," usually a staple in small southern towns.)

5. The shopping. We spent the next hour or so combing through an un-air-conditioned antique mall, ferreting out things we remembered from childhood and even bringing a few home with us.

6. The food again. Shopping burns a lot of calories, so we found ourselves a Starbucks on the highway and indulged in mochachinos.

7. The shopping again. If we'd gone straight home, we'd have hit I-35 in rush hour. No one does that on purpose. So we doubled back and hit Waxahachie after all. We took the requisite pictures in front of the courthouse (that's Victoria, left, and me. Rebecca took the picture.) We found an awesome scrapbooking store--all of us are crazy about paper. Must be a writing thing. Then more antiques.

Finally, exhausted, we headed home with our flea-market treasures and more bits of small-town trivia to add to our research arsenals. Don't be surprised if you see bits and pieces of this trip showing up in our future books!