Saturday, April 16, 2011

News Series Launches

He's Nothing But Eight Seconds Of Heartache...

The day Hallie Sutton dreaded has finally come. Drew Rawlins has found out the secret she’s been keeping--and he’s spitting mad! But the rodeo is Drew’s whole world and Hallie needs a full-time dad for their boy. Still, how can she deny the injured bronc rider the chance to get to know his son? All Drew wants is to carve out a place in his son’s life. Sorting out his feelings for Hallie isn’t as simple. The emotion simmering between them is just as strong—so’s the red-hot desire that got them into trouble five years ago. Winning the world championship is still number-one on Drew’s list. But he figures he can have it all. The title and the chance to prove he’s the man Hallie and Nick need.

I'm thrilled that the first book in my all-new series Rodeo Rebels, hits store shelves this month! Writing Dexter: Honorable Cowboy (July 2010) exposed me to the rodeo plotline, which I fell in love with. While living in Texas I attended several rodeos--small, local ones and larger ones like the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo—that was an amazing experience. There's something so romantic and sigh-worthy about cowboys who live to tame wild broncs and crazed bulls and the women who live to tame those cowboys. Of course real-life rodeo isn’t always glamorous and doesn’t always end with a win. But hey, we're writing romances so we're allowed to romanticize the rodeo plotline.

The first two books in the series, Rodeo Daddy (April 2011) and The Bull Rider's Secret (July 2011) take place in Texas while the third "untitled" book (Dec 2011) is set in New Mexico and Las Vegas. Following these three books is another group of Rodeo Rebel stories set in Arizona with plots revolving around ladies bull riding—yes there are a few women crazy enough to jump on the back of bulls.

To help kick off my Rodeo Rebels series, I've written a *FREE* online read at called The Bull Rider's Surrender. Join the discussion after each chapter and your name will automatically be entered into a drawing for an autographed copy of Rodeo Daddy when the final chapter has been posted at the end of April.

You'll find a sneak-peek inside Rodeo Daddy at and while you're visiting my website if you need advice on anything try out the new Magic Eight Ball at the bottom of my Home Page.

Happy reading!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Death and Taxes

Okay, I give, I don’t really want to talk about death, but it is Tax Day here in the USA. Well officially this year it’s April 18, but still. Maybe you can't avoid taxes, but some people do turn it into a game of sorts.

Are you one of those people who love to get back a large refund? Or like my prior boss, do you prefer to pay Uncle Sam each April? His game, and a valid one, was that he saw no sense in letting the government have use of his money all year. He wasn’t going to turn loose of a single red cent until the last minute. While most people I know tend to prefer a large refund. They use it like a savings account and rely on that large chunk of change each year to pay off bills. Me, I like to break even, preferably get $100 or so refund. In theory I agree with my boss, but when it comes down to writing that check, I find it irksome. After paying in all year, I do want Uncle Sam to pay me just that once.

My uncle is a CPA and talks about how some clients present their information in January, organized and ready to be worked. Others wait until the day before the deadline and lug in a grocery sack full of slips of paper and receipts. I believe he mentioned that this later group pays significantly more. Just sayin'...

I had another friend who regardless as to whether he had to pay or not, always trekked to the post office downtown each April 15 to have his return postmarked just before midnight. This was a social gathering. The same folks meet each year, all mailing their returns at the absolute last minute. I remember a newscaster interviewing them. Everyone was shaking hands and laughing. It was like a party.

That got me thinking. With the trend toward filing electronically, it’s the passing of an important era in US history. Kids growing up now will roll their eyes and laugh when we tell stories of trekking to the post office on April 15 to mail paper forms just like I giggled at my grandmother talking about party lines in her small town.

And what will these last minute people do without the annual social encounter with their fellow last minute friends? Maybe they will create a social network like Facebook to stay in touch since they will no longer be meeting up at the downtown post office. Do they now have their return ready to file and press the button at 11:59PM? Ha!

How about you? Do you file early or are you one of the ones we see on the news shaking hands and laughing with their friends at midnight on April 15? Do you like a large return or prefer to keep your money as long as possible and pay at the last minute? Organized spreadsheet or a grocery bag filing system?

I know, this appears to have nothing to do with writing, but it actually does. It's a character study. Ok, that may be a stretch, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I’m an accountant. Humor me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cover Art

Cover art.

So much rides on those two little words.

Readers tell us time and time again that they literally do judge a book by its cover.

I know I do. It’s the cover that draws me to pick up a book by an author I might not already know. If the picture or artwork on the front intrigues me, I flip it over and read the summary on the back. And if that “grabs” me, then and only then, will I take a peak inside where I might read the first line, the first paragraph, the first page. (And if I get to the end of the first page, you can bet that book is going into my basket.)

So, as an author, I get pretty anxious about the cover art. I try extra hard to paint detailed word pictures when I fill out the questionnaire for the Art Department. I talk with my editor about what I’d like—and what I wouldn’t like—to see on the cover. And then, I wait. Fingers crossed. Toes curled. Until the day I receive an email that says the cover of my book is ready. That’s when I squeeze my eyes tight, say a little prayer, and click on the attachment.

And squeal for joy!!!!

Because Harlequin’s Art Department is amazing. Because they absolutely nailed the cover of my June release, The Daddy Catch, with a gorgeous setting, the perfect hero and a little boy with a melt-your-heart smile. Because my editor, Laura Barth, suggested there should be fly fishing vests. And because she writes the best, most wonderful blurbs for the back of the book.

I create the story, but it really takes a village to shape my words into a book. I’m so glad that Harlequin is my village.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Bull Rider's Surrender

Happy Monday!

Since today is an OPEN day on the blog I wanted to pop in and remind our readers that Chapter 6 of The Bull Rider's Surrender has been posted at

I hope you'll stop by my *FREE* weekly read and join the discussion. I want to know your thoughts about how Olivia's father appears determined to keep her from having a relationship with Cullen.

Has anyone ever experienced a family member interferring with their life life? And if they did, what did you do about it?

Happy Reading!
Rodeo Daddy *Rodeo Rebels* April 2011
The Bull Rider's Secret *Rodeo Rebels* July 2011