Friday, October 05, 2012

Name that Tune!

Do you ever get a song in your head that just won’t turn off?

A month or so ago, it was Raffi’s Banana Phone, something our toddler granddaughter enjoys. For a listen, visit

Cute and fun, right? I used to enjoy listening to it–until the darned thing got stuck in my head. And I mean stuck. I heard it all day, and even if I happened to wake up in the middle of the night! As you can imagine, that drove me crazy!

Of all the wonderful songs out there, why that one? I finally banished the song by saying to myself, STOP! at the first “ring, ring, ring.” Later, when I successfully banished the songand after about five long and tortured days, I finally didI got to thinking that maybe my mind was trying to tell me something. To lighten up and be silly more often. I can do that.  

Happily, most of the time, songs come and go in my head. I love music, and often listen to it, especially when I work. Instrumentals interfere the least with my concentration. My current favorite album to start the work day is Heart of the Harp, by David Michael. The music is beautiful and helps me get peaceful and focused on the work at hand.

If you have iTunes, you may have noticed the radio button in the Library section. There are 25 categories, each offering a good 30-50 stations to choose from. Choosing the right one can help with the writing. For my Saddlers Prairie miniseries, I tune in to country and find a station that plays the kinds of songs I imagine my rancher heroes and heroines listen to. Listening to what they like helps me get into their heads and set the mood for a scene or chapter.

What about you? Do you listen to music when you work (or play :-)), and if so, what’s your current favorite album or song? If you’ve ever had a song stuck in your brain, I would love to hear about  that, too. Please share so that I’ll feel better about Banana Phone. :-)

Until next month, and wishing you an enjoyable and music-filled October,


Tuesday, October 02, 2012


CONGRATULATIONS Spring Stevens! You’re the September winner. To receive your free autographed books please contact Cathy McDavid, Marin Thomas and Jacqueline Diamond through their Web sites.

To enter the contest simply leave a blog comment and your name will go into the drawing. Simple and painless. And FREE BOOKS.



Monday, October 01, 2012

By any other name...

Although occasionally the titles on our books come easily, in some cases the editor and author hash things out at length. At other times, the title just gets tweaked a little.

For my March release—book number ten of the Safe Harbor Medical miniseries for Harlequin American—my original title was Hitting the Baby Jackpot. That made sense to me, since the heroine gets pregnant with triplets. However, every time my editor looked at it, she saw the words “Hitting the Baby.” Since we don’t want to encourage child abuse, we changed it to The Baby Jackpot.

I recently finished my June release, number eleven in the miniseries. The original title was The I’ll-Never-Marry-Again Club, based on the idea that the hero and heroine are both widowed and neither plans to remarry. However, what brings them together is his desire to have children, and her willingness to be an egg donor. The editor requested more title ideas, I sent her a short list, and we agreed on His Baby Dream.

Even after publication, titles aren’t carved in stone. I’ve been revising (sometimes extensively) some of my older books for reissue as ebooks. Last month, I was working on a light ghost story that I originally called The Ghost and Cheri. My then-editor changed the title to A Ghost of a Chance.

One little problem: on Amazon, there are more than thirty books by that title.

How is anyone going to discover my revised book if I retain that name? So when I post it this week for Kindle and Nook, I’m using my first-choice title, The Ghost and Cheri.

In addition to a haunted house, there’s a curse, Cheri’s orphaned seven-year-old nephew, and a hunky hero who investigates the paranormal. I’ve set a Halloween special price of 99 cents till October 31.

Along the way, I realized that I’d explored a similar theme—a single mom moving into a haunted house with a young child—in my much scarier and sexier paranormal romantic suspense Touch Me in the Dark. As an additional Halloween treat, I’ll be offering Touch Me in the Dark free on Amazon October 6-10. It’s a gift to my readers and I hope you’ll enjoy it. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download a free app for your computer, tablet or cell phone at Free Kindle app.

Happy reading!
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