Friday, February 27, 2009

Honorary Prairie Chick Renee Ryan

Tomorrow, Sat, Feb 28, I'll be hosting Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical author Renee Ryan

over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance.

Renee tells us her fascinating story of rejection, publication and more rejection. She then lists 10 positive action steps for “staying the course” in the face of rejection.

Renee will be joining us from sunny Nebraska to encourage you and answer your questions while I head 4 hrs north to my monthly writer's meeting, weather permitting.

You can check out Renee's blog at http://www.reneeryan.com/ and if you like games, she even has a jigsaw puzzle of the book cover featured here.

So please give a big prairie welcome to Renee so she won't feel like I've invited her to the party and then deserted her. Okay, so maybe I have, but I just don't want her to feel like that, okay?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Using Google Earth as a Writing Tool

I’m blogging about using Google Earth as a writing tool today over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance.

Google Earth is a free geographical download that’ll give you a whole new outlook on the world you live in. I use can even spot my mom’s car in her parking lot.

They just released a Google Earth 5 (Beta) and I'm boggled by the implications this can have on my historical writing:

See global changes with decades of historic imagery
If you've ever wondered how your neighborhood has changed throughout time, Google Earth now gives you access to the past. With a simple click, check out suburban sprawl, melting ice caps, coastal erosion, and more.

Can you imagine being able to see what your chosen setting location really looked like way back when? I can't wait to use this writing tool.

So come on over to http://prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com/ and answer these questions:
- Have you ever used Google Earth? (for anything)
- Have you set your novel in a location you've never visited?
- What do you think of this new technology?
- Have you ever read a book and knew the author had never really been there?

Come on over... I’d like to here your opinion.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Anita's Winter Farm Photos


Anita Mae took all these photos within the last week.




This is our driveway.

You're looking east.




The front of our house faces south.

Hubby put a metal roof on last year so the snow will slide off easier.





One of these days the snow will slide off the roof onto the back of our necks!








This was taken last Friday as I headed west to the City of Regina. It was 5 pm and the sun makes it look darker than it actually was



This is really how it looked. And just think that 2 months ago, it was dark at this time.









This is my garden and I'm looking NorthEast.











Frost on my kitchen window looking like tiny angels.

Book Review: The Valentine Bride


The Valentine Bride (The Brides of Bella Lucia) by Liz Fielding HR 3932 Feb 07

This book was so good it’s going on my Top 10 list. The author first introduced Louise in Book 4 ‘Wanted: Outback Wife’ when we found out she was adopted. The next time we ran into her was in Book 6 ‘Crazy About the Boss’ when, in a state of rebellion, she appeared at the family Christmas party in a red mini-skirt, white angora crop top and flashing belly button ring with an Aussie hunk hanging on her arm. Her cousin Max looked like he wanted to shake her. And I couldn’t wait for their story.

When The Valentine Bride starts, it’s only a few weeks past the infamous Christmas party and Louise is over her public display of rebellion. Still reeling from her parent’s recent disclosure of her adoption, Louise has broken from the family and submerged herself in the work of her PR company. But her mind is filled with thoughts of Max Valentine.

Raised as cousins, Louise and Max have fought a physical attraction since puberty. Ashamed at her feelings, Louise took her anger out on Max at the slightest provocation. It was the only way she could stay grounded when all she really wanted to do was fling herself into his arms.

But they’ve just discovered Max isn’t her blood cousin and suddenly, there’s nothing to stop Louise and Max from being together. Except fear. Everyone knows Max runs whenever a woman gets too close. Not only that but when Louise found herself dateless for her prom, her uncle ordered Max to fill in. Max stood her up. And over the years, it wasn't the last time.

Finding out Louise’s parentage is like a dream come true for Max. He can finally make his move on Louise but when he tries to entice her back into the family business, she balks. When she agrees to work with him until Valentine’s Day for a token gesture, Max can’t believe his good fortune until he realizes her price is one solitary kiss. But after years of volatile frustration, will they survive it?

This is the 7th and final book in The Brides of Bella Lucia series. For the complete listing, go here: http://thebridesofbellalucia.blogspot.com/2006/04/brides.html

Heat Level: Sensual

My Rating: Excellent - 5 stars
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2009 Harlequin 100,000 Book Challenge: 17 books read

Harlequin Imprint: 17, Others: 0

Monday, February 23, 2009

Do You Scare Yourself?


Something woke me at 0525 Sunday morning. Perhaps I heard the door closing as hubby left our bedroom to go to work. But whatever it was, I lay there in the dark listening to a thumping sound for several seconds before realizing my heart was pounding against my rib cage.

My first thought was to run for my blood pressure meds.

My second thought was of the dream I’d been having just before I awoke.

Vivid in its reality, I’d been running through an airport with a ‘bad guy’ just steps behind. I remember running through the concourse, swerving around people of all ages and carts piled with luggage. I needed somewhere to hide, but where? A restroom door appeared before me and I plunged through it, ran a few steps turned right, punched through a stall door, slammed the lock in place, shoved my pants down and dropped onto the toilet seat. Footsteps were right behind me. As I sat there trying to breath as normally as possible, a man bobbed past my stall, trying to peer between cracks in the door. Just when I thought I’d faint from holding my breath, a shout drew my chaser back out to the concourse. I sagged on the seat and listened to my heart beat against my chest wall. And that’s when I awoke.

Several things struck me at that point:

- I was a male in my dream. And if that was so, how’d I get my pants down so quick? I must’ve been wearing sweats instead of jeans.

- airport restrooms don’t have doors. They have wide curving entrances for handicap accessibility.

- it would’ve been obvious to my chaser that I was in the washroom since he would have seen the door closing behind me. Why then did he give up?

And then as I threw my hand over my heart, willing it to slow, I realized I’d been writing my inspy suspense novel, Translucent Trust earlier and just before falling asleep, I’d been working on a plot development which included a chase scene.

So I guess you could say, I scared myself.

Have you ever scared yourself? Do your stories come to life in your dreams?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Chicks Welcome Charlene Sands


I’m thrilled to welcome Harlequin Historical and Silhouette Desire author Charlene Sands to my group blog at http://prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com/

Leave a comment or ask a question and Charlene will pick someone to win a book from her backlist. The winner will be announced at Prairie Chicks on Sunday afternoon.

And if you haven’t seen her scrumptious backlist, look here: http://www.charlenesands.com/books.html

So, come on over and join us.

Book Review: The Nanny and the Sheikh


The Nanny and the Sheikh (The Brides of Bella Lucia) by Barbara McMahon HR 3928 Jan 07

After not reading a ‘sheikh’ romance for years, this book was a great one to show what I’ve been missing. A sweet romance, it’s a modern version of those Harlequins I used to read as a teen but much better. Very believable.

You could say Melissa Fox is the latest ‘acquisition’ to the Valentine family since her mum has just become Wife #4 (Her father did divorce the others first.). In between jobs as a professional nanny, Melissa has a couple months before her new nanny job starts in Boston, so she accepts a job as assistant to her new step-brother who’s in charge of the Bella Lucia restaurant chain. The business is expanding into a French speaking Arabic country on the Persian gulf and Melissa’s job entails translating the French documents into English. As a treat for a job well done, her boss/step-brother invites her to accompany him to the small country of Qu’Arim while he checks out the site of the new restaurant.

Melissa is taken by the warm country and its inhabitants. Especially 3 small wards of the Sheikh with whom she’s staying since he’s the reason they’re there. In fact, sheikh or not, the first time she sees the kids, she lets out a blast of indignation for their treatment while in his house. She even says she’ll report him which is so western until she realizes he controls the country.

Sheikh Surim Al-Thani doesn’t know what to make of this modern woman whom his good friend brought over. He notices her as an efficient and knowledgeable translator but she really makes her mark when she bursts out her threat to report him. Him! The absurdity of the ludicrous remark wakes him to the fact that the children, orphans of his close cousin, fear him. Instead of berating Melissa, he asks for her help caring for the sorrowful children thrust upon him. At least until he could send them to boarding school. Surely there were boarding schools for 2 yrs olds.

An added dimension to this story is Surim’s pressure to find a suitable bride. He needs to provide an heir as soon as possible to avoid total anarchy if he dies since he’s the last in line. He doesn’t believe in love but he’s drawn to Melissa. However, Melissa isn’t suitable and they both know it. And even if she was, she wouldn’t settle for anything less than love. No matter how much oil his country produced.

This is the 7th book in The Brides of Bella Lucia series. For the complete listing, go here: http://thebridesofbellalucia.blogspot.com/2006/04/brides.html

Heat Level: Romantic

My Rating: Great - 4 stars
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2009 Harlequin 100,000 Book Challenge: 16 books read

Harlequin Imprint: 16, Others: 0

Friday, February 20, 2009

Do You Chat?

Just over a year ago I attended my first on-line chat session during the eHarlequin open house. It was very hectic yet exciting. So many authors and readers but they were all talking at the same time. You had to read fast and type faster or your response would get swallowed up in the rest of the responses.

A year ago I didn’t know how to IM and yet a couple months ago, the 4 other Prairie Chicks and myself conducted our first IM conference call. It really worked well. What I like about it is that MSN has set it up so that you can always see who is typing something. If someone is going to ask you a question, you wait for it then answer. Very civilized. Also, if you go away from the screen to work on a word document for example, as soon as you have a response, you’ll receive an amber flashing at the bottom of the screen. It’s a nice feature which means you’re not sitting and waiting especially if you have a slow typist at the other end.

Facebook also has IM chat but it’s not as efficient as MSN. What I mean is that if you’re waiting for a response from someone and you go to another screen, there is no warning that someone is waiting for you. Quite often I leave people waiting while I’ve gone on to some other task and forgotten about them. Like MSN, Facebook also tells you when the other party is writing so you know a response is forthcoming.

Tonight I had 2 chats scheduled at the same time. When they both started at 7 pm, I had no idea which one I would participate it. About ten mins ahead of time, I went over to the eharlequin Steeple Hill chat for their first ever live chat. I’ve been excited all day about this one since I know many of the authors, readers and writers who were scheduled to show up. But no one was there.

So, I left that screen and clicked on the Wild Rose Chat for their monthly historical get-together. This is a moderated chat which I really like. There is order here. Run by the editors of The Wild Rose Press, we are informed it’s moderated and if we have a question, we are to send a ? and wait. The moderators will make a note of who sent a ? first and answer their questions in queue. Very organized. Very efficient. An excellent source for information without the headache of trying to follow different threads.

But I kept hearing a door opening and closing and these pinging sounds. I finally realized that while I was participating in the Wild Rose Press chat room, the Steeple Hill chat room was filling up. A whole crowd had shown up and were busily carrying on different conversations at their own pace.

And then I realized that although the Steeple Hill chat room was fixed, I could move the Wild Rose Press chat box to a position on the upper right corner of the screen and still read the Steeple Hill one. Yes, it was a mite confusing, but the main thing was to keep an eye out for my name and answer accordingly. So, for just over an hour, I worked the 2 chat rooms together before finally leaving the Wild Rose Press and settling down in the Steeple Hill one.

A couple things I noticed. I can save everything that was said in the Steeple Hill ‘Flash’ chat room but nothing in the Wild Rose Press one.

I could type in the Wild Rose one and still have both on the screen but as soon as I type in the Steeple Hill one, the other one automatically minimized.

If the Wild Rose one was minimized, I would get the flashing amber signal that I needed to respond.

Which one of these is better? I don’t know yet. I’ll have to participate more to see although being able to save the conversation was a big plus in favor of the Flash chat room at eharlequin.

Have you ever participated in a chat room? Did you enjoy the experience? Is it something you’ll repeat?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm a Prairie Chick Today


I'm blogging over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance today.

My topic is 'Striving for Perfection' and a lot of the post is messages that passed between Love Inspired author Missy Tippens and myself over the last few months while she wrote her Christmas release. It's all about how we tend to hang onto our work until the last possible minute, tweaking it as we strive for perfection.

But is that really the reason?

Please join our discussion at http://prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com/

Book Review: Crazy About the Boss


Crazy About the Boss
(The Brides of Bella Lucia)
by Teresa Southwick
HR 3924 Dec 06

This great book is your typical employee falls for the boss book with a twist. So what’s the twist? Well, after 2 years of working together, the boss is put into an emotionally threatening situation and his employee’s suppressed feelings for him surface when she realizes he’s not so shallow after all. But is he really vindictive enough to allow his family to fall into financial ruin just because he can?

You see, Jack Valentine walked away from the famous Valentines of the Bella Lucia restaurants when he was only 18 after a dispute with his father and he’s never gone back. And now, 12 yrs later, he still doesn’t want to got back but, his younger sister is pleading with him to make a Christmas appearance. The family is in financial trouble and they need Jack and his money to bail them out. Jack doesn’t want to bail them out but with some perverse sense of showing off, he decides to attend the Christmas gathering.

Maddie Ford has been Jack’s faithful assistant for the past 2 yrs. She’s done everything from advise him to console the women he’s dropped by the wayside. Sure she had a crush on him but that was way back when they first started working together. Once she saw how shallow he really was, she was able to push aside her feelings and start a productive working arrangement with him. But then out of the blue, he takes her to London with him and suddenly, she sees sides of him she never imagined. A caring side. A hurting side. A dangerous side. Dangerous to her equilibrium because she starts to fall for him once again. And this time, she doesn’t think she can push her feelings aside and if she can’t she won’t be able to work effectively with him ever again.

This is the 6th book in The Brides of Bella Lucia series. For the complete listing, go here: http://thebridesofbellalucia.blogspot.com/2006/04/brides.html

Heat Level: Sensual

My Rating: Great - 4 stars
--------------------------------

2009 Harlequin 100,000 Book Challenge: 15 books read

Harlequin Imprint: 15, Others: 0

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Book Review: Married Under the Mistletoe


Married Under the Mistletoe (The Brides of Bella Lucia) by Linda Goodnight HR 3920 Nov 2006

Any book by Linda Goodnight is an auto-buy for me and this excellent book did not disappoint. It’s going straight to my Top 10 list. Horrid fascination is probably the best way to describe this story. You know realities like this exist but you don’t really want to know about them.

As the manager, Stephanie Ellison lives above one of the famous Bella Lucia restaurants. It’s a large, luxurious living area for one person. So when the boss’s son comes for a visit and has nowhere to stay, Stephanie allows him to become her new roomie but past scars inhibit her from getting too close to him. In fact, she’s terrified to have him there and almost changes her mind when she sees how big and strong he is. Plus, she has a secret she can't bear anyone to discover.

Daniel Stephens never knew his father while growing up and to be told as an adult that his father wants to get to know him now after all this time just doesn’t ring true. Daniel doesn’t believe it. He's accepting his father's hospitality of a place to stay because his resources are all tied up with his African project. He finds Stephanie to be a very attractive woman but he's not interested in a relationship. In fact, he’s going to keep his heart locked away from his father and everyone. Once his business is off the ground, he can move out and carry on with his life alone like he’s always done.

But one day, Daniel discovers Stephanie’s secret and he can’t ignore her or her pain any longer. She notices the different way he’s looking at her and responds to him. Yet, he’s makes it clear he isn’t sticking around. Oh why doesn't she believe him.

This is the 5th book in The Brides of Bella Lucia series. For the complete listing, go here: http://thebridesofbellalucia.blogspot.com/2006/04/brides.html

Heat Level: Sensual

My Rating: Excellent - 5 stars (Top 10 list)
--------------------------------
2009 Harlequin 100,000 Book Challenge: 14 books read
Harlequin Imprint: 14, Others: 0

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Book Review: Wanted: Outback Wife


Wanted: Outback Wife (The Brides of Bella Lucia) by Ally Blake HR 3916 Oct 2006

I just love stories set in Australia. Although this book is about the family that owns the famous Bella Lucia restaurants in London, the story is about Jodie - the sister to Louise who suddenly learns she’s adopted. (Louise’s story is the final book in the series.) Both girls are visiting Australia but as Jodie’s visa gets closer to it’s expiry date, Jodie decides she doesn’t want to go back to England and her clingy, emotionally disturbed mother.

The only way Jodie is guaranteed to stay in Australia is to marry an Aussie, but how can she find a husband in a month? Her flat mates start up a website at www.ahusbandinahurry.com and start lining up the candidates. After watching the losers stream past, Jodie practically falls out of her chair when big, blonde Heath volunteers for the position.

Heath Jameson is a rich farmer from the outback who wants a life change. After his sister-in-laws funeral, he decides he’s tired of living a safe existence. When he sees a photo of Jodie from her website, he’s intrigued. He can’t figure out why someone who seems as vivacious as her would need a husband but he’s game to find out. He arranges a meeting and they hit it off.

But of course, secrets abound. And even though they seem made for each other, Jodie is determined to keep the marriage platonic so she can walk away in 2 yrs with her Aussie visa guaranteed. Meanwhile Heath is like a man who’s been asleep for years. He wants a fulfilling marriage with Jodie forever. He just can’t seem to get anywhere with her.

This is the 4th book in The Brides of Bella Lucia series. For the complete listing, go here: http://thebridesofbellalucia.blogspot.com/2006/04/brides.html

Heat Level: Romantic

My Rating: Great - 4 stars

--------------------------------

2009 Harlequin 100,000 Book Challenge: 13 books read
Harlequin Imprint: 13, Others: 0

Book Review: The Rebel Prince


The Rebel Prince (The Brides of Bella Lucia) by Raye Morgan HR 3912 Sep 06

This was a great fairytale story of a common modern girl falling for the crown prince knowing she has no hope of having her dreams fulfilled. Or does she? I like the way the author handled the question of responsibilities thrust upon a person who never expected it. In this case, the prince. There’s always the question of whether he wants the best for his people or just himself.

We first met Chef Emma Valentine in the previous Bride of Bella Lucia story. At that time, we knew Emma was going to the Kingdom of Meridia to preside over the prince’s coronation feast. This book starts off with Emma in the pool area and getting knocked unconscious by a wayward water polo ball thrown by the crown prince himself. When she comes to, Emma doesn’t realize that the man hovering over her is Prince Sebastian of Meridia.

Born into royalty as the second son, Sebastian was never expected to assume the throne but when his father dies and his older brother abdicates, Sebastian has no choice but to take on the responsibility of his tiny country. Or does he? His subjects know him only as the playboy son and don’t want him as their king which is fine by him because he’d rather be sailing in the Caribbean anyway.

Emma is working with Sebastian to make the coronation feast a memory not soon forgotten but the question always hangs over both their heads: when the time comes, will he or won’t he?

This is the 3rd book in The Brides of Bella Lucia series. For the complete listing, go here: http://thebridesofbellalucia.blogspot.com/2006/04/brides.html

Heat Level: Romantic

My Rating: Great - 4 stars
--------------------------------

2009 Harlequin 100,000 Book Challenge: 12 books read
Harlequin Imprint: 12, Others: 0

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Homemade Valentine Treats

I haven’t got much time here, but I wanted to let you know how I spent my Friday. Last night was the Valentine Dessert Auction Fundraiser for Youth at our church and I needed to make some goodies. This is what I made:

Chocolate Marshmallow Hearts









It’s really easy to make the crème although they don’t look as good as I wanted because I beat the marshmallow crème until it was stiff. I should have stopped when it was still in the pourable stage. The mold is just the back of a chocolate mold pressed into flour. Since the creme didn't set properly, I had to dip my pizza shears into hot water and cut the marshmallows into heart shapes. Still, they tasted yummy. I packaged them in a red cardboard heart.

I also made Oatmeal Heart Cookies. They are oatmeal cookies with chopped walnuts, coconut and corn flakes but instead of rolling in a ball and flattening, I rolled it out and used a cookie cutter.

Since I already had my chocolate melting for the marshmallow hearts, I dipped one half of each oatmeal heart in the chocolate as well. Sorry, no photo.

Let me know if you want the recipe for either the marshmallow crème or the oatmeal cookies.

And how did you spend your Friday?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Judging Contest Entries

Today, I’m blogging over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance.

Since I’ve been working on revisions for my contest entry, I decided to write my post on the different ways judges critique the entries.

I’ve posted some examples from my novel Charley’s Saint, and given a select amount of actual comments from some judges.

My hope is that anyone interested in entering the contests will see that a comment from a judge is just a matter of opinion. The writer has the choice whether to accept the suggestion or ignore it.

In case you don’t go over, I’d say this again: Thank you to all those people who expend their own time and effort to judge these contests without monetary compensation. I truly appreciate it.

Now, for the rest of you, come on over and join in the discussion at http://www.prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com/

See you there...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Contest Revisions

If you’re wondering why I’m hiding out, I’m working on revisions to my Linda Howard Award of Excellence contest entry.

One of the judges gave me a near perfect score and the 2nd judge was about 37 marks below that! So, it went to a 3rd judge. Why the 3rd judge? Because in this contest, any score difference over 35 marks goes to another judge and the lowest score is dropped.

I’m truly blessed because not only did the 3rd judge like it, but she’s given me a wonderful critique filled with insights and comments to improve my story.

That’s why it’s taking me so long to revise. Plus, I had this fantastic idea to thicken the conflict between Hannah and Bobby and now I have to weave it into the plot. It’s working, but it’s taking time.

I’m on a time limit, too because I have to have it in Alabama by Feb 20th by snail mail or I forfeit and even Canada’s ExpressPost will only guarantee 6 business days.

Eeps! I better get busy...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Book Review: Having the Frenchman's Baby


Having the Frenchman’s Baby (The Brides of Bella Lucia) by Rebecca Winters HR 3904 Aug 06

I enjoyed reading this book set in the vineyards of France. It’s the story of a woman who’s been busy with her career while waiting for the perfect man. And, it’s the story of a man who uses everything in his power to try to assuage his guilt. When these 2 people meet, they see themselves and their lives as if a curtain has been opened.

Rachel Valentine is a wine buyer for the exclusive Bella Lucia restaurants in London. She has an estranged twin in the US, a dying grandfather in England, and a father she can’t please. Her family is bogged down in strife. Add to that, the guilt she feels because she couldn’t make it back to the States in time to say a final farewell to her dying mother. But, even with all this going on, Rachel looks the picture of perfection. When she reaches the province of Alsace with its terraced vineyards, Rachel feels like she’s come home. Add to that her physical reaction to a certain vintner and for the first time in her life, Rachel wonders if it’s time she stopped her wandering and settled down with a loving husband and a baby or two in a sunny home in a quiet location.

Luc Chartier is devoted to his ex-wife who’s in a coma in a nearby hospital. He provides the absolute best care for her and never misses a day of sitting beside her bed willing her to wake. She's been in a vegetative state for 3 yrs already, but Luc refuses to let the family ‘pull the plugs’. And then one day, Rachel drives into Luc's world and jumpstarts his thirst for life. He starts questioning his reason for wanting his ex-wife to wake. And he starts devising a plan to keep Rachel in the province awhile longer to see what the attraction is all about.

Luc is making one horrendous mistake, however – he neglects to tell Rachel about his devotion to his ex-wife....

This is the 2nd book in The Brides of Bella Lucia series. For the complete listing, go here: http://thebridesofbellalucia.blogspot.com/2006/04/brides.html

Heat Level: Romantic

My Rating: Great - 4 stars
--------------------------------
2009 Harlequin 100,000 Book Challenge: 11 books read
Harlequin Imprint: 11, Others: 0
-

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Book Review: Forsaken Canyon


Forsaken Canyon (Heart of the Amazon Book 3) by Margaret Daley Love Inspired Suspense #119 - Oct 08

Once again, Margaret Daley has written an intriguing archaeological mystery set in the remote desolate canyons of New Mexico. This final book in the Heart of the Amazon series had me looking over my shoulder at the oddest times since the author gave us the POV of the ‘Guardian’ who is on constant, silent vigil of our heroine. I thought I knew who the Guardian was, but then the author threw a red herring in the path, only to be followed by another, and another until I was getting dizzy second guessing myself. And yet, when I reached the end and discovered who the Guardian actually was, everything fell into place and I realized, the clues had been right before my eyes.

Of course, Kit Sinclair doesn’t know she has a secret Guardian. A history professor at the Albuquerque City College, Kit is under pressure to publish something if she wants to make tenure and stay on the faculty. She’s not an archaeologist, but research has led her to believe the Lost City of Gold is hidden deep in Desolation Canyon. Her mind is made up, she’s set to go. She just needs someone to get her in there. She’s just not sure if she wants the reportedly ‘best there is’ because she seems to lose concentration whenever he comes near.

Pueblo Chief of Police Hawke Lonechief is the best guide for Kit’s trek into Desolation Canyon. The only problem is – and it’s a biggie – Hawke lost his wife 4 yrs ago in the very same canyon when she got too close to the edge and disappeared in an instant. Hawke can’t get her terror-stricken expression nor her screams out of his mind. And now, an amateur who’s never been on a field expedition is coercing him to guide her into a death trap. Hawke doesn’t want to and he fights her as long as he can but he finally capitulates. For the first time since his wife died, he’s drawn to another women and if he wants her to come out of that canyon alive, he’s gotta be the one to do it.

Heat Level: Affectionate

My Rating: Excellent - 5 stars (Top 10 list)

Heart of the Amazon series:

1 – Jan 07 - Heart of the Amazon Love Inspired Suspense #37
2 – Oct 07 - Buried Secrets Love Inspired Suspense #72
3 – Oct 08 – Forsaken Canyon Love Inspired Suspense #119
-----------------------------

2009 Harlequin 100,000 Book Challenge: 10 books read

Harlequin Imprint: 10, Others: 0
-

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm a Finalist!


I'm happy dancing! If you read my post a couple days ago, you'd see that I've been waiting on the results from the Linda Howard contest and I rec'd them late last night:

'When You Least Expect It'
is a finalist!!!

Wow! I'm so excited!

In the next few days I'll receive my entry back along with the judges' comments and I have a week or so to revise my entry, if I wish, taking their insights into consideration. Then I re-submit and wait for the final judging.

I'm not going to tell you who's the final judge, but she's from my target line at SH.

Happy dancing...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Touch, Google Alerts and Divas

I’m blogging over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance today.

My post is about my iPod Touch, Google Alerts, and contest divas and believe it or not, they all tie in together.

Come on over and tell me if you have a Touch or read eBooks on a similar eReader device. I’d also like to know if you subscribe to Google Alerts. And if enter writing contests.

Please join us here: http://www.prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Waiting on a Contest

The last contest I entered is announcing the finalists sometime this week and I’m getting antsy. I’m not expecting to win but I’m hoping, you know? I don’t want to get my hopes up, yet I know I’ll be disappointed if I’m not a finalist. But if I were, they would have notified me by now, no?

I’ve just written my post for the Thurs Prairie Chicks blog and you’ll know I’ve been thinking about contests because that’s what my topic is there, too.

It’s been almost a year (March) since I entered my first contest and I’ve come a long way in that time. I’ve read the critiques and judges’ comments and applied them to my wips. I know my writing has improved because of this. The entries I put in this latest contest will show me how well I’ve learned my lesson because they were the first 2 novels I wrote. I took them down, dusted them off, and applied what I had learned. We’ll see if I was successful. I’ll let you know.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Book Review: Nobody's Child


Nobody’s Child by Ann Major Silhouette Desire 1105 – Nov 97

Reading this book was like riding a roller coaster. It was exceptional when it was good but at least three times, I had the urge to put it away and quit reading. And I think that was because it was so repetitive. I might have a bad memory but I don’t need to be reminded of that time on the island every few pages.

Business magnate, Cutter Lord, went to a secluded island to ‘deal’ with his brother’s girlfriend. Cutter was determined to show her up for the gold-digger she was but instead, he fell under her spell and claimed her for his own. A couple days later, he disappeared.

Cheyenne Rose didn’t know where he went but he didn’t return her calls and put himself out of her reach. When she found herself pregnant with his child, she agreed to marry Cutter’s brother after all.

Flash forward 7 yrs. Cutter’s brother has been murdered and his widow, Cheyenne, has to auction off their possessions to pay their creditors. Enter Cutter who can’t forget Cheyenne and wants his son. And thus starts a chain of events that end in a surprising but satisfying conclusion.
Heat Level: Yummy

My Rating; Very Good - 3 stars
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2009 Harlequin 100,000 Book Challenge: 9 books read

Harlequin Imprint: 9, Others: 0
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Book Review: Nelson's Brand


Nelson’s Brand by Diana Palmer Silhouette Desire 618 - Jan 91

This is my first Diana Palmer book and although it’s almost a decade old and Gene used a high-handedness he wouldn’t be able to get away with today, there was still enough mystery and spice to keep me thoroughly engulfed in the story.

Gene Nelson had the world in his hand. Everything was going his way and then the unthinkable happened. His father died and left a letter behind that ripped apart Gene’s world. Suddenly, Gene is spinning out of control. He’s trying to drink himself into oblivion. Emotionally lost and confused, he’s hitting out at anything and everything including women. If they want to bed him that’s fine with him – just don’t expect him to acknowledge them in the morning. For months, Gene is adrift in a sea of despair.

Then one night, he’s sitting at the bar when he notices a woman. Not just any women, but his half-brother’s fiancee’s best friend. He doesn’t know why and he doesn’t stop to think about it, but when she looks at him while he’s taking his first drink of the night up at the bar, he inexplicably puts his drink down...and doesn’t pick it up again. And thus begins their tenuous relationship...

Allison Hathoway has secrets and only her best friend and her best friend’s fiancé know them. (The reader doesn’t find out until near the end and although I suspected, I had to wait and so do you.) But one secret I will tell you is that 25 yr old Allison is very inexperienced with men. And yet, she’s drawn to Gene. She knows he uses women but when he starts to pay her attention, her normally wise brain goes on vacation leaving her heart bare for Gene’s plunder. Allison is leaving the area in a few short works. How will her heart survive.

Not only that, if his dad’s letter had this effect on him, whatever will Gene do when he discovers the secrets Allison has been hiding from him.

Heat Level: Yummy

My Rating: Great - 4 stars (a keeper)
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2009 Harlequin 100,000 Book Challenge: 8 books read

Harlequin Imprint: 8, Others: 0
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16 Free Harlequin Books!


Have you been to the Harlequin website lately? You should go on over. Harlequin is celebrating 60 yrs of reading pleasure and is giving away free eBooks as a gift to us, the readers.

As long as you have a computer, you should be able to read these eBooks. You can download the eBooks from here: http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?cid=1316&cmpid=BLSOC200901290002

I rec’d an iPod Touch for Christmas, and I love it. Why? Because I can download eBooks on my Touch and get comfy on my couch or take it to bed with me. Also, on those long drives at night back from the city, I can now read in comfort without having to hold and shine a booklight or small flashlight at what I’m reading. The Touch has its own easy-on-the-eyes backlight.

So you know what this means, right? I’m downloading all 16 of the free eBooks! And these aren’t books from the Harlequin archives – no, these are current releases within the past year – and one from every Harlequin line.

And if you want more free books, Harlequin also has on-line reads at http://www.eharlequin.com/articlelist.html which are updated on a weekly basis. There’s even an on-line library for past free on-line reads.

So, if you’re looking for a free book and you have a computer, either download a free eBook or read one of the on-line ones.

And save a tree while you’re at it.

Do you read eBooks? Or do you like the feel of a real printed book? Do you think eBooks will ever replace print books? Come on... talk to me...

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