Category: website launch


I have an old 80s song stuck in my head this week, “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters. My shiny new website has launched, and it is so pretty! I love what my web designer did for me, and I hope you all like it, too. Check it out here.

I’m in the middle of the last couple weekend chores right now, so this post is just a fly-by. I have a quick excerpt from Light the Way Home for you today.

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“I really do appreciate this, Lucie,” Nate said from where he stood at the sink.

“It’s nothing, Nate,” she said lightly. “Keeps me from having to spend endless hours on job search sites and getting more depressed than I already am.” She kept her head down as she buttoned her sweater up to her chin.

“It isn’t nothing to me.”

His firm, quiet tone snared her attention, and her mouth went dry. The shadows in his brown eyes made her curl her fingers around the edges of her sweater to keep from reaching out.

“I’m not accustomed to asking for help.” He cleared his throat. “I appreciate it.”

She swallowed. “It’s no problem,” she whispered. Dammit–hot, attracted to her, and vulnerable. Shit, that was trouble. She took a slow breath. “I’ll see you in the morning then.” She inched toward the door.

A hint of awareness darkened his eyes, but he stayed where he was. “Good night, Lucie.”

She took two more steps, clearing the doorway to the mud room, and a little relief sank into her belly. Until she heard footsteps behind her.

Within reach of the back door, she whirled. He stood at the open doorway of the kitchen, undisguised desire in his eyes this time. Her heart skipped a beat, and she felt a quick rush of excitement that she tried to squash as he stepped into the mud room. She held her breath as he took another step. One more. Until he stood a foot away, and her breath rushed out.

He studied her face for a long moment, and she wondered what he saw, what he was looking for. Impulsively, she moved closer to him, noting the way his eyes rounded, and she stretched up to brush a kiss on his mouth, lingered for a second, then stepped back.

“Good night, Nate,” she whispered, reaching behind her for the doorknob.

His dark gaze followed her out the door, and she turned away, a smile curving her lips.

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It’s an absolutely gorgeous Sunday here, and I am going to enjoy having all the windows open while I get to work on some revisions, once I get the laundry into the dryer. What are you up to this week? Something fun, or drudgery? If the latter, I hope you find time for the first, too! Have a great week!

 

 

 

 

It’s a gorgeous Sunday here, and my lilies have buds all over them. My mom had them planted at our mailbox when I was growing up, and the ones in my garden came from her mom’s garden, so when they bloom every year, they make me happy for multiple reasons. I’m watching them daily to see how close mine are to blooming. Probably not quite yet, a week or so, I think, and then happy orange flowers will brighten our side garden for a couple of weeks.

Each month means something different for each of us, good and bad. June here is my youngest son’s birthday (plus some other extended family birthdays), as well as the beginning of my least favorite season (but it does mean my herbs and veggies will be happy). A few years back, it meant a week-long writing retreat with friends; we haven’t done that in a while, and I doubt we will any time soon in this new normal. When we were kids, June was the beginning of summer vacation, which was full of possibilities and always seemed to long at the beginning, but too short by the end of it. Do you remember? The past few years, June has meant updates to my website, and that is true again this year. I’ll have a shiny new design launching in the next week or so.

Many years, June means a trip to our local Ren Faire for their annual Celtic Fling, especially the Friday night concert to kick off the weekend if they bring in one of my favorite bands, Gaelic Storm, which happens with some regularity. Last year one of my girlfriends and I went to see them there, and I am disappointed we won’t get to do that this year. But better safe than sick. So I’ll play a couple of their CDs instead, and pretend later in the month that I’m seeing them onstage again. I actually realized that they are probably the band I’ve seen the most (I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen them, to be honest). Either them or Trans Siberian Orchestra, but I’m pretty sure it’s Gaelic Storm.

Now I feel the need to play some of their music, so I’ll do that, but before I go, I have a little story snippet for you from Light the Way Home.

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Hayden waved up at the tower, and Nate glanced over his shoulder to the hazy shape of Micah silhouetted against the window. “Come on, Hayden, Grandma’s waiting for you.”

“’Kay, Daddy, I’m comin’.” His son ran a few steps to him, and he scooped the boy up into his car seat. “Buckle me in!”

He smiled as he did so. “I heard a rumor there might be a surprise waiting for you today.”

“A s’prise?” His son’s eyes rounded. “What kinda s’prise?”

“If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise, would it?” He ruffled his son’s untidy hair. “You’ll have to wait and see. Hands inside the ride.” He shut the door and rounded the truck to his own seat. As he slid in, he caught a movement from the corner of his eye and looked over at Harry and Mindi’s–Lucie stood at the sink, head down. He started the truck, and she lifted her face, looking first at the truck and then away–toward the lighthouse, where Micah still stood.

When she looked at him again, he saw her frown. He waved, smiling grimly and wondering if Lucie believed in ghosts.

“Bye, Lucie,” Hayden shouted, waving wildly.

Even though she couldn’t possibly hear him, she smiled and waved at Hayden as Nate backed the truck out of the driveway.

When he parked at his parents’ a few minutes later, he was still wondering–not everyone could bring themselves to believe in things like ghosts. Harry and Mindi had lived on the island long enough to have gotten over that, but if Lucie didn’t believe… Well, it didn’t matter, because she wouldn’t be here long. Just curious, he supposed, stopping the truck behind his father’s. It was always an interesting conversation with newcomers, about the lighthouse ghost.

Growing up on the island, he’d known about Micah all his life. His ex had thought it was sad and romantic–until she left, just like Micah’s lost wife had done, escaping the island with a new man and leaving Nate and Hayden behind.

He frowned, pushing open his door. It was better that she’d gone when she did–better for Hayden because he was so young.

“Gram!” Hayden shouted as Nate opened the passenger door.

Nate glanced over his shoulder and saw his mother waving from inside the house. “Let me get you unbuckled, buddy, and then you can go see her.” He unclipped the harness and hefted his son out of the truck, giving him a little bounce just to hear him giggle, before setting the boy on his feet. He followed his son to the back door, noted his dad’s silhouette in the open workshop door out back, then shifted his attention to his mother, who’d opened the screen door to let Hayden inside.

“Take your jacket off, Hayden,” she called as he rushed past her. Her gaze landed on Nate. “I hear you met the house-sitter.”

He blinked. “I don’t think she’s exactly house-sitting.”

“Really?” One of his mother’s eyebrows winged up. “What is she then?”

“Friends with Harry and Mindi.” He shrugged.

“Hm.” She glanced over her shoulder at a thump from the next room. “Hayden?”

“I’m good.”

Nate repressed a smile. “I can get him in a few hours, maybe before he destroys the place.”

Ida Baxter laughed. “Too late.” She met his gaze again. “Is she pretty?”

Oh hell. He shrugged. “I guess.”

His mother’s eyes narrowed a tiny bit. “Hayden likes her.”

“She played with him.” He lifted one shoulder a little again. “She’ll be gone soon.”

“Hm.”

He ignored the speculative look in her eyes. “I have a client appointment before I head back to the shop. I’ll pick up the human wrecking ball by four-thirty. Thanks, Mom.”

She sighed as he turned away. “We’ll see you then.”

Nate didn’t look back–he’d learned a long time ago not to encourage his mother when she started wondering about his love life, or lack of one. And no matter how pretty Lucie was, he wasn’t in the market for a relationship, and she wasn’t staying on the island. Problem solved.

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In case you like Celtic music and somehow haven’t heard Gaelic Storm yet, you should check them out. And if you haven’t read Light the Way Home yet, I’d love if you checked that out, too.

What does June mean to you? Something fun? Birthdays or anniversaries? More yard work? I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

In normal times, a lot of people use the weekends to catch up on all the chores they didn’t or couldn’t get to during the workweek. Right now, we’re in far-from-normal times, and for a lot of us, there is no differentiation between weekdays or weekends. For some of us, we still have a regular or semi-regular work schedule. I’m one of those lucky ones. That leaves me weekends to get the bigger chores done, like it or not.

A typical weekend here includes multiple loads of laundry, probably cooking, likely following that up with some dish-washing. I usually also spend a block of time clearing out my inboxes, get my regular blog post together, and hopefully a nice chunk of time for writing tasks like revisions, actual writing, social media and marketing things.

I did a little day-job overtime yesterday, just a few hours. I even got the laundry done. But today? I don’t feel like doing chores today. I ran a couple of necessary errands, and I spent some time earlier with my web designer working out some ideas and issues with a new web design we’ll launch next month. What I’d really like to be doing in lounging in a hammock somewhere with a good book.

 

( lady on hammock with book – Depositphotos )

Since it isn’t warm enough for that here today (plus it’s raining on and off), I’ll settle for curling up on the couch with something to read in just a few minutes. Before I do that, I have a little story snippet for you from the second book in the Medusa’s Daughters trilogy, Protecting Medusa.

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Philomena parked beside her mother’s house. She’d arrived first, and she needed to get dinner on in a hurry. Once Jason got home, she’d be too distracted to focus on cooking.

She went in the back door, balancing a grocery bag while she reset the alarm system, then hit the light switch with her elbow as she continued into the kitchen.

She took her mother’s cast iron skillet from its hook over the counter and put it on the stove, turning the heat to high and dropping in some ground beef before she shed her coat. As the meat began to sizzle, she put away the rest of the groceries.

She rolled up her sleeves and dug a spatula out of the utensil drawer, but stopped when she heard a creak from upstairs. She waited, then shook her head. It was an old farmhouse. It made noise sometimes.

She stirred the beef in the pan, adding chopped onions she’d picked up at the store–not out of laziness but because she’d known she needed to move quickly after three days away and with an excitable six-year-old on his way home.

The sound came again. She set the spatula on the spoon rest and turned the flame under her pan down to low, then tugged up the hem of her long skirt to pull her dagger from its leather sheath on her thigh.

A loud thud reached her ears, and her heart beat a little faster.

Dear Gods, someone was in the house.

She crept up the back steps, keeping to the edges where she knew her weight wouldn’t make the stairs creak, the smooth handle of her long knife comforting in her sweat-damp hand.

More thumping, accompanied by running water.

She frowned when she got to the top of the steps, wincing as something hit the porcelain bathtub, followed by muffled cursing.

She stuck her head around the corner, but the partially-closed bathroom door at the other end of the hall blocked her view. All she could see were shadows.

Two people? In her mother’s bathroom? She wished she’d grabbed the phone on her way up so she could call the police. No, she should’ve called before she came upstairs. Too late now.

More thumping and a crash.

Her jaw clenched, and she stepped into the hallway, her pulse pounding in her ears.

“I’ve called the police,” she lied, moving slowly along the hall. Frigid air drifted toward her. Either the bathroom window was open, or something was seriously wrong with the furnace vents on the second floor. She frowned, holding tighter to her knife.

A dark blur went out the window, and her eyes widened. It was quite a drop to the ground, even with all the snow mounded below from the big storms so far this winter.

When a naked man with a gun went to look out the window, she froze in the middle of the hall, her dagger shoulder high.

Naked.

She swallowed, and then he turned around. Her lungs stopped working.

“Hello, Philomena. Have I ever told you how much I love a woman who can handle a blade?” He caught the edge of the door and pulled it wide open.

She’d know that voice anywhere, and that face, even if she’d only seen him in photos. Ryder Ware, Jason’s father.

And wow, was she seeing him in person.

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This is the story I am working through in revision right now, with the hope that later this year, I might have it and the third story in the trilogy ready to go out into the world with a reissue of Hunting Medusa. But in case you need something new to read right now and you haven’t picked up a copy yet, Light the Way Home is already out in the world and ready to read. If you click on the title, it’s a link that will take you to all the major booksellers who have it available.

What are you doing this week? Taking a weekend break from your routine? Buried under a ton of work? Something else? Hop you all have a great week ahead!

 

 

 

It’s been a crazy week at the day-job: by the end of this week, there will be three of us doing the job of five on my team, because the other two are leaving for new adventures. It will be the first time since our team was formed last August that we’ve had any staffing changes. We do have someone new starting, but it will be a few weeks until he is trained and really ready to take on some of the work the other two are leaving behind, which means for a couple of weeks, things are going to be insane. Normally, I work with about a dozen people. Until the new guy is trained, I’m adding fifteen more to my list, and I have to say I’m freaking out a little. Even when he is ready to take on his own work, we’ll still have more than we started with, until the final spot on the team is filled again, and we don’t know when that will be.

I’ve been trying to ignore the new, longer list until it’s actually in effect, but it’s still sitting there on my desk, staring at me while I’m doing my normal work. And then yesterday, a helpful little voice in my head pointed out how much more time it is going to take me to deal with these things at the day-job, and boy, that’s really going to cut into the writing time.  Picture me beating my head on the nearest wall.

So I am setting my writing goals aside for the present (and trying not to freak out about that, too), and I am just going to write, revise, study in any free moments I get.  Like I normally do, only with less free moments, I suppose.  And now that I’ve thought about that, I’m kind of freaking out.

 

Nope, not going to freak out. I’m going to take a couple of deep breaths and think of something nice. Like going to see Nora Roberts, Linda Howard and Barbara Delinsky next month. That will be a fun booksigning. And even before that, we’ll have a birthday dinner here for my younger son, so there’ll be good food and family. Okay, I feel a little better.

Before I go get more writing time in, I have a little snippet of story for you, from the third Medusa.

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Hunter had to do more digging to find Katharine than he’d guessed would be necessary. It took him several hours and finally a phone call to a friend at the DOT to get her mailing and street addresses. By then it was too late to call or show up at her door unannounced. But he headed there in the morning after checking in at the office to see what Mary Ann had on tap for him. Luckily, he had a couple hours free before he had to meet with a new client.

He debated getting her a gift certificate for a lingerie store to take along, to replace the underwear he’d destroyed, then decided that might be a little much, considering he was still virtually a stranger.

Instead, he picked up a fistful of daisies and drove across town to the address his buddy had given him last night. A neat little one story white house with an attached garage. Two narrow flowerbeds flanked the two steps to the front door.

And a tall guy in black shoved open a window at the side of the house as Hunter eased his car along the street.

Heart pounding faster, he didn’t stop in front of her house as he’d intended, but down the street several houses, and the way the homes were spaced on her street, it was far enough that the guy wouldn’t hear him and automatically assume he was coming to Katharine’s. He left the daisies on the seat and sprinted back to her house, through her neighbors’ yards. He peered around the corner of her house. The side window was open, and there was no sign of the man. He was inside.

Hunter’s pulse quickened even more. No time to call the cops. He stepped up to the front door, noting the alarm company sticker in the front window. He didn’t want to do damage to her door, though, or alert the intruder to his entry, so he pulled a pick out of his pocket and jiggled it carefully in the lock until the latch gave. Then he stepped inside, holding his breath while hoping the alarm would take a few seconds before it went off.

There was silence through the little house. Maybe she hadn’t set the alarm. He shut the door with no sound. Then he heard a low voice.

Good thing he hadn’t given up carrying. He whipped his gun out as he crept through the living room, past the empty kitchen and an office. He stopped when he got to the open door of the bedroom, leveling his gun on the dark man standing over her bed with a wicked-looking, slightly curved blade in his hand. In the open collar of his shirt, a gold pendant gleamed around his neck, something too small for Hunter to see exactly what it was. A few feet from there, the curtain fluttered in the breeze coming through the open window.

“Drop it,” he said evenly, hoping Katharine stayed right where she was, lumped beneath her blankets.

The guy jumped, startled, clearly so absorbed in his own plans that he hadn’t paid any attention to the rest of the house. Good thing for Hunter, and for Katharine. Bad thing for the intruder.

From the corner of his eyes, Hunter saw movement on the pillow, but he couldn’t take his gaze off the intruder to see what it was. He just hoped she stayed in her spot on the opposite side of the bed long enough for him to deal with this asshole.

“Do you really want to stop me?” the other man said in heavily accented English. “From killing this monster?”

“No monsters here, buddy. Drop the knife. Now.” He jerked his gun a little, indicating the rocking chair in front of the closet where the knife wouldn’t be easily reachable again. More movement on the pillow, and this time, it looked like a couple of snakes in his peripheral vision. Couldn’t be. He kept his gaze on the other man. “Do it.”

The other man’s dark eyes narrowed, mouth tightening, his expression furious. “It is my duty to kill the Medusa.”

Hunter cocked his weapon. “If you don’t drop your weapon now, buddy, I’m going to put a very large hole in you. One you will not recover from.”

The dark guy muttered something Hunter couldn’t understand, something foreign, and, after a few more seconds, tossed the blade away, but not where Hunter had indicated. Instead, he threw it over the bed so it stuck in the plaster wall beside the mirror attached to her dresser. When Hunter glanced away from him to be certain that the dagger hadn’t done any damage to Katharine, the intruder leaped out the open window.

“Dammit,” he muttered, striding to the window in time to see the back of the other guy vanishing around the neighbor’s back porch a few dozen yards away. He pulled his head back in and froze.

Those were snakes on the pillow, several of them.

“Katharine,” he said quietly.

“You should go, Hunter.” Her voice was choked, hushed.

He frowned, his gaze still on the snakes. They were in her hair. “Honey, there are snakes–”

“I know. You should go.” She sucked in a harsh breath, and the lump of her under the blankets contracted.

His frown deepened. That couldn’t be. The snakes were not just in her hair, they were her hair. His eyes widened, and his jaw dropped. “Honey, I think you’d better tell me.” His racing mind called up the other man’s words–“the Medusa.”

But those old myths weren’t real.

One of the dark snakes lifted its head from the pillow in his direction and hissed at him.

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Now I’m going to go write, but I could use some encouragement this week, to keep from any more freaking out.  What do you do when things are super-insane in your life?

 

 

I just realized that there are a lot of birthdays coming up in the next month for our family.  We have one this week, and then several in July, including my own.

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( Photo credit: katedubya via Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

I don’t think my cake will look like that one, but it’s gorgeous, isn’t it, with the shells all over it.  Does anyone else have a birthday in the next month?

I also realized my website birthday is this week, too.  The shells on the cake reminded me of that–I was at the beach with my crit partners for a week-long writing retreat when my website first went live.  It doesn’t look the same now, though I think it’s still very pretty since my awesome web designer redid it for me.  In honor of my website birthday, I think we ought to have a giveaway.  So I have this box of goodies here…

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You see the top of  that cover flat in the very back?  That is the size of a mass market paperback, so that is a good measure of how deep the box is.  It’s got a nice messenger bag buried in the bottom, and a big tall cup I brought home from RWA, a whole bunch of books, and lots of other little goodies, like bookmarks, and magnets, and some other little surprises.

So, all the readers who comment on this post by 5 pm EST on Thursday June 30, 2016 will be entered in a drawing (via Random  Result) for this box o’goodies.

An author I see online regularly celebrates her birthday for a whole month, and I think I might borrow that this year and celebrate all through the next month.  Except the presents will be from me to you, because I have more goodies waiting to give away!

 

Happy birthday to me, for you.

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( Photo credit: sun dazed via Foter.com / CC BY-SA )

 

 

 

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Today is the first day of winter.  Sadly, that is not what it looks like here at my house.  Instead, it looks and feels much more like the first day of spring, rain included.  Our forecast is for record high temperatures heading into Thursday.  If I wanted a winter like this, I would live in a southern state instead of here.  I guess I need to move north.  I like Maine, though I think it’s been warmer than normal there this year, too.

I’ve even been disappointed with the holiday shows on tv this year–or rather, the serious lack of holiday shows.  I am pretty sure I’ve seen the same handful of horrid movies and shows about a dozen times or more as I’ve been channel-hopping in search of something good.  I did stumble on The Family Stone, though, one night, and fell in love with it.  If you haven’t seen that one, check it out.  I just happened to find it again earlier, about midway in, but I still love it.  I have yet to find The Holiday or Love Actually, though, in my channel-surfing.   Shame on all the networks.

I spent a big chunk of my weekend baking instead of writing as I’d hoped to do.  It’s a really good thing I set cookies aside for my aunt, too–some of the cookies are nearly gone already!  I got one of the variety I liked best; my guys ate the rest.  I’m trying to figure out if I can squeeze in another batch on Christmas Eve when I’m busy roasting turkey breast and ham and baking cake.  We’ll see.

What kind of craziness is going on in your world this week?

By the way, happy Winter!

 

Today is party day!  Yes, I hope that you have all been going already to check out my pretty new website since it went live earlier in the month, but today is my official launch party, and I’ve brought friends!

Beginning at 2 p.m. ET today (July 28, 2014), my Website Launch Celebration will last into the evening!  I am so excited about my website, and not only do I bring goodies to give away during the party, but so have my friends.  If you come to play with us, romance authors Misty Simon, Tricia Schneider, Ash Krafton, Downey Greene, Robin Bielman, Catriona Lesley (aka C.P. Lesley) will all be there with me to chat, share story snippets, give away swag and even some books.

So grab your party hats and come on over!  party hats( Photo credit: Infidelic / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) )

 

Hope to see you there.

 

 

party hats( Photo credit: Infidelic / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) )

 

It’s a date, so I hope you clear your calendars to come and play with us!  Monday, July 28, from 2 – 9 p.m. ET on my Facebook page is party day, celebrating my gorgeous new website.

I’ve rounded up some author buddies to come play with me for the day, and we’ll have goodies to giveaway.  I’ve got a small collection here myself already:  a cool t-shirt with my cover art printed on it, some cover flats, a $10 gift certificate for my publisher’s bookstore, a $15 iTunes gift card, and a couple copies of my book.  For starters.  I’ll probably snag a few more things before the day of the party, too.

Joining me for the fun are Downey Greene, Misty Simon, Catriona Lesley, Robin Bielman, and Tricia Schneider, who all have recent or upcoming romance novel releases, too!

A conversation with another friend reminded me that we need cabana boys, so I’ll have some of those hanging around, waiting to serve drinks to all the party-goers, and if you have a personal favorite, maybe you’ll bring him along, too.

And speaking of drinks, since it’ll be the end of July, I’m thinking about frozen cocktails.  margaritas

(Photo credit: fredthechicken / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) )  Or maybe some sangria.  I’m sure the cabana boys will be able to whip up whatever you want to drink for the party, though, so if neither of those ideas appeals to you, I’m sure we can find something that does.

Now, though, I need to get back to work.  I left some characters in a heightened state of, um, anticipation, and if I don’t get back to them soon, I think they’re going to be very cranky.