What’s Up

Hot Weather Friends

We had the hottest May and the hottest June on record where I live. Add to that, we’re deep in a serious drought over most of Texas. A nice LITTLE hurricane would be a blessing!

I don’t deal well with high temps; my energy level goes way, way down. So what perks me right back up and gets me going? Going out again with my author friends!

Even better– joining my critique partner friends for calm and reasoned “discussions” about our works in progress. 🙂

New York Times bestselling author Nina Bangs (Action! Action! Action!)
National Bestselling author Gerry Bartlett (Romance, romance, romance!)

At least we usually enjoy a fine lunch with our critiques!

Winter on the Gulf Coast, 2022

It’s January on the Gulf Coast and that means it’s time for these twice-blooming Fashion azaleas to stun with its coral colored blossoms. hey will be amazing again in spring, but right now their bright presence on the front lawn is a startling contrast to the leafless trees around them.

We don’t normally get hard freezes here, so we aren’t really prepared for them–neither our plants nor our population. Last February we had days of below-freezing temperatures and the gorgeous palms that decorate every commercial space and backyard pool were suddenly stripped of their finery. Our sago palm was just a bare, yellow stump. It looked a little like an oblong pineapple with a hairy toupee. But then some pups magically appeared at the base, and then a frond showed up on top. And now…

Even prettier than before ! The same can’t be said for our five citrus trees. So sad, but we lost them all. We’re certainly hoping this February doesn’t bring a repeat of the Big Freeze.

We’ve broken daily high records (and even super high daily low records) many times this year. Yesterday it was 74o and tomorrow night a cold front will arrive and we’ll be below freezing for a few hours. It plays havoc with allergies and barometric pressure sensitivities. But it’s a perfect excuse to curl up inside with a good book and read. Or… WRITE. Which is what I should be doing right now.

‘Bye for now, then.


At last I can announce…

My Regency Era novella, The Captain’s Last Quest, will be published next August by Dragonblade Publishing in an anthology called Tales of Timeless Romance. The story was inspired by the forbidden romance between Princess Charlotte (the popular daughter of the Prince Regent of England and the first “People’s Princess”) and the handsome hero, Prince Leopold.

He can scale his captive lady’s tower to rescue her–but can he convince her to love him?

P.S., I have another major announcement to make but the details aren’t final. WATCH THIS SPOT!

Patience, please!

I’m so excited to be a finalist in DragonBlade Publishing‘s The Write Stuff contest! But the winners won’t be announced until July 1. That’s a lifetime from now. Or so it seems.

I suppose I have no choice but to learn patience. Aaargh!

So, while I wait (and keep on editing), I’m going to give my website a major style change. New graphics, new material.

So now you, Dear Reader, have something to look forward to, also! Patience, please! And thank you.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Pandemic frustration

Even introverts are having trouble coping with this pandemic. For those of us who love eating out, visiting with friends and family, and writing in that special, quiet location… well, it isn’t fun. And for me it isn’t very productive.

I’m trying. I’ve almost got my entry for Dragonblade Publishing’s historical novel contest ready to go. Now if I can just finish all the work associated with closing out the year in my local writers group, I’ll have hours and hours of (constantly interrupted) time and space in my (dining room) office to complete the book.

Working… working… working…

Award Nomination


One of my Works-In-Progress was nominated for the Joan Lowery Nixon Award at the 2016 Houston SCBWI conference. The winner will be selected by author Joy Preble (It Wasn’t Always Like This) and will get a year’s mentorship from Joy. Fingers and toes crossed!

logo-scbwiSCBWI stands for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The Houston regional conference, on October 22 (2016?), was fantastic!

The Joan Lowery Nixon Award was named for one of Houston’s best-loved writers of books for children and young adults. Joan Lowery Nixon wrote more than 140 books — historical fiction and mysteries for kids of all ages (including adults). The one I loved best was The Kidnapping of Christina Lattimore.

Cover Reveal!

celia-cover-8-5-x-5-5-72dpiI’m so happy to announce the new cover for CELIA AND THE WOLF is finally finished. Isn’t it brilliant? And scary? I think Middle Grade readers will enjoy it as much as the five-star story inside.

(Check out the great reviews HERE.)

And it’s just in time for Halloween!

For those of you who haven’t read the story yet, a terrible villain is planning something truly awful for the night of All Hallow’s Eve. Celia and her werewolf friend, Remy, must find a way to stop him before he destroys Remy’s family.

The paperback version of CELIA AND THE WOLF is available to order at Amazon and other booksellers, such as Barnes and Noble. It’s also available as an e-book for Kindle and Nook.

Presentation at Bay Area Writers League

I was so happy to be invited back for the third time to B.A.W.L. (don’t you just love that acronym?), the Bay Area Writers League. Note: this isn’t the San Francisco Bay Area but the Galveston Bay Area, a lot further south and much hotter!)

B.A.W.L. speaking 7-16

It’s a great group of diverse writers — scifi, horror, history, memoir, romance and thriller, published and just beginning.

On July 28, I talked to them about The Short of It–Synopsis, Query, Blurb and Pitch.