A few readers have commented over the years that they loved DANGEROUS TALENTS but not the cover. One thought the DangerousTalents2_600x900woman looked like a bimbo, another observed that it looked like a woman who had inherited a castle saying, “Boy, I really need to get the landscapers out here.” After I enjoyed a good chuckle I decided he was right, and since DANGEROUS TALENTS isn’t about a real housewife doing the landscaper, er, landscaping, a new cover was in order.

My cover designer, Jaycee DeLorenzo  rose to the challenge and created a new cover for DANGEROUS TALENTS. I love it! I think it conveys the idea of a modern woman about to embark on a journey to another world better than the last cover did. That’s what covers are for, after all, to give potential readers, in a split second, an idea of what a book is about and pique their curiosity.

I’d love to hear what you think. Do you think the new cover will make potential readers want to take a closer look?


If you haven’t already done so, I invite you to sign up for my new release newsletter and get a free fantasy short story. I’ll never, ever share your email, and you’ll be the first to learn about new books and special offers. To sign up just click on GET A FREE STORY in the Navigation bar.

Thanks for reading!

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A Cover for My Next Book!

For those of you who have been waiting patiently (or otherwise) for the sequel to LIGHTBRINGER, take heart: Gideon’s story is on its way! My cover designer, Jaycee DeLorenzo of Sweet N Spicy Designs has just created the cover for Book 2 CA.Guardian_600x900in the Celestial Affairs series. It will be about six months before GUARDIAN is available, but I love this cover so much that I didn’t want to wait to share it with you.

Remember, you can be among the first to find out about sales and new releases by signing up for my newsletter, and get a Free short story in the bargain! Just click on GET A FREE STORY in the Nav bar above.

Speaking of sales, VEILED MIRROR is on sale right now at 50% off the everyday price.


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A New Book!

Let me introduce you to Catherine, Reginald, and Yolann … and to Francesca Rose.

Francesca Rose is the name I’m using for my Victorian Secret Romances. They’re set in the Victorian era and are a little sexier than the Frankie Robertson titles. If you’ve read WITH HEART TO HEAR, you’ll enjoy this new release, YETI IN THE MIST.

YETI IN THE MIST: A Victorian Secret Romance


Catherine Denton loves her ailing husband and is taken aback when he  encourages her to take a lover. Reginald, formerly a colonel in the East India Company Army, wants his young wife to have what he cannot give her: children–and his titled brother, Cedric, has offered to oblige. However, her brother-in-law is not the man Catherine desires. The male who makes her pulse race is Reginald’s good friend Yolann, the Yeti who served with him in India, and who sleeps just down the hall.




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Happy New(ish) Year (and a Sale!)


BBT500x800By now most of us have made our new year’s resolutions, kept some, and failed to meet others. I like the idea of resolutions. I like the idea that every year (and in fact, every day) we have the opportunity to do better work, to establish better habits, to be better people. We aren’t stuck with how things are. We can choose to change–if we want to–and are willing to pay the price. Whatever change you’re contemplating comes down to this: what are you willing to pay/give up/sacrifice to get what you want? When we answer that question honestly, sometimes we find out that we don’t REALLY want what we think we want, or at least not enough to pay the price for it.

I have one resolution that I’ve made every year for the last ten years or so. Every year I say I want to go to bed earlier so I can get up earlier. I usually manage this for a few days and then the old habits reassert themselves. I’ve come to the conclusion that up to this point the payoff, the gratification that comes from following through, and the improved productivity that I think will come from getting up earlier, haven’t been enough to entice me away from the pleasure of reading just one more chapter (or whatever it is I’m doing when it’s time to go to bed).

Sometimes the only way to find out what we really want (as opposed to what we think we’re supposed to want) is to try for it, fail, and then try again. Eventually, we either decide we don’t really want it (which isn’t the same as failing), or we figure out a different way to get it.

So what do I really want? Well, lots of things. But this weekend I want lots of people to discover my Celestial Affairs books, so I’m making BETRAYED BY TRUST available for FREE today thru Tuesday, February 2nd. If you haven’t read it yet, I hope this will entice you to take a chance on it, and leave a review.

Happy reading!


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Happy Holidays!

 FORBIDDEN TALENTS takes place during Nuvinland’s mid-winter festival and the characters spend a lot of time slogging through the snow, so it only seems fitting to put Ragni and Saeun’s story on sale as we celebrate our own winter holidays. Starting today,  FORBIDDEN TALENTS will be deeply discounted for the next week. Instead of its usual price of $4.99, you can find out what happens to Ragni and Saeun for only $0.99.

If you’ve already read FORBIDDEN TALENTS, thanks! Please take a moment to leave a review here. Sharing your opinion helps other readers find books they might like.

As always, thank you for reading! I hope you have a wonderful celebration surrounded by the people you love, and that the new year is a happy one.


P.S. If you’re more in51iKSIyNEhL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ the mood for a historical cozy mystery, I recommend Caroline Mickelson’s FROM MANGIA TO MURDER.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Like many people, this holiday encourages me to think about the many blessings in my life for which I’m grateful. My list is a long one, but high on it are you, my readers. So thank you for reading. I know you have a lot of demands on your time, so I appreciate it every time you sit down with one of my books, or take the time to leave a review.

I count sitting down with a good book as one of my blessings, so when I find an author who becomes an “auto-buy”, someone whose work I love so much I’ll read pretty much everything they write, that’s something special. I thought I’d share with you a couple of those names. That way, when the release of  my next book is delayed, you’ll know who tempted me away from my computer. 😉

Grace Draven writes fantasy romance that inspires me to up my game. I’ve read two of her books so far: Radiance and Entreat Me. Entreat Me won the 2014 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for best Fantasy Romance, and Radiance has been nominated for the same award in 2015. I didn’t know that when I read these books. I just knew that these were amazingly good reads and wanted more.

Eidolon, the sequel to Radiance, can’t come soon enough.

If urban fantasy is more to your taste, then I recommend Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series. I read the first book, Rosemary and Rue because I was going to be speaking  at a convention where Ms. McGuire was guest of honor. Then I binge read all the other books in the series. I warn you now, she’s addictive. So far there are nine books in this series, and she’s not done yet. This is excellent news.

Ms. McGuire also writes the InCryptid series (which I have yet to read), and science fiction horror  as Mira Grant.

I count these authors’ books (as well as many others) among my  blessings. I hope you will, too.

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TusCon 42: The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything

TusCon 42 (Tucson’s science fiction, fantasy, and horror convention) concluded yesterday. That’s a bittersweet thing, because the panels, art show, dealers, films, anime, computer gaming, belly dancing, music, LARP, and costumes were so much fun that  I wanted it to never end, but if it went on any longer we’d all be zombies. Which shouldn’t be too shocking because it was held on Halloween weekend, but some of us had to get back to work writing those  books you love to read.

Seanan McGuire was a wonderful author guest of honor, and Bridget Wilde was lovely to have as the artist GoH. There are too many people to thank individually, but a few are Autumn Ivy, Geoff Notkin, Eric Flint and Ed Bryant. Thank you also to Fearless Leader Sue Thing and the TusCon committee. This is an all volunteer group that puts in long hours to make sure everything runs smoothly and everyone has a good time. Which we do.

Next year, the TusCon 43 Guest of Honor will be George R.R. Martin. Don’t miss it.


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Happy Halloween! And Happy Birthday!

I love Halloween. I love seeing the little kids dressed up in their costumes and handing out candy. When I was a kid and on the other side of the door, Halloween seemed like the opening act for my birthday. First the neighbors gave me yummy things, and the next day I got cake and presents. Such a deal!

To celebrate Halloween and my birthday this year, I’m putting two of my paranormal romances on sale at 75% off the regular price. LIGHTBRINGER and VEILED MIRROR will be only $0.99 from today through November 1st.

In LIGHTBRINGER, an exiled angel falls in love with the woman he’s supposed to be protecting from a demonic assassin. (4.2 Stars)

A ghost haunts her twin sister in VEILED MIRROR, demanding she solve her murder, regardless of the cost to her heart–or her life…(4.1 Stars)

So celebrate All Hallows Eve and my birthday with me, and enjoy a sweet deal at the same time!

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Sell It!

Most readers want to like the protagonists of the books they read. Even if the main character has a long way to grow to become likable at the beginning of the book, they had better have something that makes them sympathetic or the reader is going to find someone else to spend time with. Most commercial fiction is populated with sympathetic characters, people we want to root for. But what about when your otherwise likable character makes a mistake?

There’s an old saying among writers, “Reality is no excuse for fiction.” That means that just because something happened in real life, if it’s weird or unlikely you probably shouldn’t have it happen in your book. (The only exception to this maxim is when it makes things worse for your hero, and even then you have to be careful.) We’ve all made boneheaded mistakes, done things that in hindsight we can’t believe we did, things we should have known better than to do. That doesn’t mean our characters get to be stupid, though. They can make mistakes, but you’d better give them a good reason to be blind to the right path or your readers will let you hear about it. And you’d better sell it.

You can hit all your marks, give your character the right emotional backstory that perfectly justifies her inability to trust, or commit, or stop being a workaholic, but if the reader doesn’t feel it, they won’t believe it.

So how do you do that?

  • Understand your characters. Have at least a basic knowledge of your characters before you start so you know where they’re coming from. This makes it easier for you to know how the character will choose between A and B as they progress through the story. It’s okay to build up that background as you go along, just be sure you go back in the revision phase to make everything consistent.
  • Multiple layers. You can’t just tell the reader that the character was hurt by her boyfriend and you can’t do it  just once. Show how that experience is still affecting her years later, in several different ways. Then you can show how the events of the story are causing her to grow beyond that old, limiting experience.
  • Which brings us to: Show, don’t tell. I know, this is an oldie. And you don’t have to show everything. Sometimes telling is the right way to move a story along. But putting a reader IN a scene, so they can watch how it unfolds and how the character reacts, rather than being TOLD about what happened, helps the reader feel it.
  • Tell it from a different character’s perspective. Sometimes you can break the above rule (sort of) by having another character tell about something that shaped the protagonist. By showing that other character’s reaction to the events, you guide the reader’s reaction as well.

That being said, even if you do everything right, you won’t sell it to every reader, every time.

Writing a novel or short story isn’t as much of a group effort as writing for Hollywood, where directors and actors interpret the writer’s work before the audience ever sees it, but it’s still collaborative. Obviously, your editor will have some input. Less obvious is what the reader brings to the story. Every reader has his or her own way of viewing the world. Sometimes that bias prevents them from understanding why a certain experience shaped the character a certain way. The character’s reaction is not what they would have done. If you do your job well, most readers will be able to experience the world through the mind and the heart of your character for that little time they’re inside your  creation. But the magic doesn’t always work. Not every book is a good fit for every reader, every time. And that’s okay. If the author does her job, the rest of the story will be satisfying enough for the reader to keep turning the pages, even when the character makes a mistake.

* * * * *


For the 28th and 29th of September, DANGEROUS TALENTS will be Free. This is the last time this year that the first Vinlanders’ Saga book will be on sale.

And if you haven’t already done so, you can get a Free fantasy story by signing up for my VIP Newsletter. Just click on Get a Free Story in the Nav bar above. (I won’t spam your inbox or share your email. The only time you’ll hear from me is when I have a new book or when a book goes on sale.)

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For just a few days, DANGEROUS TALENTS is available here for Free:

If you haven’t yet read the first book in the Vinlanders’ Saga series, now is your chance! (This is the first time in two years that this title has been available for free.)

Why am I giving it away now? I want you to fall in love with my world and my characters, and what’s better than finding something you love for a great price? And what price could be better than free?

If you’ve already read DANGEROUS TALENTSTHANK YOU! I hope you enjoyed it, and that you’ll tell a friend or two about this opportunity to get a great read for free– or maybe even give it as a gift. (I discovered two of my favorite “must read” authors when I was given one of their books.)

I also want to say thanks if you’ve written a review. Your opinion is hugely helpful, both to other readers and to authors like me. And if you haven’t already left a review, I hope you’ll take a few minutes to let other readers know what you think. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few sentences will do.

You can leave a review near the bottom of this page:

Happy Reading!


Celia Montrose has been trained to deal with any emergency–except being thrust into another world. Crisis management training hasn’t prepared her for meeting the Viking descendants of the lost Vinland colony, or coping with kidnapping, murder, and magic.

Lord Dahleven is preparing for war when he rescues a strange and beautiful woman in the drylands. Though he fears Celia may be Fey-marked, Dahleven can’t resist the powerful attraction he feels for her. But is Celia in league with the enemy, or will she provide the key to saving his people?

Alone and off-balance, Celia finds herself falling for Lord Dahleven. But dangerous forces are at work, and one of them is offering Celia a way home–for a price.


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