Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Roller Coaster Writer

Get an idea for your next book from an everyday event that you really look at for the first time.

Read a craft book. Figure out why your last scene sucked.

Write 2k words on your Work-in-Progress in one day.

Plan out the next scene to write tomorrow.

Send out  five queries. Get one form rejection within the hour.

Read a blog and write a great comment. Get an appreciative response from the blogger.

Write another 2k words.

Go to a chapter meeting. Afterwards, go for drinks and chat with other writers.

Get a critique from your most trusted partner saying she hates your heroine.

Judge a dismal contest entry, then spend hours trying to be nice.

Get another form rejection.

Write 12k words in three days. Battle with a family member over time spent at the computer.

Get a request for partial. Reply promptly.  Wait, wait, wait, and wait some more. And give up.

Celebrate a friend's sale. Hope her good luck will rub off.

Get a request for a full. Reply promptly. Get a form rejection within three days.

Write a blog and get more comments than ever before.

Get a phone call from your favorite agent. Dream big.

Who needs a roller coaster when you're a writer?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hunky WOLF SEALs by Terry Spear

US Navy SEALs are hot! Just as Rangers and Special Forces men I met in the Army were. But what happens when they're also a lot WOLF?

Hunter Greymere's SEAL team comes to mind.

When I wrote that Hunter was a US Navy SEAL in book 3, To Tempt the Wolf, I hadn't thought of him as being a part of a whole wolfish SEAL team. That was our editor, Deb Werksman's gem of an idea! And that was the beginning of my thinking of how I could come back to the pack someday and write another story about another member of the wolf SEAL team.

Now fans also helped because many wanted me to write Hunter's sister's story. In the original Oregon coast wolf pack story, Meara was looking for a mate. And fans wanted her to find one!!!

So in A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing,  book 9, she's at it again.

The she-wolf will play when the alpha male is away. That's Hunter, the pack leader, not her mate. Wolves mate for life, so she's just thrilled he's off on a honeymoon with his mate Tessa, and Meara's got free reign of the cabin resort rentals. So what does she do? Packs them with alpha males, one of which might just be the mate for her.

Until Finn Emerson comes along and spoils her whole plan! He's one of Hunter's SEAL team members and there to protect Hunter and Meara from a threat. But the threat is to the team, not her! So, to her way of thinking, Finn is bringing the trouble to her doorstep, not keeping her safe. But most of all he is NOT on her list of prospective mates and is totally in the way.

Finn Emerson is way over qualified to babysit one sexy she-wolf, but protect her he will. It's either that, or she stays with her brother on his honeymoon, and she's not about to do that. But first, her planned mate-hunting show is over and she's not happy about it at all.

When a shooter fires into her house and Finn tackles her to the floor to protect that sexy body of hers, he loses the towel he's wearing, and why he's "dressed" like that is a whole other story.

He really isn't interested in settling down right now, though Meara's definitely making him rethink his lifestyle. Maybe it's the notion he doesn't believe ANY alpha male would be right for her. Not that he's on the mate mart. But still...

Here's what one reviewer said: 
Why Readers Will Love A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing

  • The Humor - Terry Spear has a unique talent for infusing her novels with wit and humor that is all her own. Specific scenes could cause a rare laugh-out-loud moment and if they don't do that they will at least put a grin right on your face. I personally loved the scene in which Finn is checking Meara over for listening 'bugs' and the two begin playing out a love scene for anyone who 'may' be listening. There is also the fantastic scene in which Meara comes home to find a very unexpected naked SEAL in her bedroom, the reactions are priceless.
  • Pack Loyalty - I am one of those readers who gets all gooey inside when a group of people come together for the sake of one. Werewolves, in most books, are usually like that but throw in a team of SEAL's and you have people literally willing to face a bullet for one another. That kind of loyalty always makes for some dramatic, heartfelt scenes, but in this crew that sort of connection also provides a strong base for a lot of the humorous moments.
  • An Exciting Storyline - The book begins with Finn bugging Meara's place because an unknown assassin is after her brother's SEAL team. He seeks to protect her while Hunter is away, doing whatever it takes, even going so far as to pretend to be her lover. Hilarity ensues, which is expected when you put such larger than life characters together and high-action drama follows the two as they avoid killers and their own emotions.
  • Love, Lust and Everything in Between - Meara and Finn are beautiful together; their chemistry is sizzling and their reactions to one another are instant and explosive. The automatic physical attraction between the two is intense right from the beginning and their animosity only a sign of their hidden feelings. The characters really play upon each others personality, bringing out the softer side of their hard-edged persona. The author writes sensual scenes for the characters to explore their emotions in, without taking them too far too soon, making that climactic moment all the more anticipated.  Read more at Suite101: Book Review of A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing | Suite101.com http://jessicahastings.suite101.com/book-review-of-a-seal-in-wolfs-clothing-a402755#ixzz1lkVOwsgJ
~~Romance Fiction, Suite 101, Jennifer Hastings

So you see, A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing definitely could be a mate, even if he doesn't think so. 

I have to say that when I edit my books, I do have particular favorite scenes I LOVE to edit a lot. I mean, I'm  not really editing as much as REREADING them a lot. :) One is the opening where, like Ms. Hastings said, Meara finds Finn naked in her bedroom, which is his plan to let a renter/prospective mate know he's a little too late in arriving, and the scene where Finn is checking Meara over for bugs. Not that I didn't have fun revising to make the scenes all that more memorable while I reread them, but I have to admit, I reread them a lot more than I revised them.

There's also a scene between the first renter and Finn where he shows him just what he thinks of the "renter," who breaks into the safe house and makes himself a cup of coffee while Finn and Meara are sleeping. And the scene where Anna, an undercover operative, takes Finn to task over his dealings with Meara. He tells her to not say a word about his relationship with Meara, but does she listen?

I have to say that I just had plain fun writing the book. The humor was just there between the characters from the get-go. Mystery, adventure, hot and sexy alpha males and females and prerequisite getting rid of bad guys are all part of the story. But returning to the Oregon coast wolf pack was a lot of fun!

Next up is a hunky jaguar shifter in Savage Hunger. And Howling for the Highlander, the next in the Highland wolf series, this one about Duncan, who is off to get their money back in the Grand Cayman Islands. His name means dark warrior, and that's his whole persona...

But when he arrives at the island and sees a lone she-wolf at the airport, he's more than a little distracted in his mission. Going to the island wasn't meant to be fun. But all that changes when the man who's stolen the clan's money hits on the female wolf, and Duncan is all wolfish warrior and more.

I'm currently working on his older brother, Cearnach's story as readers will get to return to the Highland wolf pack again in their native Scotland, in A Highland Wolf Wedding.

But back to this month's release!!!

All month long Sourcebooks will be giving away 2 copies of A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing. Here's the schedule!

Guest Blog Schedule for A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing for March and Beyond

3/1 You Gotta Read Reviews & Love Romance Passion
3/2 Book Savvy Babe
3/3 Weekend No Blogs--Teaching Workshops New Orleans
3/4 No Blogs/book signing New Orleans

3/5 No Blogs

3/6 Rom Fan Reviews
3/7 Sia McKye’s Thoughts Over Coffee
3/8 Night Owl Reviews & Literal Addiction

3/9 Urban Girl Reader

3/10 Weekend
3/12 SOS Aloha
3/13 SciFiGuy
3/14 Sizzling Hot Books
3/15 Speculative Salon

3/16 Fresh Fiction & 7 Scribes
3/17 Weekend
3/19 Reading Between the Wines
3/20 Cindy Loves to Read
3/21 Open
3/22 Reviews by Molly
3/23 Book Boost
3/24 Weekend
3/26 Star-Crossed Romance
3/27 Open

3/28 Mrs Papillion's Bookworm Reviews 
3/29 Long and Short Reviews
3/30Paranormal Addicts

3/31 Weekend

Additional Dates:

April: ARRA
July 4: Petit Fours and Hot Tamales

I have to say that when I mentioned the title of this book, I had people raising their brows. She's flipped out! She's writing about seal shifters that mate with wolf shifters?


Until I explain I'm writing about US NAVY SEALs, who are wolf shifters. LOL

What about you? Are you ready for a wolfish kind of SEAL?

"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A rare thank-you to RWA

I don't mean to diss RWA, but I haven't gotten much out of it in late years other than the ability to join up with other writers (like those in FTHRW and my local chapter). If I didn't need membership in RWA to be in those groups, I'd drop it like a hot potato for many reasons.

But I have to thank them for one thing that has been useful to me lately: I seldom read the RWR, usually batching them to read in clumps when on trips, etc. I pulled out an article from one that looked interesting and finally got around to reading it last night.

O.M.G. This might just save my sanity. It was an article by Jo Beverley about using WikiSpaces to organize the data she has about the characters in her series of novels. I'm working on a multi-generational series of books, and I've tried just about every way to organize it that I can think of. I got to WikiSpaces and I knew I Found It. I'll spend the next few days organizing what I have then I can update it whenever I need.

The one downside is that it isn't portable, in a sense. I must have an Internet connection to access the information. But I soon realized that I am seldom away from an Internet connection, I can print the info if I need to, and the online-method is really the way I think of that data anyway: as a series of interconnected links, etc.

I can also use this method for my other series, which will interlink with my multiple-generations series as well. I can create a separate Wiki for it and link that to the current Wiki, then I can easily find the information that references ... well, it's mind-boggling how easy it will be ONCE I get it set up (I have visions of happy evenings getting everything organized to my satisfaction).

So thank you, RWA, for the RWR, which 90% of the time I just skim and toss. This one article may be worth the price of admission this year for me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Prefer Perseverance

When I announced that I'd sold five books after writing for twenty-two years, my friends called me stubborn, but I prefer to call it having perseverance. Actually, it has always been a labor of love and never work to spend time with my muse. I suppose you have to choose your priorities and I've found writing on the top of my list most of the time. I do like to pull out my sewing machine and stitch up a quilt or two just to take a break from the keyboard, though.

One of my writing goals has been to get my hero bear. My Writers Playground friends have always given support to a first publication by presenting a teddy bear dressed like the hero in the story. They found the perfect bear for me - a Scottish cowboy. I fell in love with him the moment he arrived and we've already become great friends. His name is Gerry Bear - his namesake and my inspiration for this character being Gerard Butler. I'd like to introduce my sweetheart to you.

He is easy to talk to, soft to cuddle, and adorable enough to just sit and stare at. Yes, he is a distraction at times, but he can sure stimulate my imagination.

Monday, February 20, 2012

opening scenes

I am still not sure I'm satisfied with the opening scene of my WIP. I’ve left it alone for a few weeks, and yesterday came across a chapter in Hooked, by Les Edgerton, that offers a priority list of where exactly to start, and what information needs to be excluded.

I’ve already trimmed a chapter and a half of backstory. Edgerton writes:
Unless a book is part of an already established series, it opens on a blank world. A reader knows nothing about the situation or the characters. This is why it is tempting to write backstory, feeling the need to bring the reader up to date with a set up.

He says the most essential components of an opening scene are:
1. Inciting incident—the event that creates the lead’s initial surface problem and sets the stage for the story-worthy problem. This is the “action” part of the story, the part that is plot-based.
2. Story-worthy problem—the deep, inner life changing issue or character trait the lead will resolve by the end of the book.
3. The Initial Surface problem—the first, outer problem the main character has to solve as a result of the inciting incident. It propels the lead to take action.
4. The Set-up—the first few words that orient the reader in the opening scene. Who and where and what’s happening.

Secondary components:
5. Backstory—anything and everything that has happened up to the time of the inciting incident.
6. Opening Line
7. Language—avoid adverbs. Limit adjectives.
8. Character introduction—by showing their reactions to the inciting incident.
9. Setting
10. Foreshadowing.

The reader doesn’t need to understand what led to the opening situation in order to fully realize the significance of what’s happening when trouble begins. Trust the reader.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I forgot to post

Can you imagine I forgot to post yesterday?!
I'm the one who always reminds bloggers they shouldn't forget to post on their day, yet I forgot. No excuses. Unless stress is an acceptable excuse. Two days at the hospital for chest pain, immediately followed by relatives visiting for ten days. A new book uploaded at amazon.com. Promoting my books while cooking and entertaining my guests. I also forgot to call my doctor and schedule the next appointment. I'm just stressing right now because I didn't prepare a post.

Forgive me for unloading my stress on you. I will now share some good news.

My ebooks are doing great at amazon. com. Crossing my fingers in order not to jinx myself.

NO MORE LIES (formerly Rx For Trust) EPICON finalist, has been on the bestseller list for four weeks. Tag line: a lie that brings a smile or a truth drawing tears? It's a romance novel about white lies, second chances, abuse, mother/daughter's problems, all mixed with a good dose of humor, for 99 cents, bestseller at amazon http://tinyurl.com/79r88wp

RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN- What’s a girl to do when she whispers another man’s name in her fiancĂ©’s arms?  The name of the French doctor she loved three years ago. Hot, romantic and humorous,  an international romance, set in France, 99 cents bestseller at amazon.com  http://tinyurl.com/85o4wg7

BABIES in the BARGAIN, 2009 Best Romance Novel at Preditors & Editors; 2010 Best Contemporary  Romance at Readers Favorite; bestseller at amazon.com for 99cents  http://tinyurl.com/6mcd6e3
When an accident transforms the carefree playboy into a dedicated father to his nephew, Holly turns her life upside down for the baby. But can she learn to trust Marc again?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Ever have that sinking feeling…like you’re in over your head?  As a newly published author, fumbling for the perfect marketing strategy, that quicksand sensibility is my constant companion.  In fact, it reminds me of my first month as a high school principal, hired on when my new high school was still under construction.  Everett, Washington.  Rain.  A muddy site.  Yup, one day, on my way to the construction portable, I got stuck in the mud.  The site supervisor happened to be walking by and helped me pull my boots and body out of the sucking mud.  You have to laugh, or you’ll cry!

To make an inexpensive promo item, 1000 of them, I had to bustle around three towns finding bargain material and cloth-cutting equipment  (You’re saying ‘ka-ching’ right now, aren’t you?)  Cutting blades go dull quickly, I can’t cut straight lines, the plan for stamping material requires heating 1000 pieces of material…you get the picture.  More money and way more time consumed than I planned.  You have to laugh.

QR codes.  Some of you read my blog entry about how I learned the value of QR codes as a promotional resource.  See the adventure here: http://blog.rolynnanderson.com/
I’ve got those squares on everything: banners, business cards, post cards.  Yes, even emblazoned on a tee-shirt.  On a tee-shirt?  Did I think ahead about how people would be pointing their droids at my chest, trying to scan my QR code so they could download website?  Did I contemplate the problem that my curves might prevent a ‘good scan?’  Will I have to walk around with my shirtfront pulled taut so the population has a proper reading of my chest? 

Really, you have to laugh about all the risks we’re taking and pickles we get ourselves into…or we WILL cry.  Yes, indeed, there’s a lot of laughter in my house, these days.  How about yours?  Rolynn
LAST RESORT on sale now, print & download
Wild Rose Press: http://tinyurl.com/682vwgv
Web: http://www.rolynnanderson.com
Blog: http://blog.rolynnanderson.com/
FB: http://tinyurl.com/63vsnmt

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

And the subject is Editors

It is Valentine’s Day and I get to demonstrate my love for some of the best people in my writing life... My editors!

I love editors. Maybe it is because I’ve had the privilege of working with some really great editors, and maybe it is because I know what happens when you don’t have an editor working with you, but the fact remains, I love editors.

An editor is often the first person to read something I’ve written. I don’t have critique buddies anymore, and when I submit something to one of my usual publishing houses, that is often the first time I get feedback on something I’ve been working my butt off on. So when they say they really like my work, I get that validation I’ve been looking for.

The other reason I love editors is that editors make my work better. I’m a better storyteller than I am a grammarian. I think I know where the commas go but I don’t always get them in the right place. Editors frequently do know these mysterious things. They also can point out things like your hero has neglected to tell the heroine how he feels about her anywhere in the book. Or in chapter five the heroine tells the hero she loves him, and then two chapters later is still questioning her feelings. Editors catch the boo-boos I tend to make.

Now don’t get me wrong. A good knowledgeable critique buddy can do the same thing, but it is the editor’s job to make your work as good as possible.

Also editors can advise on covers and on titles. Here we have the cover for my upcoming Gaian book, Beloved Stranger. This is the third version of the cover because while I liked the first version, there were changes my editor and I felt were needed. I love how they even got the wristbands my characters wear when they are married into the cover.

I have another editor who I just sold a new Hollywood After Dark book to, and she’s advised me to shorten the title to make it snappier. In thinking about it, that’s a good idea so I went with it.

By the time Beloved Stranger is out the door it will be a well-edited book with a great cover and should find an appreciative audience. And it will be because I had an editor on my side.

How about the rest of you? Can I get some more love for editors here? What do you love about editors?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Vote for Out of the Shadows!

Curtains up! Light the Lights! The SAMMIES are coming, all right!

That's right, it's time to vote for your Samhain Publishing favorites for 2011. The SAMMIE Awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 24, 2012, starting at 2 p.m. EST in the Samhain Publishing Cafe. (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/samhaincafe/)

VOTE for OUT OF THE SHADOWS, pretty please! Of course, you can vote for all the other fine authors and books from Samhain, too. :-)

The categories that require your vote are these:
Reader's Choice Best Cover Art ebooks 2011 (Out of the Shadows)

Reader's Choice Best Cover Art Print Books 2011

Reader's Choice Best ebook 2011 (Out of the Shadows)

Reader's Choice Best Print Book 2012

Please go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BQG585R to cast your vote. Voters are permitted three choices per category. Voting begins today and runs through March 19, 2012.

The survey allows each participant to vote once. The blue links for each book/cover are hot and will take you to Samhain Publishing site so that you can look at the cover or read the blurb for each book listed. Cast your choice for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category. Then scroll to the NEXT button at the bottom of the page. This will take you to the next category. Repeat until you get to the last category. When you have voted for your choices, be sure to click on the DONE button at the bottom of the last page so your vote will count. Remember, each reader gets to vote once for the poll.

We're asking everyone to participate by casting your vote. After all, these are the Reader's Choice categories! Your opinion counts!

Everyone, mark your calendars, shop for your dazzling Red Carpet outfit and get ready to celebrate our SAMMIE winners! We can hardly wait to announce the winners. Party! Party! Par-tay!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Joanne---Dave Barry and Valentine's Day

Hi Everyone,
Please share a chuckle with me.
For this month, I'm sharing Dave Barry's brief opinion on Valentine's Day. Enjoy!

WHAT WOMEN WANT: To be loved, to be listened to, to be desired, to be respected, to be needed, to be trusted, and sometimes, just to be held.

WHAT MEN WANT: Tickets for the World Series

Me again: OK, is he right? :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Countdown to Valentine's Day

It's in full swing. It being the proliferation of advertising for the lover's holiday.

Stores are full of hearts and chocolates and sexy red lingerie. The internet is popping up ads for gift ideas. Notably, most of the ads are gifts for women. I even saw an ad for Love Heels. Cute twist on love heals. 

Of course, Valentine's Day is a holiday for the ladies. Right? 

When I was younger and working in an office, I dreaded Valentine's Day. Oh the pressure! Didn't boyfriends know they should send flowers to the office so you wouldn't appear to be among the have-nots? 

And when I wasn't dating anyone, I hated restaurants were so crowded with lovebirds; the wait for a table was overlong. Once seated, couples surrounded you, reminding you of what you lacked. 

Don't get me wrong. During February, my house is decorated with hearts. A heart-shaped candle sits on the shelf over my desk. Heart clings cover the window. Tiny glass hearts fill a clear vase. And I enjoy using heart-shaped baking pans and a serving dish. 

I'm older now. Settled in a loving marriage. Now the holiday is about spending private time with my personal hero. 

What is your take on the Valentine's Day holiday?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Confession ( and it's a doozy)

Ladies, I have a confession to make. One I thought I’d never make. It’s hard to admit too because I once was one of those. You know the type, one of the people who looked down upon someone with my affliction. In fact, going back to my very first blog, I bragged I’d never be like that, but you see I am.

Yes, I’m an addict. I used to be only guilty of now and then partaking, a few times a month, maybe once a week, but not that much, not really. Maybe it was a bit of a hobby, not an addiction, besides it didn’t cost me too much either. But now, I can hardly get out of bed without indulging…and sometimes I don’t even bother getting out of bed.

You guessed it. I am now sleeping with the laptop by my bed. Who knows when I might get the urge to change a plot twist, or develop a clever secondary character? Maybe I need to check my email to see if a certain publisher has emailed me back or I need to vote on a friend’s book cover. I carry my addiction with me everywhere. Only a few days ago I managed to edit three chapters while having my roots done.

Sometimes I try to get around things like cleaning, cooking, even exercising to find more time to write. Unfortunately, I have a day job that demands I show up five days out of seven. I have managed to write at work on break, during lunch, even after work because it is so quiet there after everyone goes home. Okay, I will admit when I’ve had a pressing deadline I’ve written on work hours glad that all my fellow workers need reading glasses to read what I am typing in 8 count font and glad that they’re vain enough not to wear them.

Writing has taken over my life. My thoughts dwell on how to promote CUB IN BLUE, my newest book, who to submit pitches to, and agents. Day trips and vacations center around writing workshops and conferences. Don’t get me started on the money I’ve spent.

As for my love life, I am very lucky to have a fiancĂ© who entertains himself while I type. He smiles indulgently at me above his book. He doesn’t call me an addict, or a fool, or tell me I am wasting my time. Instead he tells me I am the best writer he knows. (Everyone should “ahh” about now.)

So yes ladies, I have only one more thing to say. My name is Morgan…and I am a writer.

How about you? Tell me your stories of obsession and addiction.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Confusion can be a Good Thing

As we age, some of us become more confused. Medical experts say this is a natural part of the aging process and NOT early signs of Alzheimer's. Mercy, I hope they're right.

I've long held that confusion is the sign of a busy mind. Our neurons and synapses are working overtime on problems, ideas, tasks and dreams. I know mine is. Since I've started writing full time, it's as if the story lines and characters won't let me alone. I read a small article in the paper and I think wouldn't that make a great story. I hear a snippet of a newscast and my mind is twisting the news into a "what-if" situation. I'm nearing the point where I wish there was an off switch.

In the past 19 months, I've written 3 books and 2 novellas. One book, Storm's Interlude, is out. Another, Mona Lisa's Room, is under contract and in the galley stage. The third, Rain is a Love Song, is being emailed by my agent this week to an editor who's been asking for it (No, I'm not that great of a writer editors are clamoring for my work, Rain is merely book two of a series). As for the novellas, I'm waiting on a release date for Those Violet Eyes. The second, Tumbleweed Letters, is with an editor. Let the nail-biting begin.

So is it any wonder when I wrote the synopsis for Tumbleweed Letters that I used the wrong heroine's name? That's normal, right? RIGHT??? Imagine my embarrassment when my agent emailed asking why I sent her a synopsis about Evie when the character in the manuscript was Sophie. Ah......

At that point I decided I needed a few weeks away from writing. My brain needs to rest and recycle.

Ben woke me in the middle of the night, which might be all well and good, but my husband's name is Calvin. Ben is a World War II soldier. "Doll," he whispered in my ear, his breath fluttering those dastardly white hairs growing at my temple. "When are you going to write about my Pearl? You see, Pearl and me have something special going on." I glared at him, replying that I had some serious sleep going on before he woke me. He extended his hands in that universal helpless gesture, shrugged and smiled, his deep dimples drawing my attention. Darn, he just had to have dimples. I told him he'd have to wait a couple weeks. And he laughed, deep, rich, sexy--and I sighed. I think he knows I'm a sucker for dimples and deep laughter. Darn him, anyhow.

Can't a confused mind catch a break?

Storm's Interlude available at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

Wow, I absolutely loved Storm's Interlude! If I ever thought to write a romance book, I'd only hope that this would be my style of writing. Storm's Interlude has sweet romance, heartfelt feelings, a whole lot of sexual tension, and its own share of on-edge suspense. -- Night Owl Reviews
Release date to be announced by The Wild Rose Press --
Evie Caldwell hates her life. Five years ago, she gave up college and her dream of teaching to care for her ailing mother. Now, she’s trapped taking care of her worthless brother and the family ranch. Waiting tables to earn her way out of Texas, the last thing she wants is a muscleman with a macho Marine attitude complicating her life. But, oh, how that man makes her insides melt.

Wounded vet Win Fairchild returns to Texas to heal, find a piece of his soul, and open a ranch for amputee children. Finding someone to love is not on his agenda. But when he starts work at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, a spitfire with violet eyes and a major attitude instantly captures his heart.

Evie just wants to escape, but now that Win knows what he wants, can he convince Evie to stay in Texas—and his bed?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Leap Year

There is a saying to help school children remember how many days are in the different months.

Thirty days hath September, April, June and November; February has twenty eight alone All the rest have thirty-one Except in Leap Year, that's the time When February's Days are twenty-nine.

2012 is a Leap Year, which means this month has 29 days. It also means on February 29th ladies can ask men to marry them, instead of the other way around. I'm supposing that meant something back in the days before equal rights. Although, I've noticed that some traditional things stay traditional. Weddings, fashion, and etiquette seem to be the last bastions of old-fashioned tradition. Even romance novels no longer have damsels in distress. Now they are kickbutt heroines able to not only save themselves, but the hero too.

Back to Leap Year and that women asking thing. According to www.urbanlegends.about.com In keeping with the theme of nature gone awry, a whimsical tradition dating back at least four centuries (and still trotted out at four-year intervals by newspaper feature writers) holds that leap years confer upon women the "privilege" of proposing marriage to men instead of the other way around. The convention was (in literature, if not in reality) that any man who refused such a proposal owed his spurned suitor a silk gown and a kiss — provided she was wearing a red petticoat at the moment she popped the question.

So we'll add an extra day to 2012, babies born on the 29th will have a birthday only every four years, and ladies will need to get out that red petticoat to ask the man of their hearts that eternal question. Will you marry me?

Jill James