Thursday, October 27, 2011

Immortality through the pages of a book

How many of you enjoy reading historical fiction? Da Vinci Code, I think, drew a lot of new readers to this type of fiction.  When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra is one that still sits in my TBR pile.  My fascination with books goes in so many directions that that TBR pile grows every day.  Thank God for my Kindle!

I’ve been working on a Historical Romance that has paranormal elements.  I love it, but it’s a really different piece for me.  It will take me quite a while to finish it.

Lately, my attention, like so many I’m sure, has been drawn to the new release Steve Jobs.  I have to admit I don’t read many autobiographies/biographies.  Why?  I guess mainly because they seem to be written by two types of people: people who are still alive and want to be remembered in some untrue light, or people who don’t seem to like their subject much.

It seems all too rare that we have someone like Walter Isaacson.  He’s written books on Benjamin Franklin and Einstein, but his book, Steve Jobs, has thrown him into a spotlight that I don’t think he imagined.  He seems to have truly partnered with Steve Jobs and written a book that I can’t even get my hands on!

All of this makes me think about my freshman year in college.  In one of my intro to business classes, the instructor asked the class to write their eulogy.  Wow.  I was 18, and I had to think about dying.  It’s pretty pathetic, but I imagined a fabulous career and nothing else.  No husband or children.  I’ve never forgotten that (Okay, don’t cry.  I was in college…what did I know?)

I haven’t been able to get a copy of the book to read it, but according to everything reported, Steve Jobs wanted this book to be completely honest.  Maybe even brutally so.  He wanted his children to really know him.

I think I’ve talked before about building characters out of pieces of everything around us, and in so doing in a small way we immortalize people, places, and things in the pages of the books we write.

But, have you ever wondered what people will write on their pages about you?  What do you think they’ll say?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Werewolves for Grown-Ups in Woman's World!

Thanks so much to Rhonda Valverde who was interviewed by Woman's World for mentioning my werewolf books--Heart of the Highland Wolf!!!

I loved it: Werewolves for Grown Ups! Yes!!! I couldn't have been more thrilled, and again, want to thank Rhonda for thinking of my wolfish hunks when she was interviewed!!!

And Romantic Times Magazine gave Dreaming of the Wolf a great review!


(ISBN 9781402245558)
by Terry Spear

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Sensuality: HOT

RT Rating

REVIEW: In the eighth in her Werewolf series, Spear gives us a love-at-first-sight romance with intense and almost immediate lovemaking that really works with her fascinating characters and exciting action-packed crime drama plot. A great fantasy twist and yet another way to interpret the legend of weres.

Sub pack leader Jake Sliver is in Breckenridge, Colo., to drop off of his photography at a gallery when he catches sight of a woman staking out two deadly criminal types. She more than intrigues him, she turns him on.

Alicia Greiston is a bounty hunter, only this hunt is personal. She’s after the mob men who had her mother killed. She’s also attracted the interest of a certain Jake Silver, who offers her his protection, which pleases her as she’s used to taking care of herself. She and Jake enter into a torrid affair which proves to be impossible to escape from, but they’re also on a crash course with disaster in the form of the mob. If they survive, will the feelings they have for each other survive too? (SOURCEBOOKS, Dec., 384 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed By: Debbie Haupt

Also, my wolf books at the B & N in Pensacola, FL are autographed!


I'm so excited about the newest cover, this for the 9th book in the werewolf series coming March 2011.

Isn't it gorgeous?

Sourcebooks sure knows how to do it right. :)

The Accidental Highland Hero
Someone had posted a comedian's blurb about how his mother had told him that women didn't really care about muscles as much as if a guy had a sense of humor. He soon discovered mothers lie.

But just think, if you truly had to live with someone who was dour and sour, humorless, but had the most beautiful muscles known to man, or someone who made you smile or laugh on the worst of days, who looked better with his shirt honest! Which would you prefer?

My dad was the world's biggest tease, which is where I get my inclination from naturally, and when my mom, who could be just as much of a character, asked him why he didn't have six-pack abs like that guy, he had a funny retort.

My dad did have muscles--which he showed off in his Adonis pose, muscles flexed, but he was leaner and more wiry. And he had the strongest hands in the world. He could unscrew any cap on any jar that was practically unscrewable by human hands--without the use of a wrench or can opener.

So to my mother's taunts about the six-pack abs?

"They'll all turn to flab."

And then he'd push out his belly to indicate what he meant. We'd all grimace and say, "Ewww," then he'd take a deep breath and suck it all in. And he was dad again. We told him to hold it that way. :)

Now, a man with a sense of humor is definitely more desirable to me than a man who has none, but is blessed or works at only having a beautiful bod, because when you're down in the dumps, who can be more uplifting? I don't mean, physically!

Oh, I know some of you will want both. Why can't you have both?

Well, of course Highlanders are going to have gorgeous muscles from swinging the sword to fight their enemies and carrying off the lovely lass--that's you.

And wolves are going to have beautiful muscles as they exercise on their runs and workouts with the fairer sex--that's you.

And the fae...oh, wait, that's muscles yet. Not that a girl can't be hopeful--but still...a guy with a sense of humor definitely trumps one without. :)

ARe Books

Now it's your turn--what do you think?

I can't leave the guys out of this one. So if you're a guy, you have a say too. Would you prefer a muscled girl or one with a sense of humor?

"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lawsuits, Writer's Block, and Life

Do you realize that this is the first time in 5 years I don't have a book releasing in the fall? Lordy, I don't know what to do with all the spare time!

Oh, wait. Yes, I do know what to do. I have to deal with Life.

In order of annoyance:

Lawsuit: the buyer of our previous home has decided to hire a lawyer and threaten to sue us for non-disclosure of wrong things in the house that 'are causing her extreme anguish.' I won't go into details but suffice it to say: the things she's claiming are things we knew nothing about, she had a home inspection, and we hired a lawyer who essentially said, 'gee, she's got buyer's remorse and now she wants you to pay for it.' It's a long story best told over a few drinks in a bar. Bottom line: we're waiting to see if (1) we'll be sued; (2) she'll come back with a monetary figure that will buy her off; or (3) we're on the hook.

Did you know that a buyer has 2 years from the closing date to contest the sale of a home? I didn't know that. I thought everything was done the day you closed. Nope.

So that's the biggest PITA right now. Stay tuned. I'm sure we're not done with the BFH (Buyer From Hell).

Second annoyance: writer's block. I'm trying to finish my damn WIP and it just won't finish. I'm not happy overall with how it's going. I blogged over at Savvy Authors about why I think it isn't working and what I'm going to do about it. But in 5 years of writing, I've never faced this. It's disconcerting, to say the least.

And, lastly: Moving. Yes, we've moved, but now I'm in the process of adapting. Finding a doctor. Finding a dentist. Finding a massage therapist. Finding the place to buy {insert item here}. I have a lot of friends here who have made recommendations, but inevitably, it's up to me to find the right person/place/thing. I'm trying to find a carpenter to do work: no go. I think I'll need to wait until the dead of winter before anyone will want to do interior work. Find an electrician: wait until winter until all home building is at a standstill. Find a landscaper ...

You get the idea. Nothing we need to have done is major or critical, but it's annoying. I used to have my Go-To Guys for everything. Now I'm making lists.

Oh well. This all will pass. I'll console myself with Halloween candy (wait: I'm supposed to give it away? Who made up THAT stupid rule?), keep writing, and eventually get it all taken care of.

And my next book? The one I can't wait to write? It involves this woman who has buyer's remorse and who decides to sue somebody. The house gets its revenge.

{cue maniacal laughter }  Bwaa-ha-ha-ha.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why Scream?

Last week I watched a movie where two boys in their early teens found a dead body smashed inside a car on a wrecking lot. They both screamed. Why? I thought teenage boys would have tried to be all manly and shrugged the shock off, or maybe even think it was weird. But, the author of the program chose for them to scream.

I asked one of my knowledgeable friends who happens to have a degree in psychology why people, especially women, scream when something startles them. She said that she was a screamer, and her hubby always ran to her side to protect her from whatever it was that brought forth the scream. She told me it was an automatic reflex.

I started thinking about how I would have reacted if, like her, I’d touched a spider web in the dark. I don’t think I would have screamed. I don’t think I’ve ever screamed when something startled me. I started asking people how they reacted and found that more people screamed than not. They said it was just a natural response.

I looked up the definition: Reasons for shouting vary, and it may be done deliberately or simply as a reaction. The core motive, in essentially all situations, is communication. These outbursts convey alarm, surprise, displeasure or outrage, or perhaps to gain the attention of another person or an animal. When frightened, human beings tend to yelp, or cry out. This is both to convey fear and to call attention to themselves, increasing the possibility of receiving assistance from others. This action also serves as a possible defense tactic, as shouting may frighten off an assailant or cause them to falter, allowing a chance to escape.

One of the reasons I wanted to research this topic is for writing. Since we are supposed to be showing instead of telling, it would be a good way of showing someone is startled or frightened. I guess I must be boring because I know I gasp, but doubt anyone would hear me unless they were standing next to me. How do you react when you are caught off guard, startled or frightened?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Setting Research: Working and Playing

Writing about a particular location typically requires you spend quality time in the region. You can research online and read magazines and books, but, in my opinion, nothing beats feet-on-the-ground experiences.

I’m currently working on a three-book series revolving around a California ranching family. Our son, who lives in New York City, decided to stay with us for twelve days, and because he’s a globetrotter I knew he’d prefer to not hop on another airplane once he arrived at the house. So I simply looked down the highway toward a local California guest ranch. What better way to keep focused on my characters, build a deeper appreciation of the setting I had in my mind, and have a fun time with my husband and son.

We’re fortunate to have this guest ranch only forty miles from our home. And cell phones don’t work there. How cool is that! They do offer Wi-Fi in the main lodge for those who bring their laptops, as our son did. His work required him to spend a few hours online.

I booked a trail ride for one afternoon. Would you believe our wrangler was a Dane and a musician? My son is a sound engineer who loves Copenhagen, so they hit it off immediately. Life is full of surprises. And opportunities. Has anyone read a story about a Danish wrangler? Now that’s an unusual angle.

I shot photographs of the lodge buildings. This particular spot has a long history going back to 1939 when it switched from a camp to a guest ranch. The same family lives here, now going on the third generation. Your typical American mobility doesn’t apply to these people.

Chair and rocker outside our door.

Wooden carved western-style chandelier and below worn cowboy boots.

And a well-stocked bar.

My current WIP is set in a guest ranch in this general vicinity so I was in hog heaven, asking questions galore of the eighty-one-year-old family patriarch. We were the ONLY mid-week guests so we had the owner’s undivided attention during our meals with him. And I didn’t disturb any guests while shooting my camera. My husband bested me on the billiard table, which was a surprise. As a teenager I spent hours playing pool at home.

We three enjoyed each other’s company, lazed away the hours together in and out of the spa, ending our visit with thoughts of returning for a longer visit. I had plenty of photographic material to enrich the details of my current story’s setting AND fond family memories.

I’m curious how other writers decide on story location. What has been your biggest challenge to recreate a setting in a story?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How deep is the attraction?

The Greek god in a toga.
Bollywood movie stars with heavy eye make-up.
The rugged Marlboro man.
A courier in Louis XIV's court with a white perfumed wig and lace cuffs.
An African hunter with intricate body scars made by rubbing wood ashes into knife cuts.

Culture and marketing dictate prevailing standards for rating attractiveness, but can’t the attraction between a hero and heroine be deeper than clothes, cars, and skin? The best hunters, the strongest fighters, the last men standing don’t always have flowing hair and azure eyes.

Astrologers assert chart compatibility generates a powerful attraction. Biologists have subtle pheromones.

Our eyes might linger a second longer on a man with physical beauty, but as soon as he opens his mouth, or fails to hold open the door, we know.

Oh yes, we know.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


In a previous post, I grumbled about the difficulties of self-publishing.
My first self-pubbed book has been at for less than a week and now I reap the benefits of my effort.
1- I chose my bookcover.
2- I don't have to wait for months to see my book publish.
3- I set the price and can change it when I want

So far, my book is doing well and I don't regret my decision.

My first self-published book NO MORE LIES is offered at $0.99


and at Smashwords in PDF, Kindle, and other formats.

Reviews: 2011 EPPIE Award Finalist
2010 Best Contemporary Romance ~ Readers Favorite
"A fantastic read. The plot was very well thought out and the pacing on target. ~Night Owl Romance
"A charming story. Keeping the reader entertained with the twists and turns in the plot." ~Got Romance!
"Full of emotion, suspense, intrigue, good intentions and determination." ~The Long And The Short Reviews
"A wonderfully written book about true love and the rarity of second chances." ~Happy Ever After Reviews

A lie that brings a smile or a truth that draws a tear?

Successful physician and loving mother, Olivia Crane fiercely believes youthful mistakes should be kept buried. Dr. Luc George, the French psychiatrist, she loved ten years ago, detests secrets.

When Luc strolls back into her life, Olivia welcomes her second chance. But on her own terms. The past forgotten, no questions asked. As Luc tries to unravel her many secrets, he also threatens to shatter her carefully constructed world. Can Luc help her conquer her inner fears or will he get burned by the past?

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with passion.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

            Last month I asked you to tell me how old you ‘feel’ in your head.  The reason I asked the question was self-serving.  My brain stopped ‘aging’ at about 35, and I wondered if I was experiencing that phenomenon alone.  (Truth be told, I wondered if I was a freak of nature!)  Anyway, I posed the question to you, friends and family.  Now I’m going to give my take on the results and ask you to comment further.
            I am not alone!  A world of humans are out there with forever young brains.
            Young people don’t even understand the question.  My twenty-some nieces and nephews, gave me funny looks, shook their heads at their nutty aunt, and named their actual age.  My theory: people don’t entertain the idea of a brain age younger than their chronological age until after forty.  Any thoughts on that?
            After the age of 60, people pick a brain age at least twenty years younger than their physical age.  My 79 year old cousin is merely 55 in her head so she can’t believe what she sees in the mirror.  (My solution-avoid mirrors, or only look in them when the light is dim.)
            For a few folks over the age of 60, the question raised discomfort. One 60-plus person who experienced the death of her mother, felt like nineteen again…a child, adrift and alone.  Another person, aged 65, weighed down by family issues, was convinced his brain felt like 80.  Some people seemed surprised by the dichotomy I raise, a little irritated or confused by the concept of a young brain.  I guess they figured I should let that sleeping dog snooze away.
            Not me.  I find the idea interesting, especially as a writer.  This may explain why I like to write about characters in their thirties and why a wide range of 40-plus readers enjoy my novels. 
            Another question to explore: is there some kind of biological advantage for a person’s brain age to lag behind body age?  Maybe the brain is made of stuff that doesn’t age like muscles and joints and eyes…purposefully.  Could be that brains needs to stay extra agile in order to operate our deteriorating bodies. 
            Clever manufacturing or cruel joke, the phenomenon is strange… how we look into the mirror at wrinkling bodies with much younger eyes.  What do think about this curious state of affairs?

LAST RESORT – on sale now, print and download
The Wild Rose Press:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Too much TV, too little time.

A problem has arisen in recent years at my house that can be described as DVR disease. The problem is this:

1. I like to watch TV and have several shows that I follow.

2. I have a digital video recorder that I use to collect episodes of these shows so I can watch them when convenient.

3. Every once in a while I end up on vacation for more than a few days. While I'm gone my faithful DVR continues to collect the shows I like to watch.

The result is that I will come home to a DVR full of backed up shows... and now I'm two weeks or so out of sync with as many as two or three episodes of each series recorded. And of course I can't watch the most recent show until I'm caught up so by the time I finish off episodes of one series I can have as many as four episodes of another one queued up.

Hence the problem. How to deal with this and still get anything else done.

It isn't easy.

Sometimes I will make the decision that I don't like a show all that much. This is often when a show will slip off my "must watch" list, when I'm four episodes behind and can't find the time to catch up. I have to ask myself, just how much do I care about this program?

The good news is that eventually I will finish all outstanding episodes and have a nice clear DVR with only the most recent week's episodes waiting to be watched. And this state usually will last for quite a while...

Or until the next time I go out of town.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stories That Write Themselves...

"Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say." ~Sharon O'Brien

Stories that write themselves. Sounds a bit spooky. Perfect for this month of October with its ghouls, witches and bats. Is it a new form of ghost-writing? Or is it something else?

Ever have one of those stories? Ever just not want to stop writing because you couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next? We have, and let us tell you what a joy and pleasure it is to have one of those stories. The characters not only speak to you, they speak loudly and frequently and if you try to veer away from where they want you to go, the sudden silence is more than just deafening, it’s terrifying!

"Writing is flying in dreams. When you remember. When you can. When it works. It's that easy.” ― Neil Gaiman

Then, if you start paying attention to them again, the words flow – no, they gush – and the story takes flight again. Neil is so right. When it works, it really works. We want to share how one particular whirlwind story flew for us so easily we both had to pinch ourselves.

Here’s the scoop …one of the authors on our publisher’s author loop got a bill in the mail from Old Dominion Power company. The phone number made her laugh, because it was 888-Dom-Help. She, being an erotica writer, thought it funny that a Dom would need help…then she tossed that out on the author loop and several of us jumped on it with both feet.

We changed the phone number slightly (1-800-DOM-help) so as not to cause problems for the power company, developed a “bible” for the series, agreed on the number of authors to be involved/invited to write for the series, and pitched it to TPTB (the powers that be).

Waiting for approval was excruciating, but neither of us is particularly blessed with patience. When the word came down that we were good to go, the whole group turned quiet as everyone began working on their story. Of course, we had to tweak the bible just a bit to fit the developing stories.

With the series approved and the bible in place, we started tossing ideas around trying to hit on the perfect one to write about. We had several “thoughts” on the matter, some discussion, and then decided to combine two ideas into one story and BOOM – we started writing.

Cai started the story telling Arwen she’d send it to her when she got stuck. Nearly 5000 words later, Arwen got the first installment. The entire story, from beginning to end, took us three weeks to finish. Twenty-one days and we had it polished and ready to send to our editor. She loved it, made minor revisions, and Needing Harte became the first published work in the 1-800-DOM-help series.

By the way, if you're looking for the rest of that series featuring authors Desiree Holt, Francesca Hawley, Michelle Polaris, Delilah Devlin, Christine D'Abo, Samantha Cayto, Delphine Dryden, Kathy Kulig and Allie Standifer, look for the white business card with 1-800-DOM-help on all of the covers.

From a 'germ’ of an idea to an eager group of authors, we dove into that process of discovery. It flowed. We flew. To date, that is one of our best-sellers. That story made writing fun. We were both a bit sad to say good-bye to Harte and Ramey, but it made us eager to see what might come next.

What about you? What has been your experience with stories that write themselves?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Kindle vs Print Dilemma

I have never understood the attraction for hardcover books. They’re big, heavy and take up space. And the covers always rip on me! Not to mention they come off and I’m always fiddling to put them back on. Don’t get me wrong, I love books, so much so that I have a very hard time parting with them. Browse through my collection and you’ll find books that go back twenty years. It got to the point that my husband didn’t have to tell me to downsize. I knew I had to, but boy was it hard. I ended up donating to the library those books I knew I’d never feel the urge to read a second time. That still left me with more than I can store. But, hey, we all have our obsessions. ;-)

You see, I live in an apartment that by my American standards is a little bit bigger than a cereal box. According to my Japanese friends it’s quite spacious. Says them. So, you can imagine how when the digital revolution came along bringing with it ereaders such as the Kindle how much I was salivating to get my hands on one. I could buy books, keep them, and they wouldn’t take up what little space I didn’t have left. Still, I found that with certain must buy authors I wanted to continue to pick up the print copies since I had the rest of the series in print.

One of those authors is Lynsay Sands. I love her Argeneau vampire series and I have them all. She has an anthology coming out this month, The Bite Before Christmas, and as far as I can tell it’s only in hardcover. Why, oh why? Say it isn’t so. I’ve searched and searched, but can’t find any paperback option. It’s hardcover or Kindle. It probably seems silly, but we all have those little areas in our life that we can get anal about. I have the entire series in paperback. I don’t want to spend triple the price for a hardcover that eats up a major portion of my stamp-sized home. (The dollar is weak against the yen, so paying in yen actually comes out to about $23 from Amazon Japan.) The Kindle edition is $9.99. Hardcover sales are down. Another Sands book comes out in April and it’s in paperback. So help me out here. What is the point of one book coming out in hardcover when all the rest are in paperback? I realize authors have little control over these decisions, but I sure would love to know how these decisions get made.

I’ll be buying this anthology. Whether I buy the hardcover or the Kindle edition, I’ll let you know.

But tell me, what would you do?