2010 NEWS

December 2010

PLEASE VOTE!

This month His Dakota Captive is a contender for Best Western Romance of 2010. You can vote now at www.lovewesternromances.com. Participants in the voting are automatically entered for a gift basket at this site. I’ve donated a couple of my westerns to their raffle as well.

This month I submitted a proposal for a new western and am waiting to hear from my editor. I’m most excited about being asked to participate in a western continuity series that will be release next year. I’m writing about the black sheep of the family, a bounty hunter who heads home as soon as he learns that his parents’ accidental death is actually murder. Doesn’t that sound great? Can’t wait to get started and will begin writing next month.

November 2010

I believe it was Isaac Asimov who, when asked what he would do if he found he had only six months to live, responded, “Type faster.” We all face deadlines, some more permanent than others. This month I have three, a blog post at The Knight Agency blog on November 22, a historical partial due December 1 and a personal deadline of completing the draft of my next Nocturne. All this means is that Thanksgiving dinner will be late this year. Very, very late.

There also has been much activity online between the four authors (self included) on a Western continuity due out in 2012 with a prequel in October 2011. What fun to collaborate with three interesting and talented writers, create a town, characters, backstory and our own tortured characters. This is going to be good! No title yet, but stay tuned.

October 2010

This October finds me gathering with my critique partners for our First Annual Writers Networking and Critique session. We decided to find a quiet, inexpensive, out-of-the-way place where we could relax, chat and enjoy a nice view. Instead, we landed in Las Vegas. Inexpensive it is, but only if you keep clear of the slots. I learned something from the woman in this photo; writing might be difficult at times, but I don't have to expose my midriff, wear eight-inch stilettos and pose for photos with sweaty tourists to make a buck. I am jealous of her feather tail, however. Thanks Debra Mullins and Susan Meier for a great weekend.

September 2010

I’m ignoring the fact that summer is over and sallying on as if the leaves in my yard are not turning orange and yellow. I visited the New York State Fair in Syracuse, watched the Iroquois dancers, the diving pirates and the one ring circus under the big top. Then had time to see some of the horse show and cattle show and the pastoral sculpted butter town on its rotating platform. The New York Renaissance Faire is also going strong and filled with pirates, templar knights and village idiots, myself included. They also have the best potato pancakes in the world. Labor Day weekend saw me at the Saratoga Race Track, betting on the ponies. I’ve tried the following methods for choosing a horse; its sire, stable, jockey, practice times, races won, jockey’s colors, horses colors, number and finally the name and I can definitely say that none of these methods work. I was sure the horse called The Plot Thickens would at least place, but my luck was consistently bad—maybe I’ll stick with writing. I also have a book out this month, HIS DAKOTA CAPTIVE and next month a Christmas novella in WESTERN WINTER WEDDING BELLS. Oh, no! I’m not done with summer and I have to advertise a Christmas book!!

August 2010

Don’t you just love the beach? I sure do and I spent my month evenly split between beach walking, swimming and staring at the water.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered this boat floating before me. The Miss Jenna! Isn’t she a peach?

For those of you waiting for my next release: HIS DAKOTA CAPTIVE arrives on August 31st!

I was recalling all the beaches I walked this summer and it is an impressive list. I managed to leave footprints on Ocean City, MD, Virginia Beach, VA, Tybee Beach in Savannah, GA, Siesta Beach in Fl and Fire Island in NY. That’s a lot of footprints!

I also have been writing. The best part about writing at the beach is that when you get stuck you can take a walk and let your mind work on the problems in plot or characterization or motivation while the waves lap your ankles and your eyes take in the sights. I hope one day to take that walk every evening.

I’d like to thank the makers of sunscreen for keeping me protected all summer. I am a natural redhead and that means it’s best to keep me out of direct sun!

July 2010

I spent Independence Day on a boat in the Hudson River watching a fabulous fireworks display with my husband. It was by far the best I have ever seen. I snapped this photo from the deck and hope you enjoy it. I’m usually somewhere interesting on July 4th. Last year we were in Maine, the year before in Charlestown, and the year before that in a mining camp in Alaska with a population of 5 (including the two of us). I wonder where I’ll be next year?

Dream Stalker won the 2010 Book Buyers Best Contest in the paranormal category. I am especially proud of this honor as the contest is judged by librarians, booksellers and readers. The winners were chosen by Susan Grimshaw, the romance book buyer for the Borders group.

June 2010

This June was a time of celebration as I attended a birthday party of a dear friend. On route to the party, my husband and I stopped at our Alma Mater. This is where we met and so we very much enjoyed strolling down memory lane. It looked exactly the same and very different, all at once. We also went searching for the first restaurant my future husband ever took me to and found the fancy place was a simple pub with a very reasonable menu. It seemed very swank at the time, but then again I was surviving on Minute Rice and peas.

Once we arrived in Syracuse, I found myself in possession of a free morning and without possession of my laptop. So we went to visit a very charming zoo and were delighted to get the chance to meet an elephant up close and personal.

Our second celebration, a wedding, took us in the opposite direction, to Long Island. What fun to see family and have a chance to chat and dance and share a meal. Don’t you just love celebrations?

May 2010

I celebrated another birthday with my husband who is ten days younger (and never lets me forget it). He tells everyone that he married an older woman. As the years go by, that is getting to be true. We had a gathering of family and friends in upstate New York for a lawn party complete with horseshoes and ladder golf. As I take another trip around the sun, I realize how lucky I am to have work I enjoy and family to love. Plus, the cake was awesome, chocolate sponge with canola cream filling and butter cream frosting topped with fudge!

I will be signing at Book Expo America in NYC on Thursday, May 27th, starting at 11 AM. Stop by the RWA booth if you are attending and say hello!

April 2010

I learned I’m a finalist in the BOOK BUYERS BEST CONTEST for my debut paranormal romance, DREAM STALKER. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

April also saw me enrolled in a baking class through an adult education class. The beginning class included a seven layer chocolate cake which I made as homework. The final product was delicious, but did lilt somewhat off vertical. The Linzer Hearts came out more presentable. My husband has banned me from making anything with butter until he works off the five pounds he gained sampling my homework.

March 2010

I spent March working on my next historical, preliminarily called, Partnering Lily and set in the Yukon during the gold rush. I did have two outings. First, I visited the Cloisters, a medieval collection of art and architecture owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of the most recognizable items in the collection is the Unicorn in Captivity tapestry from the 1500s, but this museum also includes a lovely medicinal garden, chapel, stain glass windows and many decorative items. If you are in NYC and are a history buff, you can’t go wrong here. I also attended the first annual Liberty States Fiction Writers Conference. It was well run and well attended. The workshops were great, but I most enjoyed networking with other writers and catching up with old friends. The conference took place during the terrible rain and wind storm that did such damage in the Northeast. The lights went out a couple of times and conference hotels are not known for their interior windows. We later learned that one of the street lights came down, crushing a car in the lot (not mine, thank heaven). When I got home, I was relieved to see my house still standing with only a few limbs down around it, but my hometown had many, many beautiful trees toppled.

February 2010

Many of you know that Buttercup, Jenna’s cockatiel has a Facebook page, but did you also know she has a secret admirer? She got flowers, a dozen red roses that look like the redwood forest beside her. She’s not sure what to make of it. Outside Jenna’s door Old Man Winter still reigns supreme, but that is just the right type of weather for writing romance.

This month Jenna completed her Christmas Novella, TROUBLE FOR CHRISTMAS, that readers will see in October of this year. She also learned the title of her next Western historical. Drum roll please… CAPTURED IN DAKOTA still has no release date. This is the story of Lucie West, daughter of Thomas & Sarah West the heroes of HIGH PLAINS BRIDE. Many readers asked Jenna to write her story and now she has!

Jenna has also been doing some baking and has a new favorite recipe from NPR for Gateau Basque. This is a dessert that falls somewhere between a cookie and a tart with a lovely filling of jam or cream. These cakes, from the Basque region between France and Spain, have been made since the 1600s and once you try one, you’ll see why. They are delicious.

Jenna has been tucked up close to her computer and her coffee maker this month because when she goes outside she has to shovel snow. The view from her back window shows the mourning doves are waiting out the storm and taking a break from Jenna’s bird feeder.

January 2010

The Comforts of Home

January’s cold and gray weather has forced me inside. I’ve begun a small quilting project that is keeping my hands busy and out of the potato chip bowl! I’m not sure what I like best, the piece work or the hand sewing. I really take pride in sewing the border on with tiny stitches. I’m now about halfway around the border with a hand-quilted pattern of feathers and flowers. I only have another month to finish before my friend’s baby arrives. I tried for a neutral, but fear all the purple makes the quilt look more ready to welcome a girl than a boy. Either way, it will be warm.

As you can see, my cockatiel has taken an interest in my work. She likes to pick out the basting stitches and is curious as to what takes up so much of my time that it interferes with her ability to get me to pet her head. Something so distracting must be edible, right? Well, she thinks so.

 

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