Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! I'm not dressing up this year; me and the dh are just handing out candy. Hope everyone has a safe and fun night.

I did manage to get the rest of Lingerie Addict to my crit. partner Friday evening. Next week, it's strict focus on Murder in High Places.

Also finished reading Rhonda Woodward's A Spinster's Luck. A sweet, light read, kind of like a meringue cookie. :) (And I love meringue cookies.)


Thursday, October 28, 2004


I'm reading three books at once, A Spinster's Luck, by Rhonda Woodward, Last Act in Palmyra, by Lyndsey Davis, and Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear. Ok, so I'm eclectic! Rhonda is a friend of mine, and I'm trying to read her three trad. Regencies back to back.

Strangely, I never used to like the sweet, traditional Regencies, but in the last year or so, I've gotten kind of addicted. I write very hot books, so maybe I like getting back to kisses and intrigue on the dance floor. Very good Regencies I've read in the last year are Miranda's Mistake by Jenna Mindel; Jo-Ann Ferguson's mystery/romances featuring Priscilla Flinders and her to-die-for hero; Glenda Garland's books, which have wonderful depth of character, and Rhonda Woodward's, which are sweet stories about people you want to meet.

I wish, wish, wish I had more time to read. I try to get in an hour a day, because I have so many TBRs and TBBs, but writing books sure takes up lots of time.

I've managed to revise 310 pages of Lingerie Addict so far. Only 65 more to go. Then I'll incorporate what my crit. partner tells me and do another pass to polish it clean.

Doesn't that sound so easy?

My mouth is slowly healing, but the dental work has really burned me out. My usual 90 mph drive has petered down to a measly fifteen on a bicycle.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

painful things

I spent most of yesterday morning at the dentist. They tried a root canal, but ended up having to extract and do a bridge. Blah. Needless to say, I got no writing done!

Today, I'm back to a few pages of Lacey, and I revised about sixty pages of Lingerie Addict. Hopefully healing will commence and I'll get back into the swing. I just have no energy right now.


Monday, October 25, 2004

new beginnings

This weekend I went to Tucson to a bookstore called Clues Unlimited. What a nice mystery bookstore! I bought another in the Lyndsey Davis series, and Maisie Dobbs, which I've heard many good things about. The proprietor is having me come back at the end of November to sign my Ashley Gardner books and do a short talk along with a few other authors. (If you're in Tucson, the store is on the corner of Broadway and Country Club, across from Table Talk. My signing will be on Sunday, Nov. 28)

I sent off another 100 pages of Lingerie to my crit. partner, to torture her a little. I've started Murder in High Places AGAIN. The story was still not quite right. The problem with a cozy mystery series is that your amatuer slueth can only trip over so many dang dead bodies (look at Miss Marple!). I might have to set him up as a consulting detective, decades before Sherlock Holmes. I'll mull that over. In this version, one of Lacey's friends asks him to help with a problem. Stay tuned to see how the final book turns out!

I did write ten pages on that and revised fifty of Lingerie. Not a bad writing day.


Friday, October 22, 2004

it's done....

I finished the draft of Lingerie Addict. One hundred thousand words--count them 100,000. Woo hoo!!!!!!!

Next week, when I start revising, I'll tear my hair out and say it's all wrong, but today, I celebrate. Yes!!!!

Now I'm going to indulge in bubble bath and a novel (not written by me) and chocolate. So there.

Tomorrow is the dh's birthday. I'm going to make him cheesecake and make the day extra special. He deserves it. He's a sweetie.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

home stretch

I am 10,000 words shy of finishing Lingerie Addict. Woo-hoo!! The home stretch. The last 100 pages of a book is always the most fun to write. I've built everything up and now I get to go crazy.

My publisher is already working on the cover. I can't wait to see what the final looks like.

Ok, back to fingers on the keyboard. Yes!


Monday, October 18, 2004

New scenes

I spent the weekend revising the first 100 pages of Lingerie Addict and inflicting them on my critique partner (moo ha ha ha). The book is shaping up to be pretty good. My first romantic comedy! (contemporary, that is; the historicals are also pretty much comedy/romance.)

Back to writing Murder in High Places for next year. I started telling the story in a different way, and already it's much better. Note to aspiring authors--if you are stuck in a scene (or scenes) and it just isn't working, consider throwing away what you have and depicting the scene from another point of view, or in another setting, or with different characters present. Don't force it.

In The Pirate Hunter, I agonized over a scene that was supposed to be the first love scene. I wrote it and rewrote it, but the dialog was stiff and the narrative, clunky, no matter what I did. So, I dumped it (weeping copiously), started again and let the characters take over. What they told me was that it wasn't time for the first love scene. The scene turned out to be an intimate one, but much subtler and more emotional. It started breaking down James Ardmore's barriers and making him question what he intended to do. The scene flowed right back into the story, better and stronger.

Don't be afraid to start again (and again) in order to make your story the best it can be. What I do is write the rought draft to please myself. Then when I revise, I try to do what's best for the story, not for me.

Happy writing!

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Revisions to Sudbury School are done and in the mail. Page proofs of Care and Feeding of Pirates are done and in the mail. Yes!!

All right, back to writing manuscripts. I realized at breakfast this morning that even though I've written 100 pages on my next mystery novel, I'm telling the story totally the wrong way. Ah well, 100 pages is a nice writing excersise. I don't like when Captain Lacey doesn't tell me what really happened. He's a very private man and keeps things to himself, but I think he withholds on me on purpose. It must amuse him, or something. Well, Captain, we're starting over, and this time, you're going to tell me everything.

I have finally calmed down (ok, sort of) from my cover excitement. I will stop flashing it in people's faces and jumping up and down. But it's a wonderful cover, the best romance cover I've had. I'm still stunned that such a beautiful thing was given to little ole me.

The October issue of Romantic Times featured my books in their Quips and Queries column. A reader wrote in saying she (or he) liked my Ashley Gardner Regency mysteries, and what else had I written? RT answered with a list of my current and forthcoming books and photos of the covers of The Pirate Hunter and The Glass House. Too cool!

Does anyone else's cat sit in the middle of a dark bathroom and howl for no reason? She must like the acoustics.

Back to work before my one shred of sanity gives out.


Monday, October 11, 2004

revisions, proofs, critiques, oh my

Been doing a lot since last post. Read through the proofs for Care and Feeding of Pirates, and I am most pleased with how the story turned out. Best romance I've written, thus far. I can't wait to see the book in February.

Working on revisions to Sudbury School murders. Still not satisfied, but it's getting there. I read my critique partner's next Regency, out next summer some time. It will be the followup to Lady Notorious which will be out in the spring '05.

It was fabulous!! Glenda Garland is a great writer--these two 2005 books just blew me away. I couldn't wait to read each chapter as it rolled off my printer. Critiquing wasn't a chore--I wanted to see what happened!

Also finished another mini project, this one a Georgian foyer (ok, the chair is Victorian, but the feel is Georgian).

I did all the gold leafing on the chair and the picture frame. For the walls, I wallpapered the box walls, then made a false wall with cutouts that framed the wallpaper so it looks like sunken panels. Turned out nice, I think. I heard another miniaturist once say not to bother with real gold leafing--just paint with metallic gold craft paint. But I think there is something to be said for the real gold leaf. It has a depth that the paint alone can't reproduce.

More views of this box (albeit before I got the painting up) are at

Ok, enough minis! Time to go back to revisions.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Care and Feeding of Pirates cover

At last, I have the cover scanned and uploaded.

The model is Stefan, for those of you who follow the models. I love what they did with the lettering. This is a great cover. Thank you Dorchester!!


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Cover excitement

I got the covers for The Care and Feeding of Pirates today. Wunnnnderfulll. The art is already on my home page, but I'll scan the actual cover and get it up hopefully tomorrow. I'm so excited. This is so cool!!

With it came page proofs that I must now get through on top of everything else. But,. I love reading page proofs. It's the most fun part of my job, I don't know why. Maybe I'm just anal or have a red pen fettish or something.

I skimmed through the pages, and I must say I really like this story. This is the best romance I've written so far. Christopher Raine, the hero, turned out oh so nice. He's a bad boy pirate and geez is he sexy! I'm panting here. My heroine can't get enough of him. I made this book a little hotter than my others--so have ice-water handy when you read it.

The book's out in Februrary. It's already up at Amazon.

We authors make big deals over our covers, but I wonder if readers care? Readers? I've read many a great book with a crappy cover myself.

Anyway, back to revisions, page proofs, and brownie making (Hey, I have to have a little diversion).


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Work that we love

A stramge thing happened today. I was listening to a radio commercial in which a man whined about how hard it was to come out of the weekend and go back to work. Without thinking, I said, "But I love getting back to work on Monday morning."

Then I stopped, dumbfounded. I realize that for the first time in my life, I actually like going to work in the mornings. This has never happened before! I believe I've finally found a job I enjoy so much that I look forward to it. It's not workaholism; it's a joy. Wow.

Not that it's easy work. I"m trying to get through revisions to Sudbury School so I can return to working on Lingerie Addict and Murder in High Places. My reading is lagging because I'm too busy reading myself (ha). I have three books on my pile I desperately want to get to and more I want to go out and buy. How do readers do it?? I've pretty much given up all TV (except a few select shows), but I still don't have time to read.

All that writing I guess. Now, back to revisions!


Sunday, October 03, 2004

So much to read!

I just finished reading a chunk of my critique partner's new novel. It's great! Glenda Garland writes Regencies for Kensington that are well-plotted with deep characterization. They aren't yer typical silly romps, and they still sparkle with humor. I believe her next book is out in December (Her Other Thief), and the followup to that one (out next March?) is wonnnderrrrful. My favorite of hers to date. She gets better with each book.

Continuing to read Jennifer Cruisie's Faking It (which is more like a caper with romance). This is the first Crusie book I've read, and I'm glad I did. It has a plot and in-depth characterization. What a concept.

Also reading all my Anne Boleyn research material. Ask me anything about the period 1532-1536 and I gurantee I can tell you about it, or at least tell you where to find the info. if I don't have a particular detail.

I'm also reading all the voter materials for the general election. Remember it's not just the presidential election, but many things going on on the local level, so make your voice heard. It is the time of year when we have the power (moo ha ha ha ha ha!)

Happy Sunday,

Friday, October 01, 2004

So much to do....

Feeling much better today, but overwhelmed. Here's what I need to get done:

Revisions to Sudbury School Murders (fortunately not too extensive)
Contest judging (thank heavens I insisted I only do 5 entries!)
Mail books/ARCs
Finish draft of Lingerie Addict
Finish draft of Lacey Book 5 (Murder in High Places)
Research and begin draft of Anne Boleyn

I basically need to have all this done in the next few weeks. Never let anyone tell you a writer's life is easy and glamorous! It has glamorous moments, but 98% of the time it is just hard work. I'll give 2% to glamor and fun.

What I'm reading. Started Jennifer Crusie, Faking It. I hear lots of good things about her books, but I've never read one, because, well, I'm just busy. My goal is to read at least three books a week, but it's not happening. Can't think why!

Happy Friday,