Click to return to my website for upcoming releases and more.
I am a romance writer. That's not easy to say. Most people have preconceived notions about romances, and the people who write them. Let me tell you! Writing isn't for sissies. I got my first rejection in April 2004. That makes me a professional. In what other field are you considered a "professional" when you don't get called back for a second interview?
View my profile
His and Hers Dalmatians
My Favorite Blogs and Websites
Bronwyn Parry, Author & Golden Heart Winner!
Crystal Jordan, Author
Kate Rothwell, Author
Laura Hamby, Author
Tori Scott, Author
Nell Dixon, Author
Denise Patrick, Author
Valerie Parv, Australia's Queen of Romance
Joanna Sandsmark, Dog and Kitty Author!!!
Elisa Adams, Author
Sharon Cullen, Author
Meg Allison, Author
Michelle Styles, Author
Julie Cohen, Author
Becca, Writer and People Watcher
Sally Lawton, Playwright & Author
Ainsley MacQueen, Author
Jennie Adams, Author
Cindy K Green, Author
Bronwyn Storm, Doggy Author!!!
Works in Progress
The Husband Checklist
Professor Kennedy's Ghost
The Baby Contract
Almost On My Own
The Stone City
Daddy's Little Girls
The Dog Next Door
New job, new attitude, new WIP
Finished at last!
Out of print, but not out of circulation!
Grace Tyler: Why I love animals
What I've Learned
Precious little angel
Kissed any frogs lately?
A great read!
Big news! My paperback is now available directly ...
What a flattering review!
design by maystar
powered by blogger
I Got an A+ on my Vocabulary Quiz
|Your Vocabulary Score: A+|
Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.
I have no idea what "multifarious" means. Nor do I care.
Which of the X-Men are you?
|You Are Jean Grey|
Although your fate is often unknown, you always seem to survive (even after death).
Your mind is your greatest weapon, literally!
Powers: telepathy and telekinesis, the ability to project thoughts into the mind of others, communication with animals
Five Things Even Fewer People Know About Me
The message board I hang out on (literally) is the Bat Cave at eHarlequin.
Today one of my fiends (this is called Cavespeak) posted an alternate list of Five Things for me. You probably won't understand what any of it means, but I liked it, so it's blogged.
5 things you didn't know about disGrace (as told by Guanna):
1. She has been seeking an ancient talisman all her life and by sheer coinkydink found it in the Gertrude Costume Joolry collection. Now she is a seventh level wizard and we should fear her.
2. She is the founder of the oxy-mormans. Or as my Dad always said, "I don't care how you bring'em, just Brigham Young."
3. She wears make-up and a bullet bra to bed so that she'll look fantastic even if the batlings make her run screaming from the house.
4. Dizzy was immaculately conceived. The talisman foretold it.
5. Some have said that although she's disgraceful she's not graceful. She punched those people as she tripped.
Explaining that to the non-Cavers wouldn't be cavey of me, but...
disGrace:Obviously my Cavename.
Guanna: My fiend Joanna's cavename. Don't visit her webby and order her books. (That's called Cavespeak. We say the opposite of what we mean a lot of the time.)
Gertrude Costume Joolry collection: Guanna is a power seller on eBay when her glamorous writing career permits. (That was Cavespeak for when the checks aren't coming in and the rent is due.) Recently she sold off an estate jewelry collection and I purchased what I call "The Writing Talisman." It looks a lot like an Etruscan piece to me, so let me pretend it's ancient instead of 50 years old.
oxy-mormans/oxy-mormons: Cavespeak for Mormons, of which I am one.
Number 3: My kids have been scaring the shirt out of me lately with health problems, and I recently ran out of my house to meet the ambulance. My batfiends know I usually hang around in my underwear, so I likely had to put on pants before the ambulance arrived.
Dizzy: My baby's nickname on the BatCave board. Derived from "DisGrace." My other two children are known as DD and DS as per usual, but Dizzy's pregnancy was eagerly followed by her Bat-aunties, so they made up a name for her. Full name, Dizzygirl.
Obvious punny play on my name(s). Puns are un-popular (cavespeak) on the board. We have a Cave Bard, Ms. Valerie Parv,Australia's Queen of Romance. (Not cavespeak.) Valerie is also known as Valkyrie (Cavename), but nevah nevah nevah call her "Val."
If this piques your interest enough, come visit the Bats at eHarlequin.
What part of Thanksgiving are you?
|You Are Mashed Potatoes|
Ordinary, comforting, and more than a little predictable
You're the glue that holds everyone together.
I don't know where people come up with quizzes like this. My friend Crystal Jordan had this on her blog, so I took the quiz too.
Can you say "Procrastination?" Yep, I can say it by surfing the internet.
In my defense, I worked on my Medical Transcription class for three hours today. Then my son had an allergy attack and I had an IBS attack *TMI* so now I'm procrastinating instead of writing.
Five Things Few People Know About Me
This is a game some of my writer pals are playing. You get tagged on their blog, and then you're supposed to play next.
Bronwyn Parry tagged me. So here's my list.
1. My children’s birthdays all take place in a three week span. While I was pregnant with my one year old, my eleven year old daughter told a friend that “Mom only comes into heat once a year.”
2. Though it’s my dream to travel extensively, even a one-day trip can send me into panic. I am a homebody. My traveling kit is packed with Pepto-Bismol, Dramamine, and headache remedies.
3. I met my husband two weeks after he was released from the Marines. He intended to live a life of glamour working as a casino security guard in Vegas. But after he met me, he moved in with his retired parents and got a construction job to save up so we could get engaged. Now he slaves away for me and our three kids. Not much glamour there. But his devotion to us is the most romantic thing I can imagine.
4. Everything in my fridge is growing green and blue fuzz. I wish I were a better housekeeper, but wishing doesn’t help much. The joke when friends or family come over is, Check the expiration date.
5. When I was working late one night, a bat invaded the office. Since I had to set the alarm, I couldn’t leave the little beggar in there. His flying would have set off the motion sensors. And Animal Control wouldn’t come. I entertained myself for quite some time turning the lights on and off and watching the bat “roost” on the acoustic ceiling tiles (digging his wing talons into the material when the lights were on, and flap around the room as if seeking an escape route whenever the lights were off). Eventually a coworker who lived nearby came to help, and we used brooms to shoo the poor thing off the shipping dock.
I'm going to tag two people to get this moving in two different circles. I don't know if that's against the rules. Send the game police after me if it is.
Free Read--Part Two--Bittersweet Reunion
I cracked the door open to whisper, “You’re not Hugh Jackman.”
“Can I come in anyway?” It had been two years since I’d heard that masculine voice.
Pressing a finger to my lips, I signaled he should be quiet and nodded. “Josh is asleep.”
Ty Renquist brushed past me and into the apartment. Light from the television cast light and shadow across his face, across the boxes stacked against the walls. It didn’t matter how strange the lighting was or how dark it was outside. I knew him.
Two years. I could barely believe he was here.
I pointed at the hide-a-bed where my son lay sleeping. Ty nodded his acknowledgement, and we went into the small kitchen. I leaned against the counter, its hard edge digging into my hip. Excitement and nerves bubbled up in my chest, and I grinned at Ty. He was a sight for sore eyes, even in the dim, flickering light. Hair cropped short, dark shirt, faded jeans. I couldn’t see the color of his eyes, but I knew they were green.
“Can we talk in here?” he whispered.
I shook my head. “Let’s go into Josh’s room.” Excitement and nerves bubbled up in my chest, and I grinned at Ty.
He smiled back and took my hand. “It’s OK I’m here?”
“Yeah.” My smile widened, and I shoved a bunch of hair out of my face. “Yeah, it’s more than OK. Hang on.” Opening the fridge, I pulled out a box of wine, and Ty gave me a thumbs up.
Creeping down the hall behind my old friend, I felt like a teenager sneaking in after curfew. Ty didn’t have any trouble finding our apartment’s one bedroom. I’d assigned it to my son, intending to sleep on the sofa bed myself.
All I’d had a chance to unpack in the bedroom was Josh’s bed, sheets, and blankets. His bed was made, but he wanted to sleep with me on our first night in our new home.
I sat on the edge of the mattress and patted the spot next to me. Ty took a seat before taking the wine box out of my hand. “I’ll get some glasses.”
New problem. “All our glasses are still packed.” I came up with a solution.
A moment later, I handed Ty a couple of Winnie the Pooh paper cups from the bathroom. I stifled a giggle as he filled our Dixie cups with wine.
Free Read--Kissing Hugh Jackman
“This won’t hurt a bit.” Wolverine took a step closer.
I took a step back. “Logan.” Looking pointedly at his extended metal claws, I said, “I’m not into that kind of pain.”
“Right.” His claws retracted. “Kill bad guys. Put blades away.”
“Where were we?” I edged closer to Logan, sliding my hands up his leather-covered chest.
I jerked awake, breathing hard and fumbling for my alarm clock. But it wasn’t where it belonged. The nightstand was missing too.
A warm body snuggled into my waist, and awareness began to penetrate by degrees. New apartment. Sofa bed. Six-year-old son. Surrounded by unpacked boxes.
Hugh Jackman was conspicuously absent from my living room. But he was on the television, fighting Magneto’s mutants.
Likely the TV had woken me up. I slid away from Joshua and swung my legs over the side of the bed/sofa, intending to switch Wolverine off for the night.
A soft rap at the door stopped me mid-stride. I had no concept of what time it was, but it was nighttime, and nobody knew us in our new complex. Maybe it was my parents coming to check on us. Wouldn’t they have just called, rather than cross town in the dark?
The short, nubby carpet scuffed against my bare feet as I crossed to the front door. I sure hoped it was my parents. I wore a shabby gray T-shirt and matching cutoff sweats. I didn’t look forward to meeting new neighbors in my moving attire.
After peeking through the spyhole, adrenaline rushed through me. I cracked the door open to whisper, “You’re not Hugh Jackman.”
She scratches her head....
I don't know where the inspiration or the focus came from.
Did I actually say that yesterday? Please! Who calls working on four different projects in the same day "focus"???
An emergency trip to Assisted Living for MIL (who didn't realize she was running out of Depends) may derail my writing day. I swear I'll write the Sponge Bob story soon.
I've been writing today. And yesterday. I don't know where the inspiration or the focus came from.
Adam: "I don’t take my pants off for just anyone."
The Stone City:
"This is where you are meant to be.”
“Destiny.” Lii couldn’t hide her bitterness. “Destiny chosen for me by a sperm and an egg.”
The Minister of the Board of Psi Rankings chuckled. “Do you not know who you are? Have you not accepted your fate? The highest Psi in history. An Ani-Mate. And Heir to the House of Verity. You have the most power of any person on this world.”
“Yes. But none of it is mine.”
And finally, the best one:
We made love on Sponge Bob sheets.
Now, if I have an hour to waste tomorrow, I'll probably write a short, FREE READ with the Sponge Bob line in it.
Contemplative:Change of Season
In September, it was rather cold around here. 30-40's. Since then, it's been unseasonably warm. The kids didn't have to wear coats to go trick-or-treating. Yesterday it was over 60 degrees.
Today, winter's bite stings the skin. The wind tumbles masses of leaves from the trees, hurrying them down the street. Their beauty paints the landscape in seas of reds, golds, yellows, and browns. The first burst of fall as the world surrenders to the call of sleep.
The change of season is nature's lesson on life. At least for me. Surrender is difficult, but it can be beautiful, just as the piles of discarded leaves on my neighbor's lawn are beautiful. One season makes way for the next, but no season can claim forever victory. Even winter and death must make way for the rebirth of spring.
Last year when I discovered I was expecting that sweet little girl pictured here, my life entered a new season. I thought I was done with that stretch of motherhood, and I gloried in the prospect of having my days to myself, embarking on a creative and productive period.
It was not yet time. I had to surrender to the realization that I would be doing diaper duty. Not sleeping. Not writing as much as I wanted to, not subbing to publishing houses. Not Getting Published.
It was a bitter surrender. But now I glory in the joy of my little girl as she takes her first steps. Learns the meaning of the word "no" and throws a tantrum. Rocks her baby and sings to her.
And my season of Self will come as one joy makes way for another.
Running a blogspot test
My last one only appears intermittently. Grrrr.
I'm keeping myself busy watching my baby sleep.
Going to write another book review!
Down for the count
NaNo is so dead. How quickly I got derailed. My son's asthma has been in my way. Then my daughter took a ride to the hospital in the ambulance. She just stopped breathing. We don't know if it was an airway obstruction or if she had a breath holding episode or what. Never found an object.
Here's my NaNo ticker:
And I'm counting the article I wrote for my RWA chapter newsletter in there.
It's a good article.
The Writer’s Shelf
The Hero With A Thousand Faces
By Joseph Campbell
Princeton University Press
This book is a landmark in Campbell’s field of study, mapping the heroic journey that is common to mythologies spanning the globe. I hope my attempt to review it will do it justice and pique your curiosity at the same time.
Campbell opens his exploration of mythological heroes by first justifying our need for such stories. Though that certainly was not the main purpose of the book, I found it the most compelling section, as it explains, finally, the need for the romance novel in our modern world. Our genre has the highest sales and the lowest public regard. Why?
First, let me address the issue of low regard, as explained by Campbell. Again, this was not the purpose of his work, but he so clearly pinpoints the duality of the modern human condition. We are intellectually driven, wanting to explain everything rationally or scientifically. Evidence suggests that happy endings are in short supply in daily living. Human beings therefore disregard the “happily ever after” as unrealistic pabulum for the masses—like religion. Without the comfort of myth and religion in modern times, we live in a state of consummate despair.
This is why we need romance. Disdain for the happy ending leaves life with little purpose. Is there a heaven? Is there true love? The evidentiary answer of modern society is “no.” We have invented gods and so-called true love to comfort and justify ourselves.
According to Campbell, happy endings should not be regarded as lies, but as a representation of mankind’s ability to transcend the state of tragedy. A touch of the divine is glimpsed in these stories, a restoration of hope, however temporary.
This is the role of romance, to light the beacon of hope in a world that is often dark and filled with despair. Romance can temporarily counteract the fear engendered by the geo-political climate. It can restore belief in unconditional love, if only for the duration of the story. It can take a dreary day of work and transform it into excitement, renewing the thrill of infatuation and desire.
What am I telling you? Social science says we need romance! It’s not escapism for the simple-minded. It’s the restoration of balance to the human condition. A touch of the divine is glimpsed in these stories.
And this explains the genre’s high sales.
Campbell’s power-packed book brings all this to light in the first twenty-eight pages of the prologue. He then goes on to explain why a hero must go through trials—again, the explanations are in the context of cultural myths. I am the one making the ties to the romance novel.
“It is the business of mythology proper, and of the fairy tale, to reveal the specific dangers and techniques of the dark interior way from tragedy to comedy.”
~~Campbell, Hero…Thousand Faces, p. 29
Tragedy and trials are required for our hero/heroine to earn the happy ending. Romance readers like to feel that the characters deserve this love as a reward, not as a happy accident. For how many evidences do we see of enduring serendipity?
Here is the explanation of the appeal of the tortured hero. The attraction of the dark, bad boy. You can fill in further archetypes on your own. The point is, your hero/heroine has gotta pay for happiness. If it’s free, it doesn’t mean much to your reader.
Perhaps the heroes of our romances do not return from their trials with Gorgons’ heads or Golden Fleeces to rule over ancient cities. The heroes of romance may triumph over modern Minotaurs and tangible enemies, but we as readers will not feel love has been earned unless they embark on a spiritual journey, make significant personal change, and return triumphant to claim the boon of true love.
There’s my summary of the first thirty pages of this book. What about the rest of it? I’m not going to lie to you. It’s dense. It’s intellectual. It’s fascinating. As a student of humanity, get the book and read it.
As a writer who wants to apply the mythology to her writing, I recommend another book, which I reviewed some time ago in this column.
Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers is based entirely on Campbell’s work. Having now read both of these studies of the structure of mythology, I can avow that Vogler is faithful to Campbell. He breaks the myth down into the same structure Campbell does.
Quoting my earlier review:
Vogler translates the hero’s journey into a formula which can be applied to any story or character. He outlines the twelve steps of the journey and provides examples in familiar stories and movies, beautifully illustrating the concepts he attributes to the work of Joseph Campbell.
Both books are brilliant. Reading them was time well spent.
And if you needed justification for the scores of romances lining the walls in the den, Campbell’s your man. Social science says your books are helping to restore society’s balance.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Crazy me! I'm participating in eharlequin's version of NaNoWriMo. Hopefully that isn't a copyrighted title. Apologies if it is.
So far all I have is two and a half pages of crap. Which puts me behind about, oh, nine and a half pages? Two days into it! Give up already?!
She’d puked in Chas’ truck. Of all the things you could do to a guy, hurking in his vehicle was pretty much verboten. The lowest of the low.
Too bad, because at the moment, she wasn’t at all sure she wasn’t going to hurk all over his guest bedroom.
“Sorry I was such a bitch at the bar.” (hahaha, I love this one out of context!)
“You remember that?” He didn’t care about her rough treatment nearly as much as he cared about the secrets. They hurt a hell of a lot more than careless words and heels kicking his shins.