Friday, July 24, 2009

A Break and a Book

Summer is my mega-writing time. I have a little over two months off, and am now at the half-way point. I've gone from 15,000 words on Any Wicked Thing to 45,000 in a month, so I'm half-finished with both the book and the vacation. It has helped that it's rained practically every single day here in Maine---I've not been tempted to leave the house very often.

I'll be taking a break from blogging for a few weeks (but I'm on Twitter, so please follow me, not that I say much there). Contest!To get you to come back on August 8, I'm offering a brand new bright and shiny copy of Mary Jo Putney's Loving a Lost Lord. My Kensington editor sent me a 'Kensington Care Package' with a slew of Kensington titles to welcome me. There were 17 books!!! Needless to say, I was excited.They were all new to me, too, except for MJP's book, which I had already purchased and read. So the extra copy will go to one random commenter on this post, with a couple of other writerly goodies.
Here's my question: If you were making up a care package for a writer, what items would you include in it? Any particular books? Comfort items? All serious and silly answers welcome.
See you in August!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Go On and Win Something!

Go visit another Bradford author's blog! Elisabeth Naughton's Stolen Heat
is being kicked off by a fabulous month-long contest.

For details on how to win a $100 VISA gift card and other fun stuff, go to She'll have daily guest authors blogging, and each day she's giving away prizes---books, jewelry, gift cards, etc.

You can also visit to watch the cool book trailer and find out all about her Stolen Trilogy. Go on, what are you waiting for?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Self-Imposed Exile

I didn't go to Washington, D.C. for RWA's national conference. I thought about it, but scheduled a vacation, some necessary dental work and doctor's appointments for my summer off instead, so there went any discretionary $. (New glasses! I'm excited! I can actually see the computer screen now...who knows how that may positively affect my writing?*g*) I was going to have carpal tunnel surgery too, but now that I have to finish two books, I'd better have two free hands. I know I'm missing out on all sorts of fun networking, so I've sulked and sweat over the keyboard, trying hard not to check out live-blogging and Tweeting.

I challenged myself to kind of avoid the Internet for the duration of the conference, with the exception of e-mails from Tiff, who was there, and Kris and Ely, who were not. My goal was to have 40,000 words on Any Wicked Thing by the end of Sunday, July 19. I flunked the anti-Internet test, and as of today I've only got 35,000 words. Hmm.

Next year, however, I plan to be in Nashville. Yee-haw!

If you went to D.C., stop in and let me know how much fun you had so I can gnash my teeth. If you did not, what was your goal this week? What are you looking forward to?
Smug Update: As of July 19 at 7:38 PM, I have 40,138 words on AWT. Yay!

Monday, July 13, 2009


I have fallen out of the nest onto my head. Yes, I signed up for Twitter. I've updated my MySpace and Facebook pages too, so my social networking has taken flight.

Now, I'm a friendly person in general. Strangers speak to me in grocery store lines and tell me all sorts of things I don't really want to know. But I really like to keep a low profile. However, I do see the advantages in keeping current with the writing scene. I just have to make sure I'm not too sucked in. I already spent way too much time picking out the background wallpaper, LOL. This is my solemn pledge that I will not tweet on what I ate for lunch or how much my new shoes cost. (Actually, I haven't even bought any new shoes in a couple of years. Must remedy that. )I shall be judicious and infrequent with those 140 characters.

Are you tweeting? What are you doing with your life? Have you bought new shoes?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mayday! Mayday!

Danger, Will Robinson...I mean Maggie Robinson. Mistress by Mistake is now coming out in May 2010! Two months sooner than I expected, two months less to get myself prepped for publication. I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm just a little crazy. But you knew that. :) The Vixens are calling me their May Queen, and funny thing---when I went to college in the Dark Ages, I almost was the May Queen. You can see me in my May Day heyday as second runner-up. I still look just the same. Ha.
Now, I don't want you to get the idea that I keep old newspaper clippings at hand to relive my skinnier glory days. As it happens, I was in my basement last week on a mad search for something and came across this amongst the various boxes that are labeled 'miscellaneous.' No word was ever truer. I found college term papers and WW II-era telegrams, baby pictures of unknown babies and mouse droppings. I never found what I was looking for, and now I think I need to spend even more time in the damp dank storage room and start pitching stuff. The task seems overwhelming. I teased one of my daughters that she can take care of it when I'm dead, which seems only fair, as half the stuff in those boxes comes from our late parents' cellars to begin with.
So storage and archiving have been on my mind. But I really need to be writing, not walking down memory lane and sneezing over crushed cardboard boxes. Once again I'll postpone the clean-up. My husband and I talked about how so much information is now scanned and saved to disks and pendrives, eliminating the possibility of mouse droppings. He told me I'd better flee the burning house with the pendrives that hold my manuscripts. Just in case, I've mailed every book to myself. My agent and editors have copies too. But basically, I am not organized and orderly. I stuff things in drawers for 'later,' and when 'later' comes, I wonder why I ever saved any of it. I need an assistant!

How do you keep track of important things? Save your work? Anybody want to come to my cellar for the summer?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Scenic Route

In the last book of the Courtesan Court trilogy, Mistress by Marriage, a character from Caroline's past became so strong I had to send him away to Italy before he completely took over the book. Andrew Rossiter is the Master of Sin in the fourth Kensington book that, if approved, will follow the trilogy. I guess I could almost call the series the Courtesan Court Quartet, which would thrill my alliterative heart. I have 1/3 of this book finished, but need to write "The End" on something else first. I can tell Andrew's getting impatient, but he and Gemma will have to wait until Sebastian and Freddie battle it out on the battlements of Goddard Castle. *g*

The main action in MOS takes place on a remote Scottish island, which has become a kind of character itself in the WIP. I've been to Scotland several times, but never to the Outer Hebrides. Bless you, YouTube. I've watched a clip of St. Kilda (which for some reason I cannot embed, but you can click on the link below), which is really Outer (with fabulous music that never fails to put me in the mood, so turn the sound up).

After spending quite a bit of time doing research, I've decided to create my own little universe, mostly based on Barra Head, which is now uninhabited except for "air so thickly crowded with birds as to produce the appearance of a heavy snowstorm."~H.J. Elwes, 1868. What an image.

I have a little experience living on islands myself. First, there was Long Island in New York. Yeah, I know, not isolated, but pretty wild if you know the right hangouts. ;) Early in my marriage, we lived at a boarding school on an island in Boston Harbor, accessible only by the school's launch. Later on, we lived on Isleboro in Penobscot Bay, served by the Maine State Ferry System. But after 4:30, you were stuck on the island for the night. If you had that craving for a midnight chili cheeseburger, you had to make it yourself. It was really the prettiest place we've ever lived, and I hope to channel some of my island memories as I write MOS.
Are you an Island Girl? Do you have secondary characters who jump up and down at you? Are your settings characters in themselves?