Monday, October 5, 2015

A Sad Ending and A New Adventure

I just signed my name to accept the Reversion of Rights for my books published with Turquoise Morning Press which has closed its doors. It's sad to see this come to an end and, yet, I know it opens a new door for me. My books previously published with TMP will continue to be available as I shift them over to self-publishing.

I've been in this business now for more than ten years. I've seen many e-publishers and small presses come and go. I've heard the horror stories of authors whose rights have been tangled up in the closures. Some authors have had to resort to lawsuits to get their books returned to them.

Kim Jacobs is one class act and a business woman of the highest caliber. Even in this closing of the company, she has exhibited the utmost professionalism and integrity. Things are being done smoothly and with every consideration for the authors. If there's a right way to close a publishing house, she has found it.

I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to thank Kim for her support of my work for the past five years. And I want to thank the magnificent authors I got to meet and who will remain my colleagues and friends as we all find our way forward.

I wish Kim Jacobs only the very best in her own future endeavors as author. And I'm grateful for the people I've met during my journey with Turquoise Morning Press. You all have made me a better writer.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

...and then this happened.

We writers can easily fall into a funk. I'm not talking about writer's block. I'm talking about that questioning of why we do what we do. Book sales rise and fall and, when they fall, it's easy to begin to question the time and effort and the expense put into producing a book. When everything is quiet, sales are slow, no reviews are coming in, it's a challenge not to just put the laptop away and do something else. Of course, most of us can't do that. It would be like holding our breath until we pass out. I had a weekend of such questioning and decided I needed to call a family meeting. So I got us all together to remind myself of why I do what I do. Why do I invest so much time and energy and my own resources into putting out books? I looked at my website. My branding says, Writing for Women: Stories of strength, love, humor and hope. 

Well, there it is--why I write. Other than the fact that it's a passion that gives me much more than it demands. I write to give people hope. To bring a smile to someone. To make my readers feel--happy, sad, hopeful, not so much alone. I write to entertain. I write because--for as demanding and challenging as it can be--writing is a passion that is a constant for me. I sat down and began to browse through my books and then this happened:

Here we are at the family meeting. I'm so proud of all my children. And, yes, they did a great job of reminding why I write.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Finding the Real Thing

I'm not married. Have never been married. But I do know a little about relationships and, having worked for a time as a therapist providing couples counseling, I learned a lot more. One thing I know for sure: Marriage is not easy. In my new book, THE REAL THING, Jane and Mitch Devereaux have a nearly twenty-year marriage that is sorely tested by change. Writing as author Janelle DuMonde, Jane has been using her marriage and her husband to work out the finer points of her book plots. Mitch resents being used as a "sex slave-slash-model" for Janelle's heroes. He decides they need some time and distance between them; Jane is confused and terrified by his departure. But something keeps pulling them back to one another. Something won't allow them to just let go.

Jane and Mitch discover that sometimes love can be found in a most unexpected place -- right where you left it.

I hope you'll check out THE REAL THING, now available in ebook and trade paperback at

Friday, August 7, 2015

Being Your Own Best Friend

So, it's my birthday! Yay, me!!! And, no, I'm not telling which one. But if you go by the photo, you know I've been around a while. I like to think I'm old enough to know better and still young enough not to care.

I've had so many invitations from friends over this week, all wanting to celebrate this day with me. I'm so blessed with good and caring friends and so very grateful. Now some understand my decline of invitations on this particular day and some look a bit puzzled. I love to celebrate life with my friends. Just not ON my birthday. My tradition has long been to spend this day WITH myself. Not 'by myself' as some people suggested, saying that was not a good thing.

It took me a long time to grow into this person I am today, to get to know her, to accept her faults and failings and to acknowledge her gifts and talents. As narcissistic as this may sound, I like me and I enjoy spending time with me. I'll relax, reflect, offer thanks for this wonderful gift of life, remember losses and look ahead to the future. Most of all, I'll celebrate ME. No agenda, just options. No schedule, just time.

My wish for all of you is that you (if you haven't already) become your own best friend!

I'd like to celebrate today by giving something to others. To that end, I will give away AT LEAST five (maybe more) Audible copies of my Romantic Suspense novel, PROTECTION to the first people who comment on this post. You can check it out on and listen to a sample here:

Just click below and leave a comment about how you spend time WITH yourself. It's that simple. I'm off to play now. I'll check back in later and announce the winners. Oh, be sure you check back, too so you can send me your email addy if you win.



Monday, July 27, 2015

Reading and Driving? That can't be good.

Often people will ask me what I'm currently reading. I generally say, "Well, I reading (whatever I'm reading at the time) on my Kindle and I'm reading (something else) in the car." A few immediately 'get' what I'm saying, but many people gasp in horror. "You read while you drive?"

When I took a job that required nearly a one-hour drive each way, I discovered the value of audio books. I'd occasionally picked up an audio book when traveling, but it wasn't until the monotony of a daily drive back and forth on the same highway threatened to bore me out of my mind. Audio books not only break the boredom. Listening while driving gives me a chance to 'read' more books. As a writer, I need to stay tuned to what's being written by other authors and as a reader, I need to be entertained. I will admit that driving and listening to a book on CD is just about the extent of my multi-tasking abilities. On occasion, I've pulled into the parking lot at work and had to sit for at least five minutes to find out what was going to happen next. Once the receptionist came out to see if I was okay. 

Imagine my delight when I learned that I could have my own books recorded in audio without breaking my budget. My first self-published book, RESCUED, was released in audio in April of this year. PROTECTION, my romantic suspense, just came out on July 20. It was exciting to hear my words performed by Caroline McLaughlin (RESCUED) and Kevin Scollin (PROTECTION).

If you enjoy audio books, check them out here:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Flight of Fancie

What better place to honeymoon than the historic and quaint Tybee Island, Georgia? Unless, of course, you're spending your week with four other women. After she gets the "We have to talk" talk from her fiance, Fancie Hollensby's bridesmaids whisk her off to the beach where she can lick her wounds. It's also where she discovers she has given herself away on so many levels and Fancie--who's always admired butterflies--develops her own flight plan.

It's July. Need a beach read? My newest women's fiction is available now at

Thursday, April 30, 2015

An Interview with Alexandra Ramsey from RESCUED

L:         I’m here at Harley’s Haven today with director Alex Ramsey. Hi, Alex. Thanks for letting me stop by today.

A:        Oh, you’re welcome. I hope you don’t mind a few wet kisses and a little animal hair on your pants.

L:         (Laughs) For our readers,  just to clarify, the wet kisses are coming from Lambchop, Walter and a few of the adorable puppies here in the shelter lobby. And, no, I don’t mind at all. This is cheaper and more effective than therapy.

A:        I agree. This is my therapy.

L:         So, many of us have read your story in the novel, RESCUED, and I have to say it’s quite a story. You built this beautiful no-kill shelter from scratch.

A:        Pretty much. My sister, Kellie, is a real estate agent and found this fabulous location. We were able to take my plans and build what you see today. Of course, none of this would be possible without the generosity of Miss Amy Whiting.

L:         Yes, I understand Miss Amy was a dear friend and that she also brought you and your husband, Evan, together—in a way.

A:        Evan is Amy’s grand-nephew. Circumstances brought us together, but I’m sure Amy played some role in it. She always did know what was best for me. (Tears up) I still miss her.

L:         (Pauses) A number of people who have read your story think of you as a hero in the animal rescue community. What do you say to that?

A:        (Blushes) I’m not a hero. Lots of people do what I do. I just love animals and live out of that passion. I’m blessed to be able to do so.

L:         Family is very important to you, too. Your mother abandoned you and your sister when you were very young. How do you think that impacted your passion for rescue?

A:        I’m not sure I’d use the term abandoned. She didn’t leave us in a convenience store, but deposited us in the care of our grandfather. I’m not defending her, but I’ve come to understand some things about her. I don’t know. I’m sure that had an impact on my life. I was angry for a very long time. I could never bear to see an injured animal or any animal wandering alone and not do something to help them.

L:         You bring up anger. A few who have read your story were put off by your…uh…rough edge.

A:        (Laughs) You’re so polite. You mean they think I’m something of a bitch. I was and I still can be at times. I feel very strongly about a few things—animals, family and my southern heritage. When I think any of those things are being discounted, I react. It’s a miracle Evan and I are together considering the way I behaved when we first met. I wasn’t very nice. Yeah, I was pretty nasty.

L:         Tell us about that first meeting.

A:        I was working part-time in my uncle’s grill. It was a family business opened by my grandfather. I’d say I was having a bad day. But that bad day lasted for months. Evan was a chef in New York. He was raised in the north and didn’t really know his Aunt Amy. It’s not unusual for folks to come to the south and expect us all to be walking clich├ęs of dumb rednecks. I see that a lot and had come to expect it. Let’s just say Evan rubbed me the wrong way from the start. And it was a rocky start. I assumed Evan was just like those other ‘Yankees’ and, well, that chip on my shoulder was more like a boulder. I know now I couldn’t give him a chance because, honestly, from the moment I walked over to his table to take his order, I felt something, a connection like I’d never felt. Scared the wits out of me.

L:         You don’t seem so nasty now. What made the difference?

A:        Oh, I can still slip into my ‘bitch’ mode now and then. (frowns thoughtfully) I’ve been in the rescue business for a long time. I’ve seen just about everything in terms of animal behavior. The ones I have the softest spot in my heart for are the ones that have been so neglected or abused that they just can’t trust. Now, I was far from neglected and abused. My grandfather and my uncle took very good care of me. Uncle Jack was the father I didn’t have growing up. But I know what that kind of mistrust can breed into an animal. And I think, until I confronted my mother and was able to come to terms with her leaving, I couldn’t fully trust that anyone could love me and not leave me. For as much as my uncle could assure me he was in my life forever, I had to find a way to believe it.

L:         How do you gain that trust from an animal that has plenty of reason not to trust?

A:        Patience, time and consistency. You hang in there. You wait. You have to prove yourself worthy of that trust. I guess we humans aren’t all that different. When one of those mistrusting animals walks over and shoves its muzzle into my hand for the first time, I melt like an ice cube in August. Their trust is such a precious gift.

L:         So what do you want people to know and understand about Alex Ramsey?

A:        That I’m a woman of passion. My passions for rescue, family and as a southern woman drive me, make me who I am. Some will perceive me as a strong, no-nonsense woman. They are probably being generous, as is my husband when he describes me this way (and always with a grin). Some might be put off by my rough edges, but those edges are as much a part of me as the compassion and care I hold. I learned a long time ago that everyone won’t like me. It took me years to realize that was okay. If I’m lucky, a few will love me. And that makes all the difference. My husband has the patience of a saint. I see, now, how he rescued me. He'd tell you I did the same for him.

L:         Thanks so much, Alex, for your time. If the sounds from the kennels are any indication, you have work to do.

A:        I do. It’s feeding time. Thanks for letting me tell my story. Come back any time you need puppy therapy. You asked to visit our cat room, so I'll show you in before I get back to work. But I have to warn you, most people don't walk out of there without a new companion in their arms.

Read Alex's story in RESCUED and decide for yourself how you feel. Available in eBook, trade paperback and, now, in audio book at: