Monday, February 23, 2015

Renting To Own (reprise)

I'm so excited to announce the reprise release of my book, RENTING TO OWN. I just love this new cover that captures the story of Lily, a young single mother trying to create a life of stability for herself and her four-year-old daughter, Chelsea.

The story has been tweaked and updated from the original printing as well. I have to say that as I went through the rewrites and editing with this story, I fell in love with it all over again. I hope you will, too.

Published by Turquoise Morning Press
Ebook available at and at Smashwords

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Rescue Story by Binky the Cat

I was six years old when my owner turned me over to a shelter because he was getting married to a lady with two kids who were allergic to me. I felt bad ‘cause I liked the kids. And I loved my owner who raised me. It took me a while to figure out that it wasn’t my fault I was put in kitty jail in a cage. I don’t think I’d ever been so scared in my life. I was still in quarantine when the shelter lady brought another lady into the quarantine area to look at some of us kitties. The lady said she wanted a younger cat, but not a kitten—maybe one that was about two years old. I felt sad, because I was six then, but she had no idea how young at heart I was. I knew I could be perfect for her if she gave me a chance.

Well, a couple of the other kitties made fools of themselves, swiping at her with their claws and leaping around in their cages. (I don’t have claws on my front paws. My first owner was afraid I’d ruin the furniture, so he had the vet cut them off—along with the tips of what would be my fingers. It hurt so much.) The shelter worker pointed to me huddled in my cage on the floor and said, “This could be a good cat for you.” But then the lady asked the big question—How old is she? I just stared. I didn’t want to make eye contact because what if I saw kindness in her eyes and then she walked away from me?

Both ladies left and closed the door. I shook a little bit in my cage, afraid I’d have to live here from now on. And I’d heard stories about cats and dogs that weren’t adopted soon, that they were pushed across the rainbow bridge. And they’d done nothing wrong to deserve it.

The shelter was closed for two days and the only people I saw were the workers who fed and watered us and cleaned out our litter boxes. They were nice enough, but no one touched me or talked to me.

Then the lady came back! She waited by my cage while the shelter lady opened the door and pulled me out. I wasn’t too willing to go at first. I didn’t know what they might do to me. I was at least safe in my cage. But the shelter lady handed me over to the other lady. She hugged me and rubbed her chin on my head and scratched under my ears. I wasn’t too used to being hugged and not all that sure I liked it, but I butted my head against her chin a few times to let her know I thought she was okay.

The lady gave the shelter worker some money and they put me in a little carrier and off I went. It was scary in the back seat of the car and I cried for a long time. The last time I went for a ride like this, it didn’t turn out so well. The lady talked to me and tried to make me feel better. Then we were home. She carried me up, up, up the steps and into her apartment. It was big and I didn’t know where anything was. She opened the carrier and let me come out when I was ready. Well, I explored a bit, and then she showed me my food and water dishes and my litter box. I had my own private bathroom! But I got scared because I wasn’t sure where I was and what might happen next. I needed to get up high where I could keep an eye on things, so I leaped up onto the kitchen counter, then the refrigerator, then the top of the cabinets.

I was the Queen of the World. And I found a secret place to hide—inside one of the cabinets in an empty space next to the wine glasses. She’d never find me there. So I thought. But the lady called to me and called to me and started opening doors and I was found. I did this a few times until I realized this lady was probably okay. She just wanted to love me.

So I came out of the cupboard and let her scratch my chin. 
And then I rescued her.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Did I mention my mom's a writer? She wrote a romance novel that includes the theme of animal rescue and benefits the Tunica Humane Society. Check it out!

Available at

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Life's Hardest Lessons

Life has a way of grabbing our attention, of turning us around and making us think. We have a way of getting distracted and wandering down paths that lead us nowhere. Then a sobering moment stops us in our tracks.

As an author, I've had the privilege over the years to meet so many others who share my passion for writing. I've come to know (to whatever degree social networking allows us to know) so many talented, generous, creative people. One of those authors was Holly Gilliatt. I never had the chance to meet Holly face to face. I won't claim to have known her as well as some others did. We were fellow authors at Turquoise Morning Press and 'friends' on Facebook.

What I got to know in a very short time was that Holly was a loving wife and mother, had a wicked sense of humor, was a very talented writer, and bore the courage of a thousand women in her battle with pancreatic cancer. When some might have given up, Holly stood up. She didn't sit and wait for death. She forged ahead into life, embracing each and every moment. She continued to follow her passion for writing as well as her passion for life.

Though Holly and I never met or even shared a spoken conversation, it was easy to see all of this in her--through her writing, her sharing on Facebook of her love for her family and friends, and her travels. Holly's courage and strength amazed me and, at times, shamed me. She taught me a few things. Holly taught me that, first of all, we're all terminal. Don't wait. Don't put off the things that are important to you. Don't get distracted and wander aimlessly, but focus and follow your passions, the loves of your life. Don't sit back and let life happen. Take it by the hand and fly with it, rise and fall on the currents of life. Laugh with joy. Love deeply. Hold preciously this gift you've been given.

Holly left us far too soon at the tender age of forty-three. She will live on through her family and friends. She also left the rest of us a legacy in her writing. I think you can measure the depth and openness of a person by the way they are missed by those who never met them, but whose lives were touched by them all the same. This was Holly.

Holly's books are available at
and at

Read more about Holly at author Karen Booth's blog:

Monday, December 29, 2014

Now Available in Both eBook and Trade Paperback

As we head into a new year, we often take some time to step back and think about the past year, the changes we've experienced or the ones we desire and where we go from here. While it's fiction and not a self-help book, LADIES IN WAITING is the ideal novel for your journey. You won't walk alone--Liv, Markie, Cee Cee, Andi and Julia will be right there with you. Talk about a fun group with a bunch of dark secrets! And now LADIES IN WAITING is available in both eBook and Trade Paperback.

Available in ebook and trade paperback at
Also available at Turquoise Morning Press

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Love That New Cover Smell--and Look

I just received the cover art for RENTING TO OWN. It's a reprise release coming from Turquoise Morning Press in February, 2015.

Lily Champion lost her mother when she was just seven years old. Pregnant at nineteen, her father put her out of the house. Lily leaned on the kindness of her former teacher, Helen Shaw, who took her in. She is now on her own with a four-year-old.

At twenty four, Lily has a decent job and a house she is renting to own. But she has learned that, just when the earth beneath you settles, something is sure to cause a quake. As she struggles to balance work and single-parenthood and create a solid future for her daughter, Lily finds herself pursued by two men. One ignites desire in her and the other makes her feel secure. Wasn’t that what got her into this situation in the first place? Lily’s learned that sometimes when the ground shifts beneath you, it moves you to where you need to be.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

PROTECTION Finaled for 2015 EPIC eBook Award

Look what happened--PROTECTION finaled for the 2015 EPIC eBook Awards in Romantic Suspense.

I'm am so excited and pleased. I'm in very good company there. We'll see what happens in March.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Women and Reinvention

My newest women's fiction novel, LADIES IN WAITING, came out a few days ago. Authors will be familiar with this process, but for others let me explain what happens before a book goes to publication. First there's the editing process which can take several back and forths between the author and the editor. Then the book goes to a copyeditor. The last stage involves the galleys being sent to the author for one last look. That's when you search, line by line, word by word, for any small errors that may have been missed in the earlier editing processes. Books don't just happen. They go through rigorous scrutiny.

In working with the galleys for LADIES IN WAITING, I discovered something. Well, not discovered so much as was reminded. I love writing women's fiction. I very much enjoy writing romance and suspense, but I LOVE writing women's fiction. Perhaps it's the dormant psychotherapist in me that enjoys digging into the psyche and the emotions of the character(s) and seeing what makes them tick. Then partnering with the character to not only tell their story, but walk with them to a resolution of conflicts. See, that's what really moves us through. Conflict. It's an essential element when writing a story to create conflict and keep it going to hold the reader through to the end. I think the same is true of life.

LADIES IN WAITING is a book about internal conflicts. Liv, Cee Cee, Julia, Andi and Markie are strangers to one another who all land in Cape May, New Jersey for a women's retreat titled Embracing the New You: Reinventing Yourself After Fifty. But each woman has a very different reason for being there and each one is as much running from something as she is moving toward something. When the retreat director, Bree, is called away on a family emergency, the five women decide to stay anyway and have their own sort of retreat.

As I worked through the galleys for this book, I found myself drawn into the story as if I'd not written it and had never before read it. I found myself reflecting upon my own reinvention. I've wrestled with that word, questioning if we really do reinvent ourselves or if we reclaim those parts of ourselves that we've put aside or shed for the sake of someone or something else. But reinvention seems to be a more widely understood and accepted term for what we women face as we move into our second and then third acts of life. A significant part of my own reinvention was to embrace my desire to write. LADIES IN WAITING is my 20th published novel! Some reinvention, huh?

My reinvention had a lot to do with embracing truths and letting go of fantasy thinking about life. Reinvention can be a painful process, but it's also one that offers a new freedom--freedom to be honest with ourselves, to make new and sometimes better choices, to dare to give free rein to our dreams and step onto formerly untried paths. It might sound overwhelming and little scary. And it can be. But it's also a hell of a lot of fun.

Liv's life blew up in her face and she had to face the truths of what she had compromised or given away of herself to make a life that was less than satisfying for her. Cee Cee (only thirty-two, but taking her mother's place at the retreat because she needs time away from her husband and kids) is questioning her marriage. Julia arrives at the retreat wound so tightly, she fears if she relaxes, she might fall apart. And falling apart is not acceptable on any level for Julia. Andi is still trying to find her way through early widowhood and into a future of happiness. Markie, in whom the hippie era meets new age, doesn't see an option for reinvention so much as a need to find some inner peace to make a decision she feels is imperative and final.

By the time I'd finished the work on the galleys and sent them back to my editor, I was feeling a loss. What I imagine post-partum depression could be like. I wanted to sit on the beach with these five women and draw my energy from them as they grappled with lies and truths and changes to find the next step, the true path that fit for each of them.

Whether we engage in this process of reinvention in big ways or in small, it seems to me it's not something we choose. It's an invitation that life lays before us. We women have so much wisdom and experience to offer one another. We are each architects of our own reinvention, but I dare say it would be a lonely, possibly impossible, task without our girlfriends to hold our hands and to sometimes give us that much needed shove from behind.

Two of my favorite authors have written non-fiction books about this process of reinvention. Barbara Sher wrote It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now in 1999 and her words still ring true today. Claire Cook (one of my all time favorite authors of women's fiction) wrote Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way) in 2014.

If you find yourself  thrust into your own reinvention, I recommend both of these books. And if you want some companions for the journey, I recommend LADIES IN WAITING. The girls will be happy to pour you a glass of wine and sit with you while you figure it all out.

Here's to your journey!