Writing Acrobatics

I know readers seldom think about a writer’s thought process when creating a book, but since that’s what I do all day, that’s what is on my mind most of the time. So pardon me for occasionally wandering off on mental writer acrobatics.   typing in water
I am currently drafting the latest genius mystery. These are told in first person from my main protagonist, and third person from whichever of her family has a point of view in the story.

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Mea Culpa!

The first of my excerpts for Magic in the Stars have been going out, and I’m receiving a puppy_in_a_tam-o-shanterdeluge of lovely mail pointing out that my hero doesn’t know the name of his own dog. Well, people have been a little politer than that.

What can I say? When I write, names change. It just happens. It’s part of the process, and at some point, I hope I catch all the  changes and settle on a final name. (Although the heroine of current WIP has probably gone through a hundred name changes by now!)

But my real fault was in letting the excerpt go up before it was proofed. We organize so much of this in advance that sometimes it’s impossible to remember what I did when, and this is one of those cases. I apologize.

And in case you’re wondering, his dog’s name is Hog. And that’s not him in the picture. <G>

 

Unexpected Magic Series Begins!

Rice_MagicintheStars800After a year in the making and months of consulting over covers and release dates, I can finally show you the cover for Magic in the Stars, Book #1 in my new Malcolm/Ives historical romance series! The pre-order links aren’t up yet, but I can give you a sneak peek at an excerpt.

The original Magical Malcolms series was set in the Georgian era around 1750. I brought the Ives family of scientific, logical men together with a group of exceptionally independent Malcolm women with “gifts” that ranged from magical healing to seeing ghosts.

When that series ended, readers kept asking for books about their descendants.  At the time, my editors weren’t interested, so I sold a contemporary romance with a trio of brothers who may have descended from my Ives family. That became the California Malcolm trilogy.

Now, I’m finally in a position to follow the descendants of my Georgian couples into 1830 because I wanted to see how the scientific Ives men and the woo-woo Malcolms navigate the Industrial Revolution.

So far, I’m playing with astrology and astronomy (Magic in the Stars), a barrister and a Jamaican heiress who instigate riots (Whisper of Magic), and a blind political marquess captivated and appalled by a woman who hears voices in her head (Theory of Magic).

As you can imagine, the stories involve a healthy dose of humor and skepticism as the couples learn to deal with the unbelievable—including an Ives with a “gift” of his own.

I’m really excited about this series and hope you will be too!

Music Soothes the Soul

BBconcertWhen I was too young to know better, I fell in love with the Beach Boys and their California rock music. I swear, my daughter was born singing “Fun, Fun, Fun.” Maybe all that surf music was the reason we gravitated to the west coast. So when what is left of the group played in the Arts Center at Costa Mesa, it only seemed fitting to see the band that started it all. 

A blast from the past is just what is needed to make us feel young again. We rocked with an segerstrom concert hallaudience of all ages, talked to people who’d known the original group when they were growing up, and thoroughly enjoyed the talented musicians who have taken up the music with as much verve and expertise as I remembered from my first concert in another millennium.

And we learned more about this fabulous concert venue. I love the snail shell architecture and the wonderfully cozy balcony seating where there’s room to dance! The concert hall is part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, an amazing complex for celebrating dance, theater, and music.

Do you have the opportunity to enjoy the arts? How often do you take it?

Find Your Dream

Edownton abbeyver since I was a little kid in snowy Kentucky, I watched the Rose Parade on TV and vowed one day I would live in sunny California and see the parade.

Two and a half years ago, I made part of that dream happen when we moved to southern California. Two years ago, we saw the Rose Parade from the bleachers. That wasn’t enough. It’s hard to really see the floats from the side of the road.dragon

Today, we got to walk right up to the floats and admire the amazingly creative artistry involved in building them. What is even more astonishing is that California has been in a drought for four years, and flowers are in short supply. The designers had to use dry grasses, leaves, bark, and any other natural substance at hand to create the floats.

dragons neckWe took a million pictures, minimum! Here’s a detail of the dragon float. I know the bands and the costumed characters are a wonderful, exciting part of the parade–but it’s the flowers and sunshine that lit my dark childhood days. I wish I lived closer so I could be part of the wonder of creating these marvelous floats!

me

Are you creating dreams to work toward? Tell me!

Honey, They Shrank My Icons!

catcomputerI finally downloaded Win 10 on my new Lenovo laptop that came with the despised Win 8.1.  The new program is very pretty and probably quite nice once I finish riddling the computer with bullet holes. Remember my telling you how I proudly installed my Black Friday huge monitor in my sunny living room by hooking it up to my laptop? It was so lovely to see entire Excel documents and be able to read Word documents side-by-side!

Well, Win 10 shrank everything. It’s basic setting is for tablets at some ridiculous .9 setting that I couldn’t read even if I was a teenager, which I’m not. AND IT WON’T LET ME CHANGE IT!  I’ve followed the instructions. They’ve made it impossible to increase all the elements at once. I have to patiently go through and check them off, then wait five minutes for them to reset, only to have the whole thing shrink up again later. My e-mail looks like ant tracks.

Even my IT husband gave up. Anyone have a gun? Or maybe I should just let the cat fix it. Am I the only one who jinxes computers this way?

Happy Holidays Anthology Give-away!

Historical Romance - Christmas Promotion #1To show our gratitude to our fabulous readers this holiday season, I’ve teamed up with over 50 fantastic romance authors, including Jo Beverley and Mary Jo Putney, to give away more than 35 historical holiday romances, and a $100 gift card to one lucky winner!

I’m giving away copies of Christmas Enchantment, a trio of holiday novellas set in Regency England. Enter the contest by clicking here: http://bit.ly/XmasRomance

Fashion Magic

Coeds_with_Hoes_(3332955265)Today’s trivial pursuit: how do you wear your shirts over jeans?

 

In my family pre-Thanksgiving shopping expedition, I found a bargain on a fabulous soft cardigan I thought I could wear around the house with jeans. Once I wore it at home, though, I realized I wear all my shirts outside my jeans, and this sweater is too short to cover the shirts. I’d have to tuck in my tops, which looks a bit odd jeans_(196025365)since I can only wear low slung jeans. So, do you tuck? Wear really long cardigans? What’s the solution? (and go naked isn’t the answer!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Historical Romance - Christmas Promotion #1

To show our gratitude to our fabulous readers this holiday season, I’ve teamed up with over 50 fantastic romance authors, including Claudia Dane, Grace Burrowes, Jennifer Ashley, and Jo Beverley to give away more than 35 historical holiday romances, and a $100 gift card to one lucky winner!

I’m entering five copies of Christmas Enchantment as well as several other anthologies.

Enter the contest by clicking here: http://bit.ly/XmasRomance

Tasmanian Devils

koalaI just spent the last few weeks in Australia—another check off my bucket list! We met our son there and spent a big part of our time touring Tasmania. We visited a wildlife sanctuary where we could feed kangaroos and visit with koalas and gorgeous cockatoos (one was a hundred years old!). To our dismay, as we continued our journey, we learned many of the animals—including the kangaroos and kangarootasmanian devilTasmanian Devils—in the sanctuary are basically roadkill in the countryside.

But we also visited with Anne Gracie  (Hi, Anne!), traveled anneandmepart of the Great Ocean Road on the mainland, and saw koalas hanging from the trees in the wild.

If you could, what country would you visit?

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To show our gratitude to our fabulous readers this holiday season, we’ve teamed up with over 50 fantastic romance authors, including Claudia Dane, Grace Burrowes, and Jennifer Ashley to give away more than 35 historical holiday romances, and a $100 gift card to one lucky winner.

Enter the contest by clicking here: http://bit.ly/XmasRomance