Thursday, August 30, 2012

Naughty Alexa

Jennifer Labelle interviews me today on her blog! Come find out one of the naughtiest things I've done and comment for a chance to win Her Highland Champion! Stop by here!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Alexa's Activities

Hi, hi! I'm keeping busy with day job stuff, refilling my writing well by reading other people's AWESOME books, working on edits for Simple Treasures and planning promotional activities for when books 2 and 3 come out later this year! I'll be participating in a couple of blog hops, having parties on here for release days, visiting other blogs, and I'm ironing out the details for a special "in between books" activity I'm very excited about. And of course there will be prizes!

Have a great hump day tomorrow!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Good morning and welcome to my next installment of Fractured Paradise! This is my next book, which should be released sometime in the next couple of months. This is the story of an American woman trying to do something special for her grandmother and the Englishman who is determined to thwart her plans. Funny thing, though. They're kind of attracted to each other!

Okay, here you go:

As Rachel passed the Roker Pier Lighthouse, she spotted her rival exiting the grocery store a few blocks away. He carried a brown paper bag.

Her stomach curled. Tingles sparked behind her breasts and shot right into her abdomen. Damn it, why did her body react every time she ran into this man? E-n-e-m-y.

To read more entries, visit the Six Sentence Sunday website here! And don't forget to leave comments! Authors LOVE comments!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

You Know You're A Suspense Writer....

You know you're a suspense writer when.......

You're sitting at the kitchen table happily eating dinner, and you imagine a crazed lunatic with a gun breaking in the back door. And then you debate between two possible reactions:

1. Would you have enough time to scramble into the kitchen to grab the phone to dial 911?


2. Would you have to flip the kitchen table over, hide behind it and hope you could stab the intruder with your fork before he gets a shot off with his gun?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thank you to Becca (AKA R. L. Syme) for sending me the Booker Award! With it, I get to share with you my Top 5 books of all-time. I don't read as much as other people (or as much as I'd like to), but even still my decision was a diffcult one. I've read so many fabulous books over the years and whittling my list down to 5 was exruciating.

Here are my own Top Five in no particular order.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- I had to read this for school (like so many other people) and I dreaded reading it. But once I actually started it and studied it, I loved it. The idea of seeing the world through Scout's eyes appealed to me then and appeals to me now. What a fantastic way to approach such difficult topics!
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon- This was the book that sealed my fate as a writer. I saw this in the bookstore and was right away drawn to the plaid on the cover. I was in a Scottish phase at the time (or rather, that was early in the phase I'm STILL living in) and the idea of an English woman traveling back in time to clans and kilts and Scottish turmoil intrigued me. I read the story and loved every moment. I went on to read several more stories in the series, but that first one grabbed my heart. It was that story that made me want to be a romance writer. I felt the challenge rise in me to write characters for other people to care about as much as I cared about Jamie and Claire and the others. I've never looked back since.
Whisper of Warning by Laura Griffin- I'm a suspense writer first and foremost. I honestly believe (and have been told by editors) most of my full-length stories (NOT my novellas) are more suspense focused than romance. This book, for me, was the exact balance of romance and suspense that I love. Also, I've been a HUGE fan of Laura's work since her first book hit the shelves. I can't tell you exactly why I love this story so much. I honestly don't know. Perhaps it's because the heroine has struggled so much in her life and no matter what she keeps trying. (And I really identify with that.) Maybe it's because the hero is risking his career for this woman and his growing love for her. But of all Laura's stories this is the one that has found a place on my keeper shelf.
Final Victim by Stephen J. Cannell- This story was the first one I read by this author. I honestly don't remember a lot about it because I read it about 13 years ago, but I know it's about a serial killer who really freaked me out and the hero and heroine racing against time to catch him. Yes, it's like a lot of other suspense stories, but Mr. Cannell had such a fascinating way to draw the reader in. I was completely hooked by the details and the descriptions as well as the surprises that he kept throwing at me. I should also tell you that Mr. Cannell created MANY of the TV shows I watched growing up and I do credit him and his shows with my love of and my path to writing suspense.

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane- I had to read this during high school. It became one of my favorite stories because at the time, I was fascinated by soldiers and their experiences. Everything I read during high school outside required reading dealt with the Vietnam War and especially the experiences of the soldiers. Reading and working on assignments related to Crane's book only made me more interested in how people react to danger (which in its own way guided me toward my love for suspense).

(Okay, I'm cheating. I'm also going to give you my 2 runner-up stories because I really can't decide which to be my top 5!

Light in Agust by William Faulkner-I honestly don't remember much about it because I don't reread books and I read this back around 1992, but I remember I LOVED it. My mother and I, to this day, talk about how much I loved this book. I have both a paperback copy and a hard cover copy and every once in a while I do consider rereading it.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens- In any format- book, movie, play- I love everything about this story. While the book is good, I think the story itself and the various adaptations are what attract me. If I had to choose my favorite STORY of all time this would be it. I love how crusty Scrooge is and how he changes. I NEVER get tired of this story!)

So there you have my Top 5 books of all time and Two Runner-Up favorite stories of all time so far. What do you think of my choices? If you're so inclined to share your own, please do and let me know so I can read and comment on yours! 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Good News Alert!!!!

We interrupt this grand Tuesday with a......


In chatting with my publisher, I got some good news last week! With novella #3, Simple Treasures planned for the holidays, I now have enough written material for us (Decadent Publishing and me) to go to print! I will eventually have a print anthology with my 3 UK Honor Guard stories in it! My OWN book in my OWN hands! It will definitely be a dream come true! I'll be sure to keep you updated on that progress.

And now, back to writing my historical short story.....

Monday, August 20, 2012

Catchin' Up

Hello, hello! I've been scarce the last week or so for no other reason than lots of stuff is going on and I've got nothing much to tell you. But, here we go with some deets:

Last week I attended substitute teacher retraining for 2 different school districts (basically so I can still be a sub this school year).

I applied for a handful of jobs- some by email, some by physically visiting the office.

I interviewed for a teaching job in China. If you're one of my Facebook friends you know the deets. If you're not one of my facebook friends....why aren't you? I didn't get that job, but I learned a lot in the process.

I interviewed for another position that is PERFECT for me. I've been passed up to the next level for a follow-up interview so once that's done I'll share more deets about it. Wish me luck and send some good vibes for me!

I researched on a few more jobs that I realized I don't want.

I heard from my lovely senior editor. She gave me the go-ahead to write my very first historical romance story, which will be a short story. She's also going to look at my 1st short story, the contemporary story Carry Me Home. I'll keep you updated on the yay or nay on that!

I visited one of my brothers who had a birthday.

I'm now taking a Marketing class through Celtic Hearts.

I'm also starting to plot and plan promo activities for when novella #2, Fractured Paradise, is released. Any ideas? Or any ideas on how I can celebrate my UK trilogy since novella #3, Simple Treasures, has also been contracted?

Okay, that's it for me. You're pretty much caught up. I'm off to the grocery story and then I'm back to work on the rough draft of the historical. Yes, such a glamorous life, huh?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday- Fractured Paradise

Good morning and welcome to my next installment of Fractured Paradise! This will be my next release. As soon as I hear the release date you can bet I'll let you know!

In last week's Six Sentence Sunday, I introduced you to Rachel and Aidan, the hero and heroine. Rachel was sitting alone in the pub, but then Aidan came in and sat right next to her. They're already at odds because she's there to clean up her grandmother's abandoned cottage for her grandmother's return and he wants to buy it. At the end of last week's snippet, Aidan called her by her first name and she loved the sound of it falling from his lips. This week's snippet picks up from there. (Trevor is her former boyfriend.) Enjoy!

Her insides melted even as her brain ordered her to ignore the reaction. Good grief, what was wrong with her? Camden equaled enemy. Trevor had wanted her dad’s social circles. Camden wanted the cottage. They weren’t that different.

To read more entries, visit the Six Sentence Sunday website here! And don't forget to leave comments! Authors LOVE comments!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Melrose Abbey & The Heart Of The Bruce

Today I'm over at the Celtic Hearts Blog sharing info and pictures of Melrose Abbey in Scotland and the heart of Robert the Bruce! Stop by for a few minutes if you have time!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Six Sentences Of Fractured Paradise

Good morning! Welcome to another Sunday. Today, I'm sharing with you six sentences from my upcoming release, Fractured Paradise. It is a contemporary British romantic suspense and it will be released soon. The heroine, Rachel, has traveled to Sunderland, England to clean up her grandmother's cottage for the woman's return. Only, what she finds is not what she expects. The hero, Aidan Camden, wants to buy the cottage and is willing to do whatever he has to in order to get it.

This first scene I'm sharing with you is shortly after they've met. Rachel has been in the pub and Aidan has just walked in. Enjoy!

Camden took possession of the stool next to her despite all the empty ones along the bar.

She turned her head toward him.

Big mistake.

He fixed those hazel eyes on her and flashed a heart-stopping grin. “Hello again, Rachel.” Her name rolled off his lips like a sweet caress.

Remember, to read more snippets from other authors, visit!

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Take On The Bourne Legacy

Bright and early this morning, I walked into the movie theater and spent the last $6 on my gift card to see The Bourne Legacy. Now, anyone who knows me knows I'm a HUGE fan of the first 3 movies and of Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. But, I saw previews for this movie during the summer and thought I'd definitely give it a chance. Here's my take:
I do love Jeremy Renner and well, as an action movie it was good. But as another installment in the Bourne franchise.....yeah, not feeling the love. I don't know if it's just the fact that I'm obsessed with Jason Bourne & Matt Damon as the character or if my feelings are legit.
First off, I am definitely now a Jeremy Renner fan. I've seen him in other things, recognized him but from this point on I'll definitely know who he is and I will look for other movies of his. I think he did a FABULOUS job. And Rachel Weisz did a great job as a terrified scientist turned fugitive. AND, the romance author in me loved the chemistry between them. I could feel the tension between them, could see the trust grow and I loved...well, I won't give anything away.
As for the plot, I found it hard to understand some of the motivations behind choices the government people were making and the connections to Ultimatum were more of a distraction for me. (But some of the "where are they now" updates did shock me and call to every ounce of patriotism and justice-seeker within me.) I found myself wishing the story went deeper into the whys and hows of the characters, if that makes sense. I wanted more. Also, some of the subtle and not-so-subtle references to the original Jason Bourne trilogy affected me. I didn't know whether to be touched that they included them as sort of a tribute to the earlier movies OR whether to be offended.
So, was it good? Yes. Was it worth seeing? I think so. Will I see it again or buy it on DVD when it comes out? Probably not. BUT, when they do another Bourne movie, because based on the ending and the unanswered questions I'm sure they will, I'll definitely see it.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Celebrate with me!

FIRST....I finished the revisions to my manuscript, Her Reluctant Protector, and have hit the SEND button on the email to the editor. Keep positive thoughts coming my way that the editor wants it and a few crossed fingers won't hurt either! I'm interviewed by MK McClintock! This lady was the first person who ever contacted me about being interviewed (versus me contacting her or friends chatting with me about it) and I've got to tell you it was an amazing feeling! My interview with her is now live. For those of you who have followed me on one or more of my previous interviews, I promise I try to add new questions to the interview so you still have a reason to follow and still have a chance to learn something new about me and my work! If you want to read this interview, visit here. PLUS, there is a chance to win a copy of my 1st book, Her Highland Champion!

Okay, no rest for the wicked! I'm off to start the paperwork and revisions on novella #3, Simple Treasures.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gotta Be Doin' Somethin' Right!

YAY! My beta reader (aka my best friend who reads EVERYTHING I write & ALWAYS tells me how it is) had this to say about my revised version of Her Reluctant Protector:

OUTSTANDING!!! wow u have stepped up..... - great job - this book rocks - i love it

I really can't ask for a better response, can I? Except, she and I had a conversation (via internet) later and here's what ELSE she said in response to some specific questions I had about what I added into the story:

a bit of a surprise which was good
seems each time u send me a book it gets better and better

WOW! A surprise? That's exactly what I was going for! How can I NOT love these comments????? I must be doing something right! Yes, at this very moment, I'm feeling invincible. Okay, back to the business of doing my final read-through.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday For Her Reluctant Protector

Hello and welcome to my snippet for Six Sentence Sunday! Today is the last installment I'm sharing for my current work in progress, Her Reluctant Protector. Why? Because it's just about done and I'll be submitting it in the next couple of days! (Keep your fingers crossed for me and send positive vibes that the editor LOVES the new version!)

Once you've read my Six Sentence Sunday entry (and commented???), visit to find more authors sharing their writing snippets with you.

To remind you about mine, the manuscript is called Her Reluctant Protector. Jessa is the heroine. Her cop brother went missing, but before he did he sent an old Army buddy, Matt (the hero), to keep her safe. Now, what I've been sharing the last few weeks was when Jessa realizes she needs to step up to the plate and be willing to help Matt keep them safe. They're in a motel room and this week's segment is from the first morning. Matt has just woken up to find Jessa curled against him. Enjoy!

Jessa stirred then, her breath moving the fabric on his arm, her fingers pressing against his abs. 
Holy hell, if he didn’t get into heaven after lying next to her all night, then nothing could save his soul.
Her eyes fluttered open.  She tensed for a fraction of a second and then bolted upright.  And off him. 
Matt didn’t know whether to be thankful or mourn the loss.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Contract!!!

Celebrate with me! Yesterday I received a contract from my epublisher, Decadent Publishing, for my 3rd Honor Guard novella! YAY! I'm so excited because this is the 3rd installment of my UK trilogy. Here is the truly unofficial blurb:

Simple Treasures is a romantic suspense set in Edinburgh, Scotland during Hogmanay (AKA New Year's). The heroine, Joanna Grainger, is a former US Army soldier who witnesses a crime no one believes happened. The hero, Scotsman Colin Munro, must protect her as the unofficial final segment of his interview process for one of the world's top bodyguard agencies, the International Protective Network. Neither of them wants a partner of any kind, but if they have any chance of stopping a killer they must put their faith in each other.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Here is the UNOFFICIAL blurb for my next release, Fractured Paradise. I don’t have a release date yet, but I’ll share that with you as soon as I know! So….what do you think?

Technical analyst Rachel Grant arrives in Sunderland intent on tidying up her grandmother’s cottage, but the disaster she discovers requires more than a gentle sweep of a dust rag. Determined to please the most important person in her life, she trades her computer keyboard for a hammer and nails to make the repairs. She doesn’t count on the chilly reception from the locals who want to claim Nan’s home as their own.

Tour guide Aidan Camden wants to buy the house. He’s determined to acquire the property no matter how attractive he finds the current occupant. However, when tragedy strikes, throwing them both into a tailspin, he finds an unlikely ally in the sexy American. Can Aidan put his own ghosts to rest in time to save the woman who’s claimed his heart?