Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Prepping for NaNoWriMo!

At 12:01 tonight I'll be on my way to writing 50,000 words in the month of November with TONS of people around the world. It's National Novel Writing Month! I'll be working on a story called Silent Surrender. I was going to work on a different book, but this one is better for me to write at the moment. I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited! For more info about NaNoWriMo, visit the website here. I'll be sharing my progress and my insanity on this blog during the month, so be sure to check on me! And let me know if you're participating in NaNo. We can support and console each other.

Here is a picture of all my necessary items for me to have a successful NaNoWriMo:
*2 gorgeous pictures of Glenfinnan, Scotland (my happy place) that one of my best friends sent me for my birthday. These are for inspiration.
*The paper on the left is specific writer craft details I need to keep in mind as I write.
*3 notebooks, because I write all my rough drafts by hand.
*Tissues for when the characters make me cry or when I cry because they're no longer talking to me.
*Pens and pencils for writing in those notebooks.
*Nail file for fixing my nails after I chew them off out of worry and/or frustration.
*Ipod, because I usually get "in the zone" when I've got music.
*A pencil sharpener for those pencils I break from either writing too fast or from snapping them in half out of panic.
*Aspirin for the headaches I'll get when the characters go one way and I want the story to go another.
*Peanut M&Ms because they're my favorite candy....wait. That package is open. Hey! Who stole my M&Ms????? (Well, at least I have a few more hours to stock up!)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday

Good morning! Today I'm bringing you a suspenseful snippet of mt upcoming release, Fractured Paradise. (It comes out Tuesday, November 6th!) I think it's pretty self-explanatory. Enjoy!

After two straight days of working in the cottage, Rachel thought she was ready to spend her first night there. She’d scrubbed, swept, and rearranged furniture.

But now that she stood in the center of the living room with her pajamas in her hands, her suitcases against the rocker, and noises coming from the walls, reality did not live up to her dreams.

Wind whistled an eerie tune through the cracked windows despite the plywood she had managed to hammer in place yesterday afternoon. The wood burned in the fireplace, yet a chill overtook her body.

Thump, thump.

There you have it! Feel free to leave me a comment or to look back at previous snippets from other Six Sentence Sundays. For more of today's entries, visit!


Monday, October 22, 2012


Hello, hello! I'm currently on a "writing break" as I refill the well and prep for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which starts on November 1st. I'm reading (on my 2nd Jill Shalvis book in a week!!), playing, planning and teaching an online class. Here's what's up:

I received a rejection from Harequin for a full-length suspense story. It's the one I did a revise and resubmit on. One editor requested it and then she was transfered to a different department. The 2nd editor was very nice in her rejection, telling me what she liked and what needed work, and she offered to read something else. So I immediately decided to submit another manuscript that I love.

Because I love the rejected manuscript and still believe in the story, I'm going to review it and submit it to other epublishers. (I can't send it to my epub, because it's longer than the books they publish.)

My NaNoWriMo book is itching to get out! I can't wait! I've been jotting down notes for it and today I heard the theme song on the radio. (It's "Without You" by David Guetta with Usher.) Remember what it's about? Stripped- Tessa has 2 men in her life. One doesn't know she's alive, one wants her dead and by the end of the week she'll leave them both speechless.

I've decided not to write the historical romance short story I was working on. There were many reasons, but it boils down to the reader in me would love the story in my head, but the writer in me can't get the right story on paper. I tried for 2 months and I was still only halfway through the rough draft.

In place of the historical short story, I've started jotting down notes for a new contemporary romance short story, which will be set in my fictional happy place, Glenhalish (the setting of Her Highland Champion), and will "star" a heroine my senior editor mentioned not too long ago.

I'm teaching my favorite online class, Killer Openings, this month and loving it. I'm also gearing up for my next online class, Candid Confessions of a Newbie Author, in which I discuss in detail what happens after the book contract is signed. I'm giving details about the ups and downs, doubts and successes of my first year as a published author. That class will be taught in November.

I've been working a bit more, which is great, but I'm also going to step up my search AGAIN for a full-time job.

2 weeks tomorrow Fractured Paradise comes out!!!! Yay! I'm planning to celebrate on a few different blogs, as well as my own. A friend recently went to London, so I asked her to pick up some goodies I can use for contest prizes, as well as free books!

Okay, back to work!  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday- Fractured Paradise

Happy Six Sentence Sunday! I meant to post last Sunday, but between a crappy football game, some heavy partying, and preparing for a vacation, I TOTALLY forgot to post last week. But here I am this week bringing you more of my upcoming Honor Guard release, Fractured Paradise. The book comes out November 6th and has already gotten some GREAT reviews.

In this snippet, we're introduced to Gemma, a friend of the heroine (and hero) who lives in Sunderland and works at the hotel Rachel uses. They're having breakfast in a local restaurant and the hero, Aidan, has just walked away from their table.

Gemma leaned low to the table. "’Ere, do you fancy him, then?" she whispered.

"What?" Rachel jerked her head back to meet the gossip queen’s gaze, which sparkled with the possibility. "No." The denial was instant, strong, and definitely a lie.

So, what do you think? Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. And, as usual, if you have more time, visit to find more snippets from more authors.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2nd Review for Fractured Paradise!

Whoohoo! A new review for Fractured Paradise! Celebrate with me!

5 Stars
This is a highly sensual, fast-paced romantic suspense with a craggy, grieving hero and a determined yet guilt-ridden heroine. Together, in both wanting and striving for a cottage on a small Northumbrian island, they discover love, passion and the strength to move on. Aidan is just the kind of man I would like to spend time with in a cottage on an island! An inspiring, romantic read.

Thank you, Lindsay Townsend! Just THREE more weeks until this is available! I can't wait to share it with the world!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's Here, It's Here!

Take a look at my new cover! Isn't it gorgeous? Thank you to Mina Carter, the artist! The story is a New Year's romantic suspense novella that will be out in December. It is the 3rd novella involving my fictional bodyguard company, the International Protective Network!

And just in case you're interested, here's the unofficial blurb:

Take-charge bodyguard Colin Munro believes working for the International Protective Network will be the perfect occupation for him. Unfortunately, his trial assignment is protecting a woman who has no intention of blindly following orders. Aye, he’ll bring the bonnie lass in line because there’s no way he’ll allow her to ruin his chance of securing his dream job.

Physically and emotionally scarred during her stint as a U.S. soldier, Joanna Grainger wants nothing more than to enjoy life. New Year's Eve in Edinburgh marks the beginning of her transformation. But when she witnesses a crime no one believes occurred, her plans come to a screeching halt. To make matters worse, her sexy but headstrong bodyguard has no compassion for her or the victim.

As danger hunts them during one of the busiest time of the year, Joanna must convince Colin she's a worthy partner. But first, can she convince herself?

So, yesterday I mentioned I'd be having a contest for people who leave me a birthday message or a message on the Get Lost in a Story Blog (for the "What's up with the crew?" post!) Since I got the okay to share my cover, I'll extend the contest through Saturday (OU vs. TX for any college football fans!) and I'll open it to anyone who comments here about the cover an/or story too!


Yes, it's true! Forty-one years ago today (at 11:45pm) I decided to grace the world with my crazy presence. I've been on the go since! I'll be out celebrating today with eating, shopping & visiting with family and friends. I'm also celebrating on the Get Lost in a Story Blog with the rest of the Get Lost crew.

I was hoping to be able to share the cover of my New Year's story, Simple Treasures, that will come out in December. It's GORGEOUS, but I don't have the official "okay" yet.

BUT, I'm still offering an Amazon gift card to one person who comments on this blog or my portion of the Get Lost blog today only! (Hey, if nothing else, you could wish me a happy birthday!) AND...if you comment on both, you'll get TWO chances to win the gift card! So get commenting and be in the running for a present on MY birthday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Favorite Edinburgh Pub

Today I'm blogging on the Celtic Hearts blog about my favorite Edinburgh pub, Deacon Brodie's Tavern. Come find out the legend behind the pub and why I love it so much!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday- Fractured Paradise

Good morning! Welcome back for another Six Sentence Sunday. I am still bringing you snippets from my upcoming release, Fractured Paradise. So far, the snippets have been more romance oriented. This week I'm switching to more of the suspense angle.

In this six sentences, Rachel and the hero, Aidan, have been out together and are arriving back at her grandmother's cottage. She's been cleaning it up for her grandmother's return. They've just walked inside the front door and....

Her insides curdled more with each step she took into the home. All her work was ruined. Dirt and trash littered the floor. The rocking chair her grandfather had made lay in pieces. In large letters, spray painted on the wall opposite the fireplace was a clear message: Yank, Go Home.

Rachel's knees buckled.

Thanks for stopping by to read my six! Feel free to leave a comment. For more snippets from other fantabulous authors, visit


Saturday, October 6, 2012

1st Review For Fractured Paradise!

Of course I'm interested in people's opinions of my books, right? I'm especially interested in hearing what Brits have to say since my books so far have been set in Great Britain, and I hope to honor my heritage with my stories and characters. So imagine how tickled I was when I received this review from an Englishwoman for Fractured Paradise, coming out November 6th!

"A good novella is the equivalent of haute cuisine – fantastic quality that leaves you satisfied yet wanting more. That is how I would describe Fractured Paradise – a well written story, with be...
lievable characters that I wanted to get to know even better.
I was intrigued by the conflict between protagonists Rachel Grant, who has gone to Sunderland to honour her grandmother’s wish of repairing her old cottage home and Englishman Aiden Camden who wants to buy the cottage to honour his dead wife’s dreams.
This conflict is as real as the intense longing the pair feel towards each other, but must fight for fear of abandoning their promises. The language Alexa Bourne uses is rich and sensual, creating realistic scenes of love and lust, which only added to the story and were never thrown in for affect or for the sake of it.
But Fractured Paradise is not solely a love story but a suspense, which entraps the reader into devouring the whole story in one sitting as I did. My only disappointment was that it finished all too quickly.
A very enjoyable read."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Guess Where I Am!

Today I'm guest blogging on Anastasia Pollack's blog. I'm talking about how I hear accents in my head when I read a story set in a country different than my own AND while I'm writing one. Come visit!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Are You Ready????

Can you guess what I'll be doing in just FOUR weeks from today? I'll give you a hint:

Yep, I'll be joining NaNoWriMo for the 4th year in a row. I'll be working on a new full-length novel that is more suspense than romance. This year's baby is called Stripped and the couple have been on my case to write their story since NaNo 2011. I LOVE these two, am excited to share their story, and hope you'll one day get to read it! For now, you'll have to settle for this blurb:
Tessa has two men in her life:
One doesn't know she's alive,
the other wants her dead, and
by the end of the week she'll leave them both speechless.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Next 5 Weeks!


1 week~~~ I celebrate another year on this fabulous planet! (I'll be celebrating with a gift for you!)

2 weeks~~ I submit my first ever historical story to my fanatabulous senior editor. Then I head back to my home state after 3 years away.

3 weeks~~ I'll be brainstorming the manuscript I plan to write through NaNoWriMo.

4 weeks~~ I'll be back home working at the day jobs and searching for a full-time job.

5 weeks~~ I'll be celebrating the release of Fractured Paradise!

I got my official blurb over the weekend so I'm going to share it with you! Yes, some of you (most of you???) hav seen a version of it before, but here it is again!

Technical analyst for the International Protective Network, 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 cottage. 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 discovers he wants more than the house. He longs for the sexy American as well. Can Aidan put his own ghosts to rest in time to save the woman who’s claimed his heart?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Come Join Me

I'm a guest on Cassandra Dean's blog today. Come join me, learn more about Fractured Paradise, and find out about my fictional bodyguard company, the International Protective Network!