Friday, September 30, 2011

Canning Clone

I'm writing like the wind on novella #2. No time to put up the green beans from my garden.

 The Clone planted them just two months ago.

Luckily, she was in a good mood and volunteered to do the canning as well. We already know she can harvest.

She assembled all the supplies she'd need.

Put on an apron and went straight to work. Honestly, I can't figure out why she's so cheerful today.

I was thinking about giving these away as Christmas gifts.

But The Clone said, "Over my dead body."

Now that's The Clone I'm familiar with. Apparently, she's very possessive of her canned goods.

How about you? What are you doing this Friday?

Winner of the Godiva Chocolates is....

Chris Bails.

Chris, email me at to claim your chocolates.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mockingbird Cake

No, it's not made out of mockingbirds. It's just so delicious you'll sing and want to mimic it. The Clone has been in the kitchen again, testing recipes for my upcoming Jubilee, Texas series. This is a Texas version of the hummingbird cake.

Here's the recipe:

Mockingbird Cake
1 plain yellow cake mix
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple undrained
2 medium ripe bananas peeled and mashed
1/2 cup shredded coconut 
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. 
Place cake mix, pineapple with juice, bananas, coconut, water, oil, eggs and almond extract in large bowl. Blend with mixer on low for 1 minute. Increase mixer speed and beat for 2 minutes. Blend until fruit is well incorporated.

Pour batter evenly into pans. Bake until they are golden brown (30-32 min). Cool before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting
1 stick softened butter
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted pecans

Place butter in large mixing bowl. Blend on low speed until fluffy. Add sugar, milk and vanilla. Blend until light and fluffy. Frost top and sides of cooled cake. Top with toasted pecans.

How about you? Got any autumn recipes to share?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

If You Love to Read

Hey, Readers,

I just have to tell you about this amazing new digital publisher called Entangled. They are producing some of the most innovative, exciting fiction going. I am highly impressed with the quality of the books they're putting out. Plus, they're cheaper than what the big pubishers are doing. If you're looking for fresh, hip, engaging stories, check out Entangled. You won't be sorry.

What about you? Discovered anything new and share-worthy lately?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Release Day to Jane Graves

The awesome Jane Graves has a new book out today.

What a beautiful cover, just in time for fall.

To help Jane celebrate her release, I'm giving away chocolate. What better fun than to curl up with Heartstrings and Diamond Rings and some delicious Godiva chocolates.

If you'd like to be entered in the drawing for chocolates, just post in the comment section.

Monday, September 26, 2011

One For the Money!

I just saw the trailer for One for the Money. Janet E is one of my all time favorite authors. Can I just say I can't wait for January.

What about you? Are you a Stephanie Plum fan? Jason O'Mara was a perfect pick for Morelli! Ranger looks good too. And Debbie Reynolds has the chops to pull of Gramma Mazur, although I never pictured her looking so stylish. I hope the movie is as good as the trailer makes it look.

Winner of $10 gift card

And the winner is: Regencygirl. Email me at to claim your online gift card.


Sunday, September 25, 2011


My husband started watching this new reality show called Tanked. He loves reality shows, but other than Survivor (I'm a rabid fan, have watched every single season and I fantasize about being on it), I'm not that keen on them. And yes, I know I'm a freak, but Dancing with the Stars puts me to sleep quicker than Valium.

Then along comes Tanked. I certainly didn't expect to be charmed by a duo that reminds me of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, but I love this show. It's amazing to see what they can do with an aquarium, but the fascinating thing is the interaction of their relationship.

What about you? Do you watch reality shows? Got a favorite?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

$10.00 Gift Card Giveaway

I'm giving away a $10.00 electronic gift card to either Amazon or B&N winner's choice. Just because I'm elbow deep in writing a novella and can't think of an entertaining blog post. So just post in the comment section and tell me what you're doing this fine Saturday. I'll draw the winner's name on Monday.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Cadillac Ranch

So The Clone decided she just had to have a vacation. How come she gets a vacation when I have to stay here and work? But get this, she decides to go to Amarillo. It wouldn't have been my vacation spot of choice. I'm more of a Hawaii kind of gal. She sends me these photos from her visit to the Cadillac Ranch.

When I was a kid the cars where all solid colors, but in these days of prolific tattoos, I guess the cars now have them too.

The Clone says, "graffiti can be beautiful." So now she's an expert on funky art?

She certainly looks like she's having fun.

But secretly, I think she went up to Amarillo to moonlight for Jodi Thomas. I caught her reading an advance reading copy of Jodi's The Comforts of Home.

(Ptts, don't get a clone. You think they'd be loyal, but oh no. The minute your back is turned they're off reading some other author.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do You Have ESP?

In my parapsychology class, we're studying ESP and I need your help to perform an experiment. I'm going to use the results in my class essay. Here is an ESP tester.

If you want to play along just hit the "start" button and you're good to go. Before guessing what symbol is going to turn up, take a deep breath and try to visualize the symbol that's going to appear on the screen. Then hit the button. Take your time between each guess. Write down your score and post it in the comment section.

Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Batman Blogs!

Today we have guest blogger, Vicki Batman. Vicki is a friend of mine and writes such fun, witty stories. I know you'll enjoy them. If you'd like to be entered in a drawing for a copy of my as yet to be released Blaze--Intoxicating--just leave a comment and I'll draw a name tomorrow.

Here's Vicki:

Crafty Confession

I write all the time. Most writers have incorporated personal elements into their books, like knitting, cooking, dog training, etc. And I've done some of it, too--cake decorating, candy making, beaded jewelry, needlepoint. The work becomes more personal and relevant.

Recently, I was reading my newspaper (yep, still get the paper one) when a paragraph in a column caught my eye: classes on cheese making.

The blurb made the class sound intriguing. I wanted to sign up, but I wanted to check with my girlfriend cause we all know groups are more fun.

I told my friend I had to try something new. She said she wanted to as well. I mentioned reading about the cheese class and she liked that idea. Then she suggested checking on knitting and crochet classes at a local shop. We agreed to research, print out information, and consult.

We found the cheese class had been filled. Rats. So was the Adirondack basket weaving class. Double rats. Then I found tatting.

Tatting? What the heck is that?

Tatting is a method of making lace using a shuttle and thread with one hand and manipulating it around thread looped around the fingers on the other hand. Wikipedia has this article:

Yikes, you're thinking. That looks harder than those string-finger games we played as kids.

I grew up with tatting. Sigh. My grandmother made incredible stuff, and it adorned my clothes, pillowcases, even the christening gown my sisters and I once wore. Bow down to the master.

Around age 11, Grandmother travelled with my family on a vacation. I sat in the way back of the family station wagon, and she sat in front of me in the middle seat. She tatted away, a lot of the time without looking. When she caught me watching her, she asked if I wanted to learn. I said sure. It didn't look that complicated. She slowed down her hand magic and said, "Under, over, pull. Over, under, pull."

I watched and watched and watched...

Yeah, I never did get the hang of it. And this rankled me all my life because I don't like to give up on anything. So when the class opportunity came up, I thought what the heck and signed on. My friend went too.

I didn't have high hopes based on that long ago venture. However, our teacher was patient, and, thanks to modern technology, a step-by-step DVD accompanied the book. With tons of practice, I learned to manipulate my fingers better and began to make loops. Then I moved into making a string of loops. Okay, they are six inches apart and I'm gonna have to get out the book again to fix that. But it's better than nothing--right?

Geez. Maybe tatting isn't meant for me.

And there's my crafty confession.

So what hobby/craft/workshop have you tried and wasn't very successful at? (Come on. I won't tell!)

Vicki Batman is still not-so good at tatting and has taken up crochet because everyone says it is easier.

Find "I Believe," her sexy novella with a touch of magic, at:

Find Vicki at: OR at:

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Resolution

Writing the end of the book is the absolutely hardest part for me. I adore beginnings. Beginning lines pop into my head and they very rarely change because they're usually perfect (the only part of the book that ever is for me). I love the setup. The sweet romance of when my hero and heroine and I are really getting to know each other.

I don't mind the middle either. It's fun and games or drama and angst, but lots of stuff is happening.

What's teeth-pulling-agony are those last fifty pages or so, where everything that's come before must result in a payoff.

Last semester I took a class in creative fiction writing. We're talking academic, literary crowd here. The instructor claimed that the beginning was the most important part of the story and the ending didn't even really matter.

My jaw dropped. Seriously? I couldn't wrap my head around that assertion. If the ending doesn't matter then what the heck was the point of the beginning? The ending reflects the changes of everything that's gone on during the course of the book. To blow off the ending, in my opinion, negates the entire story. But then I come from the world of happily ever after. The hero and heroine must get together in the end. But in order to have an effective believeable ending, it's got to be carefully orchestrated. I might not always be successful at writing the best endings, but I darn well give it everything I've got.

What about you? As a reader, what's your favorite part of a book? Beginning, middle or end? It's okay if you agree with my instructor. Hey, I'm great at beginnings.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Singing Sunday

Got music? I discovered this song and artist because she was featured on the last episode of season four of Damages. I love that show. Glenn Close is awesome and wicked scary as Patty Hewes. If you haven't seen Damages and love high tension drama, start with season one on DVD. The song echoes Patty Hewes and Ellen Parson's ongoing conflict.

Anyway, heard this song, checked it out. Love the 1960's vibe. For some reason her voice makes me think of Petula Clark. If you don't know who Petula Clark is, chances are you were born after 1970.

What about you? Discovered any new music lately?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Your Man Will Love This

This is amazing. You know that some man made this. Hard to believe someone spent $3 million, but look at all the minute attention to detail.

My mechanic husband sent it to me. He can stare at it for hours. What about you? What interests the man in your life?

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Clone Cooks

Boy, I had a busy week. Writing, writing, writing. I'm so happy to have The Clone who whipped up some hamburgers for dinner.

She just had to show off her skinny legs. She didn't even have to go on a diet to get them.

She fancies herself a great cook.

Okay, it was better than MacDonald's.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Covers

I have covers for the ebook Christmas novellas coming out this holiday season from Avon Impulse. The series is called The Christmas Cookie Chronicles.

The first book is scheduled for release on Nov. 15th. It's Carrie's story, Flynn's sister from The Sweethearts' Knitting Club.

Book number two ties up the loose ends between Raylene and Earl from The First Love Cookie Club. And there's another romance in this one as well. It's a story of redemption and forgiveness.

And the last novella features Twilight baker Christine Nobel and a handsome cutting horse cowboy from Jubilee, the setting of my upcoming new series about cutting horse cowboys due out in 2012.

There's other big events in Twilight as well. A much beloved couple is finally tying the knot on Christmas Day and someone goes into labor on Christmas Eve. I had so much fun with these novellas. I hope you'll make room in your holiday reading schedule for more stories from Twilight.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Texas Fritters

It's apple harvesting time. Yes, I'm on a diet but The Clone is not. She's been busy in the kitchen and whipped up this tasty Texas recipe. My husband says they are delicious. The Clone is pretty proud. She dreamed up the recipe herself.

Texas Fritter

Medium flour tortilla
1/4 cup unsweetened apples (canned)
1 tbsp jalopeno jelly
1 tsp brown sugar
oil for frying

Spread jelly over tortilla. Add apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Roll tortilla tightly, making sure sides are sealed. Fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Here's my version of what I can do with the apples.

Pick apple from tree. Wash it off. Eat.

Wah, The Clone's recipe sounds much tastier than mine.

Do you have any decadent dessert recipes to share? I can't eat, but I can drool.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Downside of Being Skinny

I've been a yo-yo dieter for years, gaining and losing the same 30-40 lbs my whole adult life. But this spring I hit my all time top weight. Determined to do something about it, I took myself in hand and lost 32 pounds. I'm now almost the same weight as I was in college when I ran marathons. I have to admit I feel good and it's exciting to get into a size 4/6. But this weekend I discovered an unexpected downside to being skinny.

Remember that outdoor wedding I attended? Well, we sat on these hard wooden bamboo chairs for four hours throughout the wedding and reception. 32 pounds ago I wouldn't have noticed a thing. But I had to keep getting up and moving around because my hips bones ached. The following morning, my fanny was so sore I could hardly get out of bed!

How do skinny girls do it? Maybe that's why they stay skinny. They're up moving around because it hurts too much to sit down. Good thing my office chair is thickly padded. There are some positives to having meat on your bones. No need to carry cushions with you wherever you go.

How about you? Ever found a downside to something positive that's happened in your life?

Monday, September 12, 2011


I went to a wedding over the weekend. It was outside in the Texas heat, but beside a lake so it wasn't too miserable. The bride's grandmother slipped and fell on a rose petal when they were leaving the ceremony, but luckily, she's a tough Texas rancher type and hopped right back up.

I hadn't been to a wedding in many years so it was quite entertaining to watch the twenty-somethings mill and mingle. They are so young, insecure and earnest, poor babies, but beautiful in their naive youth.

The one odd thing was that they had a guitarist play Hallelujah. Now I love the song. In fact, it's one of my favorites. But here's the lyrics.


I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Kind of ominous in regards to a wedding ceremony, huh? What's the most unusual thing you've seen at a wedding?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Our nation suffered a huge blow ten years ago. Today is a day for rememberance of those brave and innocent souls who died. But let's also remember how strong we all are. How we have overcome this tragedy and have not allowed our enemies to take us down. Remember. Hug those dearest to you. Keep trying to make the world a better place. Embrace the future. Love.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lori Wilde Runs a Combine?

Okay, the clone is really irritated that I'm not giving her credit for all the stuff she's doing. It's harvest time here in Texas and the corn needs picking. Since I'm up to my neck on deadlines, I've sent out the clone to do the work. Oh, she wants me to call her The Clone now. Sheesh. Next thing you know, she'll want her own name.

Here's the field.

See why it's got to be harvested today?

Can't wait for the buttery goodness!

Hurry up The Clone.

She's such a camera ham.

Is there harvesting to be done at your house? Want me to send The Clone over when she's done here?

Winner of Don't Mess With Texas

Na, you win Christi's book. Email me at to claim your book.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tickets are Going Fast

Hey gang, just a reminder to those of you who thought you might like to attend BUNS AND ROSES, Dallas Area Romance Writers and the Richardson Library annual readers tea for literacy. The tickets are going fast.

Besides meeting and mingling with bestselling, award-winning authors, readers get a great tea (you can get iced tea), entertainment, gifts from the authors at your table and you help a great charity. Oh and you get to wear a hat! This year, I'm going cowgirl and wearing my Stetson.

Hope to see you there.

I also have a giveaway today. I've got a copy of Christi Craig's DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS to give away.

If you'd like to be entered for a chance to win, just tell me why you would like to attend a readers tea. I'll draw a name tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Answer the Damn Phone!

Remember I told you we have an active gaswell. Right. Across. The. Street?

I live in this weird nether world between country and city. There's ranchland surrounding our property on all three sides, yet we're in the city limits. Across the street is not in the city limits. Some gerrymandering thing.

The gas they want is actually under our land (no we don't have mineral rights so we don't get a penny) but lateral drilling lets them put the well across the street and suck it out of land in the city limits. Sweet deal for them, huh? Not so sweet for us.

Anyway, I digress.

For several days now, I've been hearing this telephone ring. I thought for awhile that I had tinnitus. Then I realized I only heard the ringing when I was in my office which faces the street.

I knew it wasn't my phone because the ringing wasn't loud enough. I thought perhaps it was my husband's cell phone, except he has funny ring tones for everyone and this was a normal, old fashioned phone ring.

Remember there are ranchlands on all sides of us, so I know it wasn't a neighbor's phone. I tried noise cancelling headphones, but I could still hear this faint ringing. Finally, I went in search of the sound. I stepped outside and waited. It wasn't long before the ringing began. It rang and rang and rang...from right across the street.

My husband was outside and I asked him what the ringing was. He says, "Oh, the guys working the gaswell have a phone mounted on a post and they're busy so it takes them a really long time to answer.

Peeved, I went back in the house. The phone was still ringing.

Hey, guys at the gaswell, answer the damn phone!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Three Books at Once

I'm writing three books at once! I've never written more than one at a time before, but I've got two close deadlines so I had to do something. The main problem I have is remembering all the characters' names. I'm revising the third book in the Jubilee, Texas series and writing both a novella for Blaze and the Christmas novella for the Twlight, Texas series. (Not to mention writing a paper for school). At least all the stories are very different. That helps!

But I know I'm not the only one juggling several things at once. What about you? What's your balancing act this week?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

High Five

Hey, for this long weekend, let's get to know each other a little better by playing High Five.

#1 List your top 5 movies of all time.

#2 List your 5 all-time sexiest male actors.

#3 List your 5 all-time most beautiful/sexiest female actresses.

#4 List your top 5 television shows.

#5 List your top 5 stores you like to frequent/shop.

#6 List your top 5 dream jobs/careers.

#7...your top 5 things you cannot leave the house without.

#8... top 5 people you couldn't live without.

#9 ... top 5 books you've ever read this year.

#10 ... top 5 places you'd like to visit in your lifetime.

Here's my list

1 List your top 5 movies of all time.

A Fish Called Wanda
Gone with the Wind
Children of a Lesser God
To Kill a Mockingbird

Galaxy Quest

#2 List your 5 all-time sexiest male actors.

George Cloney
Sean Connery
Dennis Quade in The Big Easy
Antonio Banderas
Paul Newman

#3 List your 5 all-time most beautiful/sexiest female actresses.

Natalie Wood
Charlize Theron
Halle Berry
Kate Winslet
Maria Bello

#4 List your top 5 current television shows.

The Good Wife

#5 List your top 5 stores you like to frequent/shop.

Ann Taylor

#6 List your top 5 dream jobs/careers.


#7...your top 5 things you cannot leave the house without.

Something to drink
Swiss Army knife
pen and paper

#8... top 5 people you couldn't live without.

My husband
My parents
My sister
My readers
My best friend

#9 ... top 5 books you've ever read this year.

Gone With A Handsomer Man
The Help
Don't Mess With Texas
My One and Only
How to Bake the Perfect Life

#10 ... top 5 places you'd like to visit in your lifetime.

New Zealand

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

It's the last holiday of summer. Me, I'll be working for the most part, but my sister and her family are coming to visit. My soon-to-be 15 year old nephew just got interested in golf and I'm going to show him a few tricks. I'm the only one in my family who knows how to play golf, even though I haven't played in the fifteen years since my nephew's been on the earth. To brush up, I got out the clubs and started knocking the ball around. Yipes! I need much pratice. But he's just starting, hopefully he won't realize how lame I am.

What about you? How will you be spending your long weekend?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Winner of Gone With a Handsomer Man

Eileen! You won the copy of Gone With a Handsomer Man by Michael Lee West. Email your snail mail address at to claim your prize.