Friday, September 29, 2006

Questions You Might Want to Ask...

But probably wouldn't dare:

How much money do you make?

Answer: A LOT.

Your books are pretty sexy. Do you write from experience?

Answer: Wouldn't you like to know.

Some of the things I've read on your blog indicate that you're a Christian. Your books are seriously hot. What's up with that?

Answer: I am definitely a Christian. As for the 'seriously hot' scenes in my books, well, I don't subscribe to the Purtianical/Victorian notion that sex is inherently evil. In fact, I think that's diseased thinking. God created sex, after all, and that means it's good and wholesome, in its proper place. Like electricity or nuclear energy, sex can certainly be perverted and used for destructive purposes, but in the right context, it is a beautiful and sacred form of communion between two adults. The heroes and heroines in my books are not always married, but they are always in love with each other, whether they know it yet or not, and the love scenes are meant to be unabashed celebrations of that love, with all the attendant passion.

Don't you get letters about the sex in your books?

Answer: A few. These days, most people communicate by email. The response to my love scenes is almost overwhelmingly positive, but I do hear from a few poor, shame-based, repressed souls who hate it. I usually feel sorry for them.

Do you advocate free love? In other words, if it feels good, do it?

Answer: Of course not. What kind of question is that? Sex is sacred. It is, at essence, a pale reflection of the Passion God feels for His people.

When people buy romance novels, are they looking for sex?

Answer: No. They're looking for LOVE. For entertainment. For temporary refuge from their busy lives and their troubles. If they only wanted sex, they'd buy porn. Yes, yes, I know. Some people say romance novels are porn. Poor, misguided creatures. It must be a real bummer to be married to them.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Frequently Asked Questions

I get some of the same questions, over and over again, in reader mail, emails to the website, etc. I thought it might be a good idea to address some of the most prominent ones here, in the blog.

#1 Most Asked Question: Are you going to do any more vampire books?

Answer: I have no plans to write another vampire book, but that doesn't mean inspiration won't strike. Valerian was one of the best characters I've ever come up with, and he would be hard to top.

#2 Most Asked Question: When are you going to write the third book in the Redclift series, medieval romances begun with "My Lady Beloved" and "My Lady Wayward"?

Answer: I do hope to finish that trilogy someday. HOWEVER, publishing is a business, and the plain truth is, the first two books didn't sell very well. For the foreseeable future, I will be writing about cops and cowboys. That seems to be what I do best.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Busy Me

The current work-in-progress, "Deadly Deceptions", (November, 07, HQN.) is going well. Every day, Mojo surprises me with some new adventure. She certainly is a busy girl. I have to take vitamins, eat right, and get a lot of sleep--just to keep up with her!

October will be a busy month. First, there's the Lael family reunion in Colville, a flying, one-day trip for me, then I'll be keynoting at the LaJolla Writer's Conference later in the month, THEN on to a suburb of Washington, D.C. to meet with the Humane Society of the United States. I'm going to be partnering with them in their Pets for Life program, and I'll be giving you regular updates on that. On top of all this, of course, I will be writing, finishing "Deadly Deceptions" and moving on to write another Silhouette Special Edition. This one is called "The McKettrick Way", and stars Meg McKettrick, a direct descendent of Holt and Lorelei. ("McKettrick's Choice", HQN, in stores now.) You'd think that would be enough to fill anybody's month, wouldn't you? Well, there's more. I close on my lake house in mid-October, too, and will be christening it Primrose Cottage.

I probably won't even get to catch my breath before November hits, and that's big, too. The first Mojo book, "Deadly Gamble", comes out October 30, and I'll be promoting it throughout November in various ways. AND--mark your calendars, do not forget--Lifetime's presentation of "The Last Chance Cafe", starring the delectable Kevin Sorbo, is scheduled for November 13!

Lest you think I'm complaining--NO WAY. I am a very happy camper indeed, and a grateful one, too.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Aunt Donna's Book Club

Last night, I had the pleasure of visiting my aunt's lively book group, with the added bonus of seeing my late uncle, Otis 'Wes' Lael's widow, Shirley. Would you believe, I was so tired from the Buffalo-Chicago-South Bend-home again experience I told you about yesterday that I didn't recognize Shirley until late in the evening? Now, that's just getting way too tired!

The book club discussion was fascinating, and this after Aunt Donna had served a lovely dinner, and we got to catch up on some of our visiting, too. You know me and dogs. Aunt Donna has a Westie named Lael, who loves to play tug of war. Lael's a real charmer, and I love her name for obvious reasons.

Thanks to all the ladies who showed up and made me feel so welcome.

Now, back to work on the current project, "Deadly Deceptions", the second Mojo Sheepshanks book. I wonder what she'll be up to today?

Monday, September 25, 2006

What a trip!

First, I flew to Buffalo, New York, to sign copies of "Deadly Gamble" at Harlequin's wonderful distribution center. As usual, I was treated like a queen! Special thanks to Laura Wiltse, who facilitated everything and made the hard work a delight, and to John Reindl, the manager. To KO, Marleah and Sarah: it meant the world to me when you showed up to have lunch with us!

From Buffalo, it was on to South Bend, by way of Chicago. I should have known there would be problems when my plane was late leaving Buffalo--by the time I got to Chicago, where they were throwing one of their famous midwestern storms, I'd already missed my connecting flight to South Bend, Indiana. Not that it mattered, because that flight had been cancelled, anyway! So I was on standby, with about a million people ahead of me, and really worried that I might not make it to South Bend for the library event at the main branch of the Saint Joseph County Library. In the end, I rented a car and drove to South Bend. If you'd asked me if I could drive in Chicago in a rainstorm, I'd have said no. But I did it, because I had to. I made it to my hotel in South Bend--but my luggage didn't! Just more of the glamor of being on the road. No pajamas, no toothbrush, no clothes for the next day. Yikes. In the morning, though, I called and glory be, my suitcases were in South Bend. The hotel's shuttle driver took me out to the airport, and I picked them up. Never in my life have I appreciated clean clothes as much as I did on Saturday morning!

The event was fabulous. (Thanks, Frances, for being the ultimate escort!) I met a Mark Twain impersonator, and enjoyed his performance immensely. I shared a stage with Jeanne Ray, who wrote "Julie and Romeo", among other books, and inspired me with her message that people over sixty DO, after all, have lives. A wonderful writer in her own right, Jeanne is also the mother of novelist Ann Patchet. Jeanne and I instantly hit it off, and I'm sure we're going to be good friends. Just as exciting, I met readers, people who love libraries as much as I do. My thanks to all of you for coming to say hello. I always enjoy meeting you.

The best part of any trip is coming home. Sadie and Bernice were almost as glad to see me as I was to see them.

Work to do. Be well, and be happy. It's mostly a choice, you know.

Monday, September 18, 2006


The plumber is coming today. The hot water dispensor will finally work! Yea!

I'm writing Chapter 5 of "Deadly Deceptions", the second Mojo book. It's an amazing experience--what an adventure! (I get the fun and excitement; Mojo gets the real danger.)

And I found a wonderful little book at Wal-Mart over the weekend. It's called "God's Creative Power", and it was written by Charles Capps. Although I have been a Christian since I was ten years old, I received some powerful insights reading this. If your prayers have been bouncing off the ceiling lately, read it.

In the meantime, don't let the news scare you. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of self-control." 2 Timothy 1:7. (Anything else comes from the other side.) Right now, I'm concentrating on the 'self-control' aspect of that verse as I am working to establish a new eating program.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Dogs Deserve Better

Check out this website:

This woman was actually arrested for saving a dog, chained and lying under a porch.

The pictures speak for themselves.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's Official

"The Last Chance Cafe", starring Kevin Sorbo and Kate Vernon, will air on Lifetime at 9 Pacific time, on November 13. Do I need to tell you how excited I am? This is SO a dream come true!

Keep an eye on the website. We're working on a downloadable kit for a 'viewing party'.

I've neglected the blog lately, and for this, I apologize.

First, I was running madly to finish "A Wanted Man", the western HQN will publish in hardcover next July. (The paperback version of "The Man from Stone Creek" will appear in June). I took a few wonderful days of R and R in Grand Coulee, with my dad and stepmother--very peaceful!

Now, rested and ready, I'm two chapters into "Deadly Deceptions", the second Mojo Sheepshanks book. It's a romantic thriller, and great fun to write.

What's coming up? Well, if any of you live in the South Bend, Indiana area, I'll be speaking at the Open Book Festival on Saturday, September 23. The Festival is being held at the Main Library auditorium, and I'll be speaking from 1-2 pm, with an autographing to follow. I sure hope some of you will come by and say howdy. It's always a pleasure to meet readers in person, and I love doing gigs like this because I love libraries.

More tomorrow. Right now, Chapter 3 awaits. I can't wait to see what Mojo and the crew of ghosts and a certain hunky undercover cop are up to!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bring Your Lunchbox

My dad used to tell a wonderful story--it happened to him or to someone he knew, I'm not sure which. (I'll ask him this weekend, when I go for a much-needed visit.)

Once, there was a man who wanted a job. The local plant was plastered with NOT HIRING signs. Undaunted, the man showed up, on time and dressed for work, with his lunchbox in hand, ready to work. Day after day, there he was, spit-shined, smiling, with his lunch packed. You guessed it--one day the foreman got sick of looking at him and gave him a job.

Now, since I always like to put a spiritual twist on these stories, how does this relate to prayer? Have you asked for something, and asked again, and not received an answer? Well, Hebrews 11:6 says He is the Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. I believe He loves to bless His children, but He also requires us to step up, develop our faith muscles.

So ask again today. Ask tomorrow. And the day after that.

And bring your lunchbox.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Wanted Man

The book is finished.
I had tears in my eyes at the end--I always celebrate, when I finish a book, but there's some heartbreak, too. I feel like a mother, sending her children off to college all at once, letting them go, sending them out into the world on their own. I feel both pride and sorrow at the prospect.
Anyway, there's another batch moving in soon--I'll be starting the second book in my new romantic suspense series--"Deadly Deceptions", after a short visit to my dad and stepmother in Grand Coulee. The first is "Deadly Gamble", and you'll be hearing more about that as the time to release it approaches--November of this year. And wait until you see the hot cover!
Which leads me to another subject. The books I've written this year--amazingly, there are four of them--are sexier than anything I've written in a long, long time. At the same time, they have a deeply spiritual quality. Go figure.
I had a letter from a dear woman who had read "The Man from Stone Creek"--twice. She was, however, offended by the love scenes. God bless her, she certainly has a right to her opinion, and I respect it. But, as Father Andrew Greely once said, when criticized for the love scenes in his books, the love between a man and a woman is but the palest reflection of the passion God feels for His Creation. You won't find my heroes and heroines involved in promiscuous sex, because I believe that's destructive. Sex is sacred, holy. But you WILL see more passionate love scenes in all future books.
I'm really taking the lid off.
Don't say I didn't warn you.