Friday, March 30, 2007

Lake House Notes, Continued

Up at the main house, the varnish on the hardwood floors is drying, even as we blog.

Sadie and Bernice came out to the office with me this morning, and they are standing on either side of my desk chair, staring at me in consternation. WHAT IS THIS PLACE? they seem to be asking. There's a water dish and a fancy loveseat--but where are the dog beds???

I plan to write today. I say that every day, I know. When I look out over the lake, the stress just drains out of me. Takes a while to shift gears. The truth is, I mostly slept for two days! I must have been tired.

Time now to go inside and get on with it. As my grandfather used to say, "We're burnin' daylight!"

Who knows where I'll be on Monday, when next I blog. Probably here, but possibly the Triple L. Did I mention that they're starting the actual barn the first of the week???

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fourth Big Week!

"McKettrick's Pride", book 2, is still on the New York Times bestseller list--#10!!!

I'm in my lake house office, and I can hear Bernice barking from inside the front door of the main house. She wants to join me, and probably add her two-cents to the blog--that would be: yap, yap, yap! Now Sadie-beagle has joined in. Woof, woof, woof. Quite the chorus.

Many of you have asked if there will be more McKettrick books. At this writing, there will be two: Meg's story, "The McKettrick Way", a Silhouette Special Edition scheduled for this December, and an as yet untitled Christmas story, probably starring Doss and Hannah, whom you met in "Sierra's Homecoming".

Plans for today include writing and staring at the lake a lot.

Oh, and a welcome-home party from the dogs--after all, I've been away a full fifteen minutes. This calls for the dog equivalent of a ticker-tape parade.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lake Notes--Late!

I apologize for the delay. Got a call from my good friend and long-time employee, Debbie Korrell, this morning. She wanted to know--where is the blog you promised???

Maybe you wondered, too.

Anyway, here I am. I won't bore you with the details, but the fireplace was beeping continuously, so I had to get a repair man out or go crazy! The drier needed different wiring. Furniture was delivered. You get the idea.

Yesterday, "McKettrick's Heart", the third book in the trilogy, hit the stores. This is Keegan and Molly's story, but you'll see characters you've already grown to love, too.

When I stumbled out to the living room this morning, took the dogs out, made coffee, etc., the lake was shrouded in fog. To the west, a patch opened, like a rift between two separate worlds--I glimpsed the houses there, and then they were gone again. It was a magical thing. Dogs taken care of and coffee made, I sat down to journal. My studio office is furnished now and, while still not permanently arranged, I can work here. I bought a love seat--it is delicious. Looks like something from a harem!

We (assistant/niece Jenni is here, too) have a pair of American bald eagles that live and hunt from the tall pine down nearer the beach. It's amazing to watch them through binoculars, but of course we have to be very careful of the dogs. They were bemused to be in a new place, but are settling in nicely now.

More news from the lake tomorrow.

Monday, March 26, 2007

More Good News!!!

Mojo is flying high today. Her book, "Deadly Gamble", is a finalist for the coveted RITA award from Romance Writers of America!

Me, I'm flying high, too. The workmen are here to lay the new floors, and Bernice, Sadie and I still haven't left for the lake. This place will be a regular beehive of activity in the next half hour, so it's time for us to hit the road.

Tomorrow, notes from the lake.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Home Sweet Home(s)

As much as I love to travel, it's so good to be home. The dogs and I will be moving to the lake house on Sunday afternoon, as crews are coming to install hardwood floors in the living room, dining room, and upstairs hallway. Yorkie Bernice and I do not function well around saws and nail guns, so we're out of here. The 'girls' love the lake--sleeping in their canoe beds, sniffing around the pool, pressing wet noses against the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake. Last time we visited, Bernice trotted happily across the pool cover without even making a dent. Sadie, the porky Beagle, tried to do the same and got stuck. Fortunately, the cover held, but Say-Say was discombuberated, to say the least. Niece/assistant Jenni had to perform a belly-flat rescue.

Next week: tales from Lake Linda.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Third Big Week!

I'm proud to say that "McKettrick's Pride", the current book in the trilogy, is on the New York Times list for the third week in a row! In fact, it actually went up this week, to #9 from #10.

"McKettrick's Heart", Keegan's story, will hit the stores next Tuesday. Ask me if I'm excited!

I got through the mammogram alive. They've improved the machines, girls. It didn't hurt at all--just some mild discomfort. So worthwhile. Another test this afternoon--strictly routine--and then I get a break. I put off going to the doctor for a long time--don't be like me--and now I've had some catching up to do. My dogs had a veterninarian before I had a physician.

They're barking their brains out at the moment. Guess that dastardly UPS man is here again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I have one scheduled. I hate doing things like this--but I know I would hate breast cancer a lot more.

Have you had YOUR mammogram?

Further notes on my friend Sandi and her foster-dog, Ginger. Sandi went out yesterday and came back to find Ginger sitting in her desk chair, with both forepaws on the computer keyboard. I got a real chuckle out of that image. Sandi and I figure she might have been checking the lists to make sure her brand of pet food hadn't been recalled.

Or maybe she was scheduling a mammogram.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Check Your Pet Food!!!

There is a massive recall on pet food. Please check at to make sure your brand is not on the list. You've probably already heard about this, but just in case, please visit the site. Pets have been poisoned, fatally in some cases. There are separate lists for cats and dogs.

My friend Sandi is fostering a dog named Ginger. She lost her beloved companion, Bunny the Divine, several months ago, and while she's not quite ready to adopt again, she's willing to give Ginger a safe, loving home until a new family is found for her. To me, she's a heroine! Maybe you're in that situation, too--still grieving, wary of trying again. Dogs and cats are magical--they can heal a broken heart. And the need is so great. Please consider fostering, if you can't adopt.

And now I'd better go.

Don't tell anybody, but I'm supposed to be writing.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What a Week!

I'm just back from my trip to Fort Meyers, Florida, where, among other things, I appeared at the 8th Annual Southwest Florida Book Festival, and it was wonderful! I got to meet several of you, and served on a panel with Karen Harper, an old friend, and Robert Hicks, who wrote "A Widow of the South". Also spent some quality bus-time with Eileen Hutton, of Brilliance Audio, and her very nice husband, whose name escapes me at the moment.

I was on TV with Aimee, from the Gulf Coast Humane Society, and we did a book signing together yesterday. It was heartwarming to see so many people responding to a pair of hopeful pets, in need of adoption. I'll be talking more about adopting animals later--it's a big subject, and I want to do it justice. I will say that I wanted to cry when Aimee told me about the pets who stand up in their kennels when they hear human voices, hoping to be adopted. Some--especially the older ones--get passed over again and again. After a while, they give up on being chosen. PLEASE--if you're considering giving a pet a loving home, consider the ones with the graying muzzles and the sad eyes.

On a more cheerful note, I'm happy to report that I'm the 2007 recipient of Romance Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award! I am so honored and pleased, I can hardly begin to describe it.

And now, back to work!

Monday, March 12, 2007

News from Spokane

I'm off to Florida early Wednesday morning, for a whirlwind tour to promote the McKettrick books, and to speak at a wonderful Book Festival.

On the homefront, my cousin Sherri just had a very serious operation, and came through like the trouper she is. She's one of my all-time favorite people, funny and sweet and a lover of animals. I'll be visiting her this afternoon.

I spent the weekend experimenting with polymer clay beads--and the process reminds me a lot of learning to write. You have to throw a lot of stuff away--in short, be willing to write (or bead) badly, perhaps for a long time, until you can do it well. I think, actually, that we must earn the right to do anything well. The question is not 'is it possible', but are we willing to pay the price? In my experience, success is built not on instant skill (which doesn't exist), but on a series of failures, large and small. Success is a process.

Friday, March 09, 2007

New Baby in the Family--and a Moose

As soon as I'm through with today's pages, I'm off to Babies R Us to shop like a mad woman. My cousin, Mary Ann, just became the very proud grandmother of a baby boy. Haven't heard what his name is yet--he lives in Canada and is the son of Derek and Courtney Readman. Congratulations to the Mom and Dad and all the other delighted relatives!

Life around here is nothing if not interesting--very early this morning, my neighbor called to tell me there were two mooses in my front yard, eating the shrubbery. I rushed to look--and wished I'd had a camera handy. They were a pair of elderly ladies, gray across the shoulders, as though they were wearing shawls. They regarded me with only mild interest, then went on munching. Sights like this always leave me awestruck.

There are fence posts in the ground where the pasture will be, leaning now at drunken angles. Later, of course, they'll be set in concrete. It's fun to imagine my four rascals trotting alongside that fence as I come up the driveway. Like my dogs, they're always looking for a treat.

I plan to have a wonderful weekend, and I hope you will, too. If you haven't read "McKettrick's Pride" yet, it's out there, and for you Orphan Train fans, the re-release of "Caroline and the Raider", the third story in that trilogy, is available, too.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The P-Word


I keep getting jerked back to that word. I like events better, don't you? But all events are really--you guessed it--the culmination of some process. Everything in the universe works that way, when you think about it. From seeds to galaxies.

Hmmmm. Guess that means I don't get to be an exception.

On the book front, "McKettrick's Pride" debuted at #7 on the New York Times bestseller list!!! I'm lovin' it. If I had the energy, I'd celebrate!!!

And I'm ready to work in earnest on the new book. I've promised myself a trip to the bead store if I get my page quota in.

Process, process, process.

Barns. Books. Bestseller lists. Losing weight. Breaking bad habits.

It's all an inside job. Reaching for some external solution doesn't work. We have to go inside, and develop the attitudes that make the achievement of all worthy goals inevitable.

Now, to practice what I preach.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Making Progress--I Think!

Wow. I spent yesterday trying to catch up, and it seems I just got further behind. Nothing to do but suit-up and show-up, I guess.

"McKettrick's Pride" is out there, and it's selling like crazy--even better than "McKettrick's Luck", which is still very strong. My thanks to all of you for helping to make that happen.

The dogs are sticking close. Bernice follows me from room to room, just in case I try to make a break for it when she's not looking and hit the road again. I love being on the road, but always miss my animals so sorely when I'm away. If you hear of a hotel that will accept 4 horses, 2 dogs and 2 cats, let me know. :)

I'm determined to write today. Yesterday, I was simply too jangled.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Home Again--For a While

It was a mother and dog reunion, when I got home late last night. Sadie and Bernice practically turned inside out with delight--I can't think of anybody who has ever been as glad to see me as those two.

The California tour was wonderfully hectic--I met a lot of nice people, got the star treatment, and even worked in a trip to a fabulous bead store in San Diego, called the Bead Gallery. While there, I got the news that "McKettrick's Luck" was on the New York Times bestseller list for the 4th week in a row--#11 this time!

I also got to stop at Chico's, in Palm Springs. Good thing I took an extra suitcase along! I really loaded up.

The barn is still a work in process. The well has been dug, and some of the trees have been cleared. I'm leaving as many as I can--I love trees and, besides, the horses need shade and something to scratch against.

Working is hard, when I'm on the road so much, but tomorrow it's back to the computer in earnest.

More then.