Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Look Backhe

Normally at this time each year, I look back and record how many books I've written or read, as well as any other pertinent information. But not this year. No, with the loss of my internet, my time on here is precious, and I've only got two hours before I leave the store. So here is my brief overview.

2010 was not kind to us. We had a good January, complete with an awesome tax refund, which brought my Sony Pocket E-reader into the house. But things slowly went downhill.

Feb: My BFF's mother passed away, and I DID sell a few books while I was there, as well as catching up with her relatives I'd not seen in close to 20 years.

March: My step-daughter entered the hospital 'for just a few days' and ended up staying for three weeks. After her kids spent over a week with us, it was clear someone needed to step up and take care of them where they could attend school. I packed a bag.

At the end of the month, I prepared my kids for a much-needed vacation. Surprise, oldest applied for and began a job at McDonald's. Since he was the responsible one, and the SU was off to pipeline school, I left him behind and took the other two north. The next day, the SU called, complaining his sight was doing something funny, and would I call the eye doctor? I did....and when I called back to tell him they wanted to see him IMMEDIATELY, he asked me for the phone number and made his own arrangements. I spent the day at the pool and praying everything would be okay.

The next day, he called to tell me he had a detached retina and was being dispatched to Evansville. To make a long story short, he had it reattached on Friday; released from the hospital on Saturday; our oldest had his Eagle Scout Ceremony on Sunday.

April: I spent the entire month putting drops in the SU's eyes and shuttling him back and forth to the eye doctor. We also drove to Nashville, IN for a friend's confirmation.

May: My editor contacted me for Teacher's Pet; I was in the middle of track meets and Graduation Hell, so I told her to take her time. I also pitched a story and Shadowfire Press asked me to send it to them. I also made the heartbreaking decision to euthenize my beloved Black Lab, Lucky.

June: Editor decided she was overstressed and overworked, and dropped me plus four others. I began setting up my display at the Farmer's Market, hoping to earn some money. Sales were mixed.

July: The heat rolled in; 90's nearly every day. I was whining about a rejection when a private email prompted me to submit to a publishing company I'd not heard from. Instead of doing some research, I sent it off, and received an acceptance letter the next day! Plus, the timing was right for a new bookstore; would I want to be involved? YES!

We also buried my MIL on the 15th and spent a few days with friends and family. The following week, we had to euthenize Mikey the rat and one week after that, Pinky was found dead in the cage.

August: Plans kicked into high gear for The Mockingbird Book Emporium. I helped paint shelves; we took a road trip for my books; I started cataloging inventory. The kids went back to school, and we signed the SU up for disability.

September: Mockingbird opened on the 11th with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the Mayor in attendance. I was also contacted by the Christmas Parade committee, wondering if myself and several other authors would be interested in being in the parade. We agreed, and later discovered we were to be the Grand Marshals.

October: The SU's disability application was denied; we immediately retained a lawyer and appealed. With the unemployment money running out, we trimmed our budget as much as we could, and I began job-hunting.

November: With one storage unit emptied, we concentrated on moving the contents of the other one into our basement. I procured two job interviews, but neither of them sequed into job offers. My fourth book, Wild At Heart was released, and the temperatures decided to drop into the middle 20's.

December: We cleaned everything out of storage except my antique organ. The van refused to start, causing us to nearly not get to my parents' house for Christmas. We ended up taking two vehicles, and I think everyone was happier. My grandmother was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia after a happy and relaxing Christmas. Plus, my oldest son is a hero; we are blessed to have friends and family who helped us through this rough holiday season, and more importantly, God has provided for all our needs until the SU's unemployment benefits were reinstated on Christmas Eve day.

Looking ahead, I've pre-posted most of January's interviews, and I'm hoping to have internet up and running by the second week of January. Tonight, I'm fixing appetizers and snacks for whoever shows up at my house; I will watch the ball drop and ring in 2011 with my family before heading off to bed:)


Friday, December 24, 2010

Flashback Friday

This was the 1st Christmas without my Fil, and my MIL was having a rough time. I caught her late Christmas Eve, still wrapping presents and crying. I calmed her down and offered to help. Together, we wrapped the presents for the kids and placed them under the tree.

The rest of the family arrived the next day, and so did the snow. We arrived home on the 27th and were 'snowed out' of our own home. The Su managed to get the car into the driveway, but we had to shovel snow away from the door before we could enter.

Today's carol is my absolute favorite. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas! We're heading north to my parents' home, and hopefully will not be snowed in! Sunday, we're traveling to my aunt's house, and depending on the weather, coming home that night.

I'll be back on the 28th:)

O Holy Night

O holy night 
the stars are brightly shining 
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
 Long lay the world in sin and error pining 
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth 
 A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices 
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
 Fall on your knees 
O hear the angels' voices 
O night divine 
O night when Christ was born 
O night divine, 
O night O night divine  
A thrill of hope,
 the weary world rejoices 
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
 Fall on your knees 
O hear the angels' voices 
O night divine 
O night when Christ was born 
O night divine,
 O night
 O night divine

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas....

There are packages stashed in the trunk; I'm wearing my green 'Jingle Bell' earrings; and thanks to a nice deposit in my hubby's unemployment account, we're doing some last-minute shopping tonight.

Dryer Update:
The SU and K have poked, prodded, and even received a mild electric shock, but still can't figure out why the dryer will not heat up. So it's up to a $65 tech call, and last resort, a new drye

We have officially lost internet, cable, and long-distance phoning, so I'm posting this from the store. The SU is talking about contacting AT&T and DISH Network. In the meantime, we're watching movies we haven't watched in years, and I'm doing some projects w/o the distraction of the internet, such as working on my book inventory! Yup...finally catching up on it. I have yet to find where I wrote down all my Jodi Picoult books, other than Handle With Care and My Sister's Keeper!

Today's carol is on the raunchy side, so if your mind's not in the gutter, don't read any further! Come back tomorrow for my Flashback Friday and have a Merry Christmas Eve:)

"Lacey things, the wife is missing.
 Didn't ask, for her permission
 I'm wearing her clothes, her silk panty hose.
 Walking around in women's underwear. 
 In the store, there's a teddy.
 With little straps, like spagetti.
 It holds me so tight, like handcuffs at night.
 Walking around in womens underwear 
 In the office there's a guy named Melvin.
 He pretends that I am Murphy Brown. 
He'll say "Are you ready?" I'll say, 
"Woah man! Lets wait untill the wife is out of town."
 Later on, if you wanna, 
We can dress, like Madonna.
 Put on some eye shade, and join the parade. 
Walking around in women's underwear. 
 Lacey things, missing. 
Didn't ask, permission.
 Wearing her clothes, silk panty hose. 
Walking around in women's underwear. 
Walking around in women's underwear.
 Walking around in women's underwear......"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Favorite Gifts Past

Currently Reading: I've been blessed in the past few days, and have won books by Fran Lee, Amber Skyze, and Jean Hart Stewart:) Thank you! And received a wonderful present for my birthday, Anny Cook's Blue Paradise! As soon as I finish reading Jae Roth's Circle of Wolves, I'm going to indulge in a Mystic Valley marathon. I need to refresh my memory concerning Cherished Destinies, Love Never Ending, and then, of course, Blue Paradise!

Print-wise, I'm currently rereading Pretty Little Wives by Abby Drake. And just finished rereading Smothering by Wendy French:)

Christmas 1980:
My favorite gifts that year were my stuffed tiger which purrs (I still have him:) and a stuffed bunny; makeup; and a Shaun Cassidy album:)

Christmas 1990:
My dad installed my new AM/FM stereo/cassette player in my car:) No more AM radio with the tape deck under the dash! I also received new sweaters, books, and perfume.

Christmas 2000:
I chuckled over my daughter's gift to me, a plaque with beautiful flowers and 'To Grandma' on it! K had gotten me a '#1 Mom' pin. I still have them both, and wear the pin each year on Mother's Day.

This Year:
As I type this, I may be wishing for a new dryer. The heating element appears NOT to be the culprit after all. The SU and K were scratching their heads and trying to determine why there is power TO the thing, and power FROM why won't the darn thing HEAT? Hopefully they'll have it figured out so I can wash and dry clothing tonight....the youngling is out of clean underwear and 'going commando' is losing its charm!

Today's Carol:
This is in honor of my youngling, who pulled out his 3rd tooth in church.

"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth,
My two front teeth, see my two front teeth?
Gee, if I could only have my two front teeth,
Then I could wish you Merry Christmas.

"Everybody stops and stares at me...
These two teeth are gone as you can see...
I don't know just who to blame for this catastrophe,
But my one wish on Christmas Eve is as plain as it can be!"

And who can resist....
"I want a hippopotamus for Christmas...
Only a hippopatamus will do...
No crocodiles, no rhinosorusses,
I only like hippopotamusses
And hippopotamusses like me too!

I can see me now on Christmas morning,
creeping down the stairs
Oh, what joy and what surprise, when I open up my eyes
and see a hippo hero standing there..."

What are some of your favorite gifts?
In the event I don't have internet, I'll be able to check in tomorrow!  
I'm preposting as many posts as possible, so see you on Thursday!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Kathy Otten:)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.

Hi Molly,

Thanks for having me today. Like most authors, I’ve pretty much been writing my whole life. It wasn’t until my kids got into high school though, that I seriously pursued publication. Since then I have had one novel and several short stories published. My newest novel is a historical western romance about a troubled U.S. Deputy Marshal and the feisty outlaw he is sworn to bring to justice.

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?

This one, Lost Hearts. This story takes place in a state I’ve never been able to visit, and it takes place before man had changed the environment of that state. It also involves real places and people, so the research was a bit daunting. And the hero, Rab, was difficult to understand, because he was so confused himself.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?

Not really. My husband is a blue collar guy and our values tend to be conservative. So when I write, my characters tend to be honest, working class kind of people who fall in love.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?

I use mostly books, especially for Civil War research. The rest is from the internet, which is my favorite place to get photos of period clothing. The Genealogical and Historical Society in McAlester, OK also sent me maps and copies of newspaper articles in response to a letter of questions I sent them. My research process is slowly developing. With my first book I was all over the place, easily side tracked and because I’d forget to document where I got the information, I’d have to go back and re-research. By the time I finished Lost Hearts I’d learned my lesson and had begun to organize my notes. Now with my new WIP, my plan is to finish the rough draft then go back and research every detail, then start the rewrites.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?

I’m not sure, I’m still trying to find my voice as a writer, but I hope my characters are real enough so that readers remember them as close friends.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?

I’m a little of both. I know where the story is going, and what my character’s goals and fears are so the dark moment is pretty defined, as well as how things will end. Then I write the scenes and bits of dialogue as they come to me. Later, I cut and paste, and put it all into some kind of order. Then I fill in the blanks and make sure every thread follows through.

How long did it take for you to be published?

Once I seriously started trying to submit my first novel and find an agent it took about 3 and a half years.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?

Join a critique group or find someone to read your work who knows something about craft.

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?

Years ago I always wrote in a notebook, these days it’s my computer. Although if I’m stuck, a notebook works best to just free write. Most of it ends up being junk, but giving myself permission to write junk often clarifies the missing element of a scene or gives me that bit of emotion I’ve overlooked.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?

I have so many favorite authors I can’t begin to name them. When I was in high school I was a big Louis L’Amour fan. At the time I was struck by his attention to detail and the way he was able to ground the reader in his settings. I’ve tried to emulate that with my own writing, though how well I succeeded in that is still open for debate.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

That I work in a group home with intellectually challenge adult men, who struggle with mental health issues.

For Fun:

Favorite Christmas memory?

The year my brother woke my other brother and me up super early to tell us we got a toboggan. It was wedged between the wall and the tree and had a bright red pad to sit on. The three of us used it for years. We would pile on that thing and go sledding for hours, with our dog racing down the hill ahead of us.

Have you written any Christmas-themed stories or woven the holiday into any of your books?

I’ve written two Christmas novellas, both available from The Wild Rose Press, A Christmas Smile and An Ordinary Angel.

Best Gift ever received?

My Quarter Horse mare, Little Jody Ann. She was my first horse and I grew up with her.

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.

My short stories, novellas and full length novels are available through my publisher, The Wild Rose Press or from All Romance e-Books. My novels are available in print as well as e-book and are also available through Fictionwise, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.


Trapped in a life of violence and abuse, Johnny Bodine disguises her femininity and dreams of a family who loves her. Haunted by flashbacks he can't remember, from a war he wants desperately to forget, U.S. Deputy Marshal Richard Bennick arrives in Indian Territory with warrants for a notorious outlaw and his feisty, irreverent son, Johnny.
As they journey through the dangerous Choctaw Nation, Richard and Johnny must learn to trust each other in order to survive, forming a unique bond of love between outlaw and lawman that can only be broken by Richard's oath to uphold the law, and by the justice of the hangman's noose.
(Pages 352) Spicy
ISBN: 1-60154-860-5


Stopping before him, she lowered her gaze to the scuffed toes of her boots. “I can tend that arm iffin ya want.”

The small bloodstains on the deputy’s shirt sleeve were nearly dry, and though he said nothing about what she’d done to him, she wouldn’t neglect his wound. Placing the bag on the table, she stepped away to rummage through the piles of clutter near the stove.

With the crook of her arm soon overflowing with an assortment of bandages, Johnny swung back toward the table and froze. The deputy stood before her with his rifle once again pointed at the center of her chest. She gasped, nearly dropping the clean linen onto the dirt floor. She studied his intense brown eyes for several moments and sighed with relief when she realized he wouldn’t pull the trigger.

A lifetime with her father and his men had honed her ability to read people. Like an expert shootist, she knew exactly when that trigger would be squeezed or when the next punch would fly.

Pointedly ignoring the barrel of his rifle, she stepped around it and dropped the bandages onto the table beside the doeskin bag.

“Ya damn lawman, iffin I’d a-wanted to kill ya, I’d a done it afore now.”

She lifted her gaze to meet his and saw in his eyes that he was aware she’d had her opportunity a few minutes ago and had chosen not to take it.

“Well, do forgive me,” he groused, “but I never trust an outlaw.”

Johnny narrowed her eyes into a mutinous glare. “I ain’t no outlaw. My paw’s an outlaw. Uncle Calvin an’ them others is outlaws, but I ain’t. I’m jest a…jest a…

“Just an innocent victim? Ha! Now finish what you’re doing and let’s go.”

Annoyed he didn’t believe her, she moved to the stove and reached for a small tin on the shelf. She placed the tin on the table then leaned over to grab the chair she’d been standing on while she collected her dried herbs. “Here. Set your ass in this.”

The deputy complied, as the tension in his features eased. Confused by the fact she even cared, Johnny stomped off to retrieve the bucket of water and dropped it on the table with a thump. “Is ya goin’ to put up that rifle-gun? I don’t want it a-goin’ off ax-ti-dental-like if this here salve stings.”

“Then you’d better make sure it doesn’t sting,” he snapped. “And it’s accidental.”

She scowled, waiting as he looped the rifle over his shoulder. She easily pushed up both the unbuttoned sleeves of his shirt and long drawers. Picking up one of the smaller cloths, she dipped it into the water, wrung out the excess, and gently dabbed the blood from the wound. “Ya know’d my meanin’.”

“You said it wrong.” He grumbled. As he leaned close to examine the circle of teeth marks, Johnny caught a whiff of soap. She took a deep breath, inhaling the faint scent of sandalwood. This deputy sure smelled nicer than any man she’d ever known.

“Accidental.” The deputy prodded.

Johnny picked up the tin. Her father and his men always smelled sour, a mixture of sweat, horses, and dirt. Their body odor turned her stomach; it never stirred a desire to lean close andbreathe deep.

“Say it, Johnny.”

“Sonofabitch. Don’t ya never quit?”


She blew out an exaggerated breath that was more like a growl, then pried off the tin lid, and tossed it on the table so hard it skidded across the wood and hit the dirt floor with a ping. “Ask-diddental.”


“Who the hell cares?” She scooped up a blob of salve and smashed it into the raw wound.

“Yeow!” The deputy shoved the chair back and glared at her. “You did that on purpose.”

Johnny scowled right back. “The hell I did, lawman. It was plum ax-ti-dental.”

The deputy’s brown eyes narrowed dangerously for a moment then gradually his harsh expression eased into a quick half smile. A large dimple appeared to crease his left cheek, and for just an instant his white teeth flashed like a ray of sunlight through morning fog.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fabio Won:)

Winners of the Birthday Scavenger Hunt are: Desitheblonde and Di! Please contact me at for your free download!

I was originally hoping Jane would win Survivor, but when she was voted out, I then chose Holly. But the final three were Fabio, Sash, and Chase...and started cheering for Fabio during the final Immunity Challenge.

Can't wait til Feb 16th! 'Redemption Island' is the new twist:)

In the event I lose my internet tomorrow, I have preposted the January interviews. I will be able to access the internet at the bookstore, and in a pinch, I can still go to the library. But unless a miracle occurs, it looks as if our phone, cable, and internet will be shut down until a paycheck arrives. Congress DID pass the bill to extend the unemployment benefits; however, until it is SIGNED and the SU receives word he can file a new claim, well, you get the picture.

I did enjoy my birthday; the Colts beat Jacksonville, 34-24; my family let me eat most of the Stuffed Mushroom appetizer; I love my new camera! Plus, I'd won three e-books in three different contests, and a dear friend sent me her latest release:) I now have plenty of reading material until tax time, when I can (hopefully!) begin to buy books again:)

Today's song:
Put on your yamakah
Here comes Chanukah
So much funukah
To celebrate Chanukah

Chanukah is
A Festival of Lights
Instead of one day of presents
We have eight crazy nights.....

David Lee Roth lights the Menorah
So does James Caan, Kirk Douglas and the late Dinah Shore-ah
Guess who eats together at the Carnegie Deli?
Bowser from Sha na na and Arthur Fonzarelli....

You don't need "Deck the Halls" or "Jingle Bell Rock"
Cause you can spin a dreydel with Captain Kirk and
Mr. Spock (both Jewish!)

I got into trouble three years ago when I posted this
(and misspelled 'Chanukah'!)
So to 'balance' it, here's two songs I had to find on
You Tube Saturday night
when they were running through my head, because I only
have it on cassette tape!
Amy Grant's 'Emmanuel' and 'O Little Town'
Emmanuel, Emmanuel.
Wonderful, Counselor!
Lord of life, Lord of all;
He's the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Holy One!
Emmanuel, Emmanuel....

(awesome instrumental....)

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight....

(at end of the song, again, awesome instrumental!)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's My Party and I'll Blog if I Want To....

Three of my characters have been mischievous this morning! Go over to the RBRU blog and see the insanity over there!

I received an early present yesterday: Wild at Heart is now available on Kindle:) Click here to go over and see it:)

In the meantime, I'll try to check in later today. We're heading up to Terre Haute for a late lunch/early dinner at the Olive Garden, and then I'm planning to watch the Survivor finale tonight. I'll try to get pics up later this week; I already know I'm getting a new camera for my birthday:) (My old one died earlier this year, and now we've misplaced the daughter's.)

So stay warm, and enjoy the party:)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday's Stupid Saying

Tech Support: Do you have any windows open right now?

Customer: Are you crazy? It's twenty below outside!

I thought this was appropriate for this time of year!

Check back tomorrow for a treat. Yes, I know I don't normally post on Sundays. But tomorrow's my birthday and I'm allowed to blog if I want to! (It's my party and I'll blog if I want to, blog if I want to...sorry, couldn't resist!)

Today's Agenda:
-Making Rice Krispy Treats(???)
-I'm working 4-close tonight at the store.
-I'll be writing my Christmas newsletter:)

Hubby's agenda:
-FIX MY DRYER! (If there's a heating element to be found on a shelf...otherwise, I'll have to wait until the part arrives. Fingers crossed and prayers offered up someone has one available today!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flashback Friday

Yesterday's winner is.......MARTHA:) Email Jamie at and send her your snail mail addy:) Congratulations!

Dec 1990:

My 25th birthday was slightly bittersweet. I went home and discovered my very 1st boyfriend was engaged, and their wedding shower was to be held that evening. Since my mother was invited, we went out to dinner and then stopped by. I had not seen S in probably six years, so we had a brief catch-up after the shower. His fiancee had been one of my sister's youth counselors at church, so I already 'knew' her, somewhat.

A few days later, I happened to have the night off from work, so I drove back to Indianapolis and spent the day with D. He took me to lunch at Chi-Chi's and we finished with dinner at the Olive Garden, plus he surprised me with a tiny cake. His roommate's wife was home from school that weekend, so the four of us went to a bar and I taught D how to throw darts.

Christmas that year, I was unusually quiet. I was at my parent's house again, having successfully 'ditched' The Idiot for the day. I slipped away to call D, who had gone to his parents' home, and wish him Merry Christmas. The next day, I drove immediately to his apartment and spent the afternoon with him.

Little did I suspect a huge change was about to take place.

Come back next month for the rest of the story!

See you tomorrow for Saturday's Stupid Saying:)

Happy Release Day to Anny Cook! Go here buy/preview Blue Paradise, 5th installment of Mystic Valley!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Terrific Thursday with Jamie Carie:)

(Jamie's the one in black:) The other lady is responsible for getting her hooked on historical romance!)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I am Jamie Carie and I write inspirational, historical romance. I fell in love with historical romances when I was fourteen and have been reading them ever since. When I was a stay-at-home mom of two little boys I decided to try my hand at writing a romance novel. I'm a preacher's daughter and have been close to God all my life, so adding the inspirational element just came naturally. Although, I have to say, I try not to be preachy or let my characters be too "saintly." They have real problems and struggles. Some fail and some succeed. But they grow and change and turn to God in their place of need.

My latest release is The Snowflake, set in Alaska during the gold rush. It's the story of Ellen Pierce and Buck Lewis. Ellen has been taking care of her mentally ill brother all her life and has never had a story of her own. She lives a pretty lonely existence. Then she meets Buck, the kind of man that folk-lore is made of. The kind of man she hasn't even had the courage to dream about. But Buck isn't going to Alaska for the gold like everyone else. He's going to find his wife's killer so that he can put some closure to the hole in his heart. When he meets Ellen he is torn, conflicted and a little angry with himself that he feels something for another woman. They both have some issues to resolve before they can even think about being together. That's where Christmas comes in! It was so much fun to put a Christmas spin on a story!

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?

Yes! Each story is scary at some point. Can I pull this off? How do I make such and such happen without it being cliché? How can I keep improving my craft? How can I keep that reader turning the pages and staying up into the wee hours of the night because they can't put it down? Did I pick the right theme and do I even want a "theme?" Whew! Writing is as close to cliff diving as I will ever come.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?

Yes and no. I've incorporated scenarios that are similar and bring out the same emotion and conflict. Isabelle in Wind Dancer is captured by Indians. That hasn't happened to me (duh) but I have felt "captured" and trapped by circumstances that have brought fear into my life. Emma in Angel's Den is beaten by her husband. I haven't experienced that (thank God!) but I have been abused by authority figures at times and have had to deal with the fall-out of that. Issues like that happen all of the time in my books.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?

Both! J I research a great deal before beginning to write and then I have to stop now and then to look up things as I go along. Historicals are a lot of work (and fun!) when it comes to the research side.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?

How much God loves us. If we can all just get a revelation of that . . . it can change our lives and change the world!

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?

All of my stories take on a life of their own and trash my attempts at being a plotter. I do character studies and outlines but then the characters wake up and becomes whatever they want to become. Same for plot. I plot out a few chapters ahead and then end up revising them along the way. It's a very loose, intuitive process for me.

How long did it take for you to be published?

I started Snow Angel in 1995. It took two years to write and nine more years to break in. It was a long, arduous process for me and I gave up several times. The thing is, I really believed in that story. I just couldn't let go of the dream of seeing it published. There were lots of rejection letters, blood, sweat and tears. But it was worth it! It was the beginning of my dream career! Kudos to you for not giving up:)

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?

Don't be so terrified of editors! LOL! I obsessed about every word I said to them in queries and proposals and in person. They are busy, harried sometimes and human. Just relax and talk to them like you would anyone else.

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?

I'm still chained to a desk top but my hubby is getting me a laptop so I'll be making that adjustment soon. My must-have is quiet and music! When I'm really in the writing "mode" I've got my ear phones on, the house is dark and my fingers are flying over the keyboard. Those are the good days!

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?

I love the classics and many of those authors but my favorite romance novelist of all time, the one I have studied and studied by reading her books countless times, is Laura Kinsale. It's my dream to meet her in person so I can grovel at her feet!! Sounds like myself and Lavyrle Spencer, lol!

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

Hmmm. Okay . . . you know that the photo on the back of my books? It was taken at Glamour Shots! Ha! And yes, I did opt for the "Glamour Touch" (i.e. air brushing). I should probably get a new one taken that is a little more, er, lifelike, but I'm just not ready to let go of it yet. ROFL! I have my own 'Glamour Shot photos! But thankfully, I haven't had to use them yet:)

For Fun:

Favorite Christmas memory?

I remember one Christmas in particular where my dad built a huge Barbie house for me. It was two stories high with a spacious attic and taller than I was. My mom lovingly furnished it with carpet samples, wall paper, and creative furniture. I remember a lovely toothbrush holder as the bathroom sink, made from swirled blue glass on the bottom with a bronze colored top where the toothbrush slots circled the basin. There was a bed with real sheets and blankets, curtains at every window and kitchen appliances that I don't know to this day how she made so real looking. She sewed clothes for my dolls out of fabric scraps and let me buy plastic high-heeled shoes to complete their outfits. (Hmm, I think that was the beginning of my love for shoes!)

I adored my Barbie dolls and now they had a real home and lovely clothes so that I could make believe all sorts of stories for them. Sometimes I even let my brother play with me, but not very often. He liked to give the baby a cape and make it fly, which drove me crazy. Or, just to hear me howl, he would pop off Malibu Barbie's head and chuck it across the room. Brothers! I'm jealous! I sooooo wanted the Barbie Townhouse when I was 7 or 8!

Have you written any Christmas-themed stories or woven the holiday into any of your books?

My Christmas novella, The Snowflake, just came out! See the book trailer and read reviews and the back cover blurb on my website here:

Best Gift ever received?

Wow! That's a tough one. Of course the gift of my Savior being born is the best gift, but here on earth? I'm not sure it qualifies as a "gift" but my husband let me buy my dream car when we were newly married. It was a Pontiac Grand AM - white, with all that lovely side panel molding. (For some reason it reminded me of the storm troopers in Star Wars!). When we drove up to the dealership to look at cars it was the one outside, in the front, displayed on a tall ramp. I fell in LOVE! I'd never had a brand new car, and I felt like I was in heaven as we drove it off the lot. I always did have a thing for nice cars.

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.

My website has links to lots of online stores that carry my books. You can also find them at Borders, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, some Wal-Mart stores, Christian bookstores like LifeWay and your independently owned Christian bookstores. Pretty much anywhere books are sold.

You can follow me on Facebook here:!/jamie.carie

And on Twitter here:!/jamiecarie

Sign up for my newsletter (it only comes out a few times a year) on my homepage to hear all the latest news and enter contests to win free books!

Thanks so much, Molly! Great questions!

Click here to buy:)

Christmas 1897. Ellen Pierce and her brother are determined to reach the Alaska gold rush. But when ice stalls their steamship, all seems lost, until Buck Lewis makes a decision: he'll lead all who dare to follow on foot toward Dawson City.

Buck is determined to leave behind a heartbreaking past. No amount of ice or weather will stop him. But he never counted on a woman joining a dangerous wilderness trek--or on falling in love with her.

As their journey unfolds and Christmas approaches, Ellen and Buck discover that the greatest gift of all can't be wrapped in paper and tied with a bow. It comes from, and is received in, the heart.

Come share in a soul-deep romance that gives a joyful reminder of a redeeming God who makes us each unique, yet loves us all the same.


Chapter One

Alaska, 1897

Be there, be there, be there, be there.

The words thudded in time with my heartbeat as I let myself into the cold, tiny cabin aboard the steamship. I turned and shut the door with a soft click. Only a few minutes, that’s all I had before my brother would find me missing and come looking for me. Only a few precious minutes alone.

I rushed over the rocking floor to the side of the lower bunk, knelt down, and reached underneath to pull out my heavy trunk. My fingers shook with fright and cold as I fumbled with the latch and lifted the lid.

I shoved aside dresses and stockings, a petticoat that had seen better days, and a pair of shabby pink slippers, then dug down to the bottom of the trunk. My fingers crushed around the feel of tulle as tears sprung to my eyes.

It was still there.

My heart lurched, as if it had long forgotten this wave of bliss. My eyelids dropped shut as I lifted out the long veil, stood, and clutched it to my chest. I stroked the delicate fabric, unable to look at it yet, savoring the blindness that heightened my touch as my fingertips ran along the silken crown at the top, each faux pearl against the lace a seed of delight. A laughing sob leapt from my throat, and I opened my eyes.

The veil was already two years old. What would happen when I lifted it out and found it yellowed with age?

I’d first seen it in a dressmaker’s shop window on a windswept, autumn day in San Francisco. I walked inside that shop without thinking what I was doing.

A woman with gray-and-black streaked hair rushed from a back room, smoothing down her skirts as she stepped into her showroom. She smiled at me, like I could be a paying customer, and I pretended I was.

“How can I help you, my dear?”

I stood mute for a moment and then pointed toward the window. “May I—” I swallowed hard and rushed out the rest before my courage failed completely. “May I see that veil?”

“Of course.” The woman turned to fetch it. She was round in a motherly way that made me feel better somehow. “You must try it on.”

And I did.

I let her arrange the tulle, so long that it flowed from my head to the floor behind me. She fussed over the combs in the headpiece, placing them into my thick crown of curls I was forever trying to manage, trying to conceal the full glory of. Rich brown hair as to be almost black, curling all the way down my back but never to be seen—always caught up and away into a hat or cap or knitted net that kept it from any temptation of man. It was understood that I would never let it down.

The woman finished positioning the great white veil on my head, as if it was a normal day’s occurrence, and I supposed for her it was. But I’d never had a day like that. She fluffed up the gauzy poof in the back and then gave a great sigh and stood back, her hands over her wide bosom.

“It’s perfect.” She beamed, gesturing toward a mirror.

I turned toward the wavy glass, my stomach seizing and trembling. As my face came into view, my hand, too, lifted to my chest. I blinked but the image didn’t fade; it only grew stronger. Brown, wide-set eyes, round and startled, a thin face, pale against the walnut hue of my hair. The veil was white and stark and beyond beauty. My heart pounded so loud I was sure the woman could hear it. But she only looked at me, over my shoulder in the glass, with a kind smile.

“It’s lovely on you, dear. When is your wedding?”

Had the woman spoken? I couldn’t hear beyond the roar of my blood. I stared and blinked at my image in the glass. A bride?


I jerked my gaze away from the glass, unable to see my reflection for another second. My hands clawed at the delicate combs, frantic to free them from my hair.

“Never,” I whispered, thrusting the delicate piece into the woman’s arms. With tears blinding my eyes, I stumbled from the shop—out into the cold nothingness of my life.

Weeks passed but I couldn’t forget. Symbol, talisman, covenant, promise…hope. It took months of hoarded pennies, lies when questioned about the rise in the cost of flour or milk, and the shattering of my pride to go back to that shop. I knew the woman would look at me with pity in her eyes, but the need to have the veil was greater than any of that. And it was still here in my trunk. Jonah hadn’t found it yet.

The door swung open and crashed against the wall.

“Oh!” I turned and faced him, my brother, crushing the veil to my chest. My breath froze as he advanced.

“Where have you been?” His voice was reed thin with a grasping, clawing undertone that I knew only too well.

“I was tired.”

“You’re up to something. What do have there?”

He advanced on me. I took a step back and then another until my legs bumped into the room’s narrow bench. “It’s nothing. Please, I was only going to lie down for a little while.”

Panic rose in my throat, suffocating me as his eyes went black. His thin arm struck out like a coiled snake and snatched the delicate tulle.

“No!” I held tight to my precious hope. “Please, it’s nothing of value. Let me keep it. Please, I’ll do anything.”

“A veil.” Shock lit his eyes, and then he made a low sound that was so hollow, both terrified and angry—an eerie, mad, moaning sound. “Ellie, you can’t leave me. I won’t let you leave me.”

He tugged harder as his gaze darted around the cabin, as if looking for a place to crawl in and hide. His gaze, suddenly sharp in focus, snapped back to mine. He inhaled. “It’s that man, isn’t it? You’ve been talking to him. I saw you.”

His grip on the veil tightened as he stepped so close to me our noses nearly touched and his breath came and went in quick gasps across my face.

“There is no man, Jonah. Please, it’s just a memento. It was mother’s. I keep it to remember her by.” The lies flowed easy and vivid, but I could tell by the trembling of his lips and the rage eating up his eyes that he did not believe me.

He grasped my wrists in a searing hold, his hands, so frail and weak looking, were stronger than a steel trap. The cloth of the veil twisted around my hands and his. With one hand holding one of my wrists against the wall, he jerked my other hand up and out.

I cried out in pain as the veil made a long ripping sound. My eyes clenched shut as sobs escaped my usually tight throat. “Noooo.” I turned my face away from him toward the wall and wailed.

Loud footsteps rang across the floor, and then Jonah was wrenched away from me. My eyes blinked open, pools of heartbreak rolling down my cheeks as the man of my dreams held my brother’s arms behind his back.

I watched, unable to utter a word, as he hissed into Jonah’s ear. “What is the meaning of this? If you ever lay a hand on her again—”

He didn’t finish the threat, but Jonah’s eyes went blank, dead. He looked like a little boy again. The boy I’d always protected.

“Don’t hurt him.”

Buck Lewis shook his head at me. “No one deserves to live like this.”

“I’m all he has.” My voice was a whisper. Everything in the room went deadly quiet as Buck studied my shattered, pleading eyes.

An enormous crash interrupted my horror. The ship lurched and tilted as a great splintering, the groaning and cracking of ice, exploded in sound. I fell back against the wall as Jonah used the moment of distraction to slither away from Buck’s hold.

“Come on!” Buck turned toward the opening in the doorway. “The ship may be damaged. We can’t stay down here.”

The three of us rushed to the top deck.

Jamie's graciously decided to offer a free copy of The Snowflake to a lucky commenter:) Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We Interrupt This Blog....

Molly's baking today. Banana Bread, Chocolate chip cookies, M&M cookies, Rice Krispy Treats.

Come back tomorrow when author Jamie Carie will be here with an excerpt from her latest release, The Snowflake:)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Larion Wills:)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.

Hi, Molly and all your friends. I’m happy to be here and even happier to tell you about It’s Still Tomorrow. As for me, not much to tell. On the personal side, housewi—no, make that domestic engineer, wife, mother, grandmother, surrogate mother to two dogs, not very interesting. Imagination wise, though, another story. I’m a multi-genre author, writing under two pen names, Larriane Wills and Larion Wills. My latest release is from Larion Wills, a contemporary with murder, mayhem and witch who gave up the practice. On, did I mention one sexy man, a cantankerous but determined familiar, and mystery?

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?

No, which isn’t to say that there aren’t things that scare me or that I don’t write scary things. I just don’t mix the two.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?

Bits and pieces, little things that add fodder to the story and characters, but nothing that could be construed as my life story.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?

I write and do the research as needed since I have a tendency to get fascinated with what I’m finding, especially with history. Things like contacting the taser company for facts on their weapon don’t distract me over much, but hunting down historical facts does when I see so many things that would make into a good story. Many a time the research for one of my westerns has lead to a second story, incorporating some facts that way.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?

HEA. The world is full of hurt and pain that doesn’t end well. I want my readers to laugh as well as cringe, close the book when their finished and feel good about the strength of human beings overcoming the adversities thrown at them and to feel hope.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?

I’m a pantser, and yes, I’ve had to reel my characters in more than once and put them back on the same track I started on. Every often, however, those off the track things develop into another story.

How long did it take for you to be published?

Once I got serious about it, it took me just about a year. I played at sort of submitting in spurts with years in between. When I decided I was really going to follow through and stick with it, I received my first set of rejections, read and studied what some took the time to tell me, did some editing and rewriting and started again. With the second start, the first publisher I sent the first book to accepted it.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?

Start sooner and stop being afraid of those rejections.

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?

Pen and ink for the first draft. It’s slows me down when I have to type it into the laptop, but a pen in my hand flows smoother and faster for that first round. I wish I had no interruptions, but manage. Family and pets do need some attention. If the family is off somewhere, from the time I get up until the time I go back to bed, I’m writing until that first draft is done.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?

I have so many favorite authors there’s just too many to list. They have all influenced me in some way. Many times while I’m reading, I think ‘I really like the way she/he did that. I’m going to remember that trick.’

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I don’t know—ah, I once took belly dancing lessons?

For Fun:

Favorite Christmas memory?

So many great memories. Christmas is my family’s biggest holiday. It’s the one time we all make the special effort to meet in one place and just be happy to see each other. I could tell you my worst memory far sooner than a favorite.

Have you written any Christmas-themed stories or woven the holiday into any of your books?

I haven’t written anything with Christmas in it. I need to do that.

Best Gift ever received?

There you go again, asking a hard question. I think reaching back into my childhood would supply the best answer, back when my mother was a single parent stretching every penny to make sure we all had something special. It wasn’t that the gift was expensive, but even then I knew how hard it was for her to get me that pretty, blue parakeet.

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.

You’re very welcome. It’s been a pleasure. You can visit my website to see which of my books you want: or go directly to the publisher’s website for

It’s Still Tomorrow, A Gallows Waited, Twisted Wind, Evil Reflections, Little Sam’s Angel, Thirteen Souls, Mourning Meadow, Looking Glass Portal, The Knowing.

I’ll be starting with a new publisher, Museitup Publishing, in May of 2011 with another western, White Savage, then, Chase, a contemporary, another western, Tarbet, and another contemporary, Traps. That takes me up to spring of 2012 and I’m working on extending that as well.

Here’s the blurb and an excerpt from It's Still Tomorrow:

Sara wasn’t one to whine. She’d learned early in live that it did not good, but when a disreputable newspaper called her a black witch, her cat was shot, she lost her job, and her apartment was firebombed, she had no choice but to flee. The unfinished house she inherited would have been a blessing if the evil hadn’t followed her.

“Yes,” she said to herself as she watched him, “he is nice.”

Nice referred to the way he was built, shoulders broad and lean everywhere else. Six one or six two, she estimated, dark hair, a little long, wavy and combed back from his face, probably blue eyes. He was garbed in what was generally described as “cowboy” apparel, denim, Western-cut shirt and real Levis, not jeans. He didn’t wear a hat though, neither Western nor the ever-popular ball cap, and sturdy, lace-up work boots covered his feet. He moved nicely as well, though his gait was a little uneven as he came down the irregular surface of the hillside through the scrub oak and cat claw. She suspected a limp, not severe, but noticeable. He definitely favored the right leg when he jumped the six-foot bank from hill to the pad cut out by heavy machinery to form a level area for the house and yard. On the more even ground, the slight limp was more noticeable.

With a sigh, Sara pressed her hand to her forehead, the thumb at one temple and the forefinger at the other. “You knew this was coming,” she murmured, dropping her hand down the front of her face, still fluttering the wet shirt with the other one.

“Good morning,” he said when he was close enough not to have to yell.

“Not so far,” she answered.


He stopped a few feet from her, and she was right about the eye color but hadn’t realized that they would be so distinctive. The irises were blue, a pale shade tending toward sapphire, with a black rim making them rather penetrating, especially when he stared, as he was then. His dark brows, drawn down at her comment, nearly masked his long lashes. His expression also turned his rather stern features slightly foreboding.

“Turned the power on and flooded the kitchen,” she explained.

“Guess that explains why you’re wet,” he said. His eyes flickered over the wet shirt, and what was visible beneath, and shot back up to settle on a lock of still-dripping hair. “A pipe must have frozen.”

Appreciating his ability not to stare at her too-visible chest, she commented dryly, “That was my second thought.”

“What was the first?” he asked, moving by her to the breaker box.

“That a spigot or valve had been left open. There wasn’t any.”

“Just a plug,” he told her while he opened the box, flipped several breakers, closed the box, and turned the power back on.

“Not anymore. You would be?”

“Dem Everett, the contractor Charles hired.”

She already knew that but didn’t say so. “Yeah, well, Charles could afford to pay you,” she said bluntly. “I can’t.”

“The work’s already paid for, just not finished.”

“Then consider it a bonus; I can’t afford materials, either.”

His eyes narrowed again. “They’re already bought, in storage at my place.”

“Really?” she asked excitedly. She didn’t wait for an answer. Her hand dropped, she half-turned, took a step away and one back in an excitement dance. “That’s great! I didn’t know how I could do it. What kind of materials? I’d be thrilled with anything about now, but what are we talking about?”

“Finishing the inside and building a detached garage.”

“Bathroom? Kitchen?”

“All the bathrooms, kitchen, doors…”

“All that stuff is already bought? Sink, shower, all of it?”

“All of it,” he repeated and then added stiffly, “but you need to know before I start any work, I’m an insurance liability.”

Sara stopped dancing. “Why is that?”

“I’m crippled,” he stated tartly.

“Oh, I’m sorry; I thought you just had a limp. I didn’t realize that made you a cripple.”

Dem blinked and stared at her, blinked again and half-shook his head. “I didn’t think so either,” he told her, not sure if he was angered or amused by her attitude, “but the insurance companies consider it a liability and might refuse you coverage on me.”

“No problem, I don’t have any. If you get hurt, I’ll help with the medical, but on all that pain and suffering business you’d be on your own. Wouldn’t do you any good to sue me either. That’s all I own.”

Dem looked where she pointed, at a twelve-year-old, medium-sized car in front of the house in what would be a driveway or yard sometime in the future. The back seat was packed higher than the windows, and the rear end squatted to indicate the trunk was packed as well.

“Did you just get here?” he asked, puzzled since he had heard otherwise.

“Couple of days ago.”

“Why haven’t you unpacked?”

“Wasn’t sure I was going to stay,” she said bluntly.